Border Patrol agents are stopping unauthorized migrants coming from Mexico at record levels. Little wonder more than half of Americans now say an “invasion” is underway at the southern border, according to a recent NPR/Ipsos poll.
At the same time, net immigration in the United States — the number of all foreign arrivals, including illegal ones, minus the number of departures — has been on a downward slope for five years, partly but not only because of the pandemic. As the Economist noted recently, migrants added just 247,000 people to the U.S. population in the year that ended in July 2021, the smallest increase in three decades and an amount equal to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the country’s population. The Trump administration, having launched an assault on legal as well as illegal immigration, drove down the number of entries through red tape even before COVID-19’s arrival.