At London's Daily Mail, "Strong border controls and a lack of jobs prompt mass emigration of illegal Mexicans from the U.S.":
The number of Mexican immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has dropped significantly for the first time in decades, showing a dramatic shift as many illegal workers are moving back to Mexico from the U.S. because there are so few job opportunities.See also the Los Angeles Times, "Report finds Mexican immigration to U.S. is at a standstill."
The new analysis comes amid renewed debate over U.S. immigration policy as the Supreme Court hears arguments this week on Arizona's tough immigration law.
Mexican immigrants make account for nearly 60 per cent of the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. and last year there were 6.1million in America. That number was down from its peak in 2007 when there were 7million confirmed in the U.S.
That drop was the biggest one in modern history, with the Pew Hispanic Center noting it was believed to only be surpassed in scale by losses in the Mexican-born U.S. population during the Great Depression.
Much of the drop in illegal immigrants is due to the persistently weak U.S. economy, which has shrunk construction and service-sector jobs attractive to Mexican workers following the housing bust.
In addition, increased deportations, heightened U.S. patrols and violence along the border also have played a role, as well as demographic changes, such as Mexico's declining birth rate.
In all, the Mexican-born population in the U.S. last year - legal and illegal - fell to 12million, marking an end to an immigration boom dating back to the 1970s. The 2007 peak was 12.6million.
Christian Ballesteros has been at a shelter for immigrants in Matamoros, Mexico, across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
He pointed to stiffer U.S. penalties for repeat immigrant offenders as well as brutal criminal groups that control the Mexican side of the border as reasons for the immigration decline.
RELATED: At CSM, "Arizona immigration law: Mexico gets involved in US Supreme Court case."