At about the same time the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing arguments for and against Arizona's SB1070 where Arizona basically said it would take over immigration issues, comes a report that says for the first time since the Depression more people are going into Mexico than are coming here.
But the other reasons include tightened border security, the Obama administration's stepped up deportation policy and a decline in the Mexican birthrate. A drastic decline in the birthrate - in 1960 a typical Mexican woman had about seven children and that's now down to two. Fewer kids, fewer unemployed young people willing to risk coming to the United States.
Overall U.S. immigration is rising except for the Mexican sector.
I can attest to the effort at the border to keep people out. Play a round of golf at any of the nice courses near the border and you're graced with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft overhead and a steady stream of Border Patrol vehicles on the roads. If you're coming across you're probably spotted.
News reports around these parts rarely report on illegals being caught coming across the border. It is a daunting journey -- the landscape formidable, at this time of the year the heat intolerable and the distances needed to be "safely" inside the country very long.
The bulk of the news reports center on drug trafficking of which there is plenty. Earlier this year several reports centered on tunnels between the two Nogaleses - and the cartels are very adept at getting their product across the border. Agents just recently stopped a pickup in the desert loaded with about $750,000 worth of marijuana.
There's a Border Patrol checkpoint just north of Tubac where people continue to try and sneak by with pot, cocaine and meth. Why they try and do that with drug-sniffing dogs and machines that can basically view everything inside a vehicle is beyond me. I just put it down to criminals aren't some of the sharpest pencils in the box.
But drug traffickers and illegal border crossers are entirely different critters. As long as there is a demand for drugs in the U.S. --and I don't see that lessening any time soon -- there will be those along the border who will risk anything to bring it in to make a profit.
There really is no "violence along the border" as some would have you believe, except for the rare occasion when border crossers are harassed or robbed by banditos preying on those seeking to come here.
Which all leads to the idea of thinking about immigration reform. Certainly there's a need, but we all remember that this is an election year and as such the issue is surrounded in the cloud of sound bites.
Cries of "close the border" (very, very hard to do), throw 'em out (impractical on so many levels) or having them "self-deport" fill the airwaves and in interviews.
But that does nothing to solve the issue of those who are here, those who have American born children who thus are American citizens and the many who have been hard-working and led productive lives here and became part of their community.
Don't belabor me with the "let them come in the legal way." There really is no quota that supports that.
At the very least, there should be some renewed effort made for agricultural interests to be able to bring in the laborers they need for the time they need them -- all above board. As it is, many migrant farm workers are not here legally.
And of course we're only talking the Latino population here illegally. While they make up the bulk of the illegal immigrants in the States, about 60 percent, there's a whole lot of other folks out there here illegally that you never, ever hear about.
So now would be a good time to look at immigration issues, but with politicians on both sides looking for an advantage with Latino voters, don't expect anything to come of it. At least not this year.
Kendall P. Stanley is retired editor of the Petoskey News-Review. He can be contacted at email@example.com.