Border Patrol apprehensions of Mexican border crossers, a proxy for illegal immigration, are down almost 90 percent from their peak in 2000 (Chart 1). S.-Mexico guest worker program intended to relieve farm worker shortages during the war, revived Mexican labor flows and set the stage for what would later become sustained mass immigration. That law legalized 2.3 million Mexican immigrants but, in exchange, mandated employer sanctions for firms that hired unauthorized workers. construction industry since the housing bust of the mid-to late-2000s.At less than 200,000 apprehensions in fiscal 2015, the Border Patrol today intercepts about as many migrants as it did in the early 1970s, before the era of mass Mexican immigration. immigration has always been about workers flowing north to fill the types of jobs that Americans eschew. Populating the Southwest meant surging demand for workers, and U. labor recruiters reached deep into Mexico to convince rather reluctant workers to come north to labor on railroads and ranches. economy continued growing, Mexican workers filled the void. Sanctions were rarely enforced so, instead of ending illegal immigration, IRCA spurred it. Before the downturn, nearly one-fifth of undocumented Mexican men were initially employed in construction, but 2015 activity in the home building industry was nearly 60 percent below its prerecession peak (see Chart 2).

Although wages remain far lower in Mexico, employment opportunities are increasing and the quality of life has improved — consumers have access to credit and homebuyers to mortgages and social programs cover more people than before.

It is increasingly clear that legal pathways for Mexican workers must be expanded if the goal is to rekindle Mexico-to-U. labor flows, particularly of low-skilled workers who currently lack legal alternatives. economy will adapt to a state of chronic shortages of low-skilled labor in a number of ways.

Economic growth can slow due to weakening demand, but it can also be constrained by low labor supply.

As the unemployment rate slips ever lower and labor-intensive industries struggle to find workers, the time may well be right for lawmakers to craft legal ways for Mexican workers to come.

Improving economic conditions in Mexico are an additional factor slowing emigration.

While wages today are rising only slowly in real terms in Mexico, this is a big improvement over falling inflation- adjusted wages in times of mass outmigration, such as in the 1980s and 1990s.

During the interview, Collins had the opportunity to set the record straight and address common misconceptions about legal immigrants living in America today.

The segment was inspired from facts released earlier this fall by the Bush Institute in the third edition of America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth.

Violence and corruption in Central America is inciting mass emigration from there, filling some of the void left by disaffected Mexican workers who have stopped coming.

However, many of the Central American migrants are women and children, who come here to seek asylum.

Although far fewer migrants attempt the trek, border crossing deaths still number between 200 and 300 per year. Extensive fencing and interior checkpoints ensure migrants walk days in the desert to reach their destination, in a terrain that is hostile to humans under even the best conditions.