Illegal immigration figures have been used to shock the nation in the debate over Arizona’s new immigration laws and the figures are stunning. Some estimates put the number at 1.5 million illegal immigrants streaming into the country per year and the bulk of those coming from Mexico on foot directly over the border. Arizona is home to about half a million of those people. The refrain is that the undocumented workers are taking jobs from citizens and legal residents and that is certainly partly true.
Soon though America and even Arizona will be begging Mexico to send over their poor tired huddled masses, or whatever is left of them, at least according to Newsweek.
Earlier this month, the weekly magazine quoted the Pew Institute and various professors to say it won’t be long until the U.S. finds itself reckoning with a dearth of vital Mexican labor.
In 1970, the average Mexican woman had 6.7 children. All those children grew up and needed jobs. Mexico’s economy wasn’t growing fast enough to support them all. The number of people entering the Mexican labor force had vastly outstripped the number of new jobs in any given year, but that is beginning to change. Today Mexican women each bear 2.1 children. This year, 750,000 Mexicans will enter the labor force. By 2030 the number is expected to be 300,000. Right now, according to Newsweek, Mexico produces 400,000 to 500,000 new jobs a year. In other words, Mexico will be looking for worker immigrants.
Yet as more American baby-boomers retire, more jobs will open in the U.S. You can see where the numbers lead. The U.S. will need workers and Mexico will too.
Newsweek concludes with this quote from a USC professor: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona starts pleading for Mexican workers who can help them in their retirement homes.”
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