With North American Illegals, Distance Does Not Make the Heart Grow Fonder

By David North on June 8, 2015

While working with DHS enforcement data for FY 2010, I noticed a pattern: Among North American illegals, the number of borders one has to cross using land routes has a nice negative correlation with the numbers of deportable aliens located by authorities, as shown below:

Patterns in North American Illegal Migration

Land Borders Crossed on Way to U.S. Illegals' Home Nations Deportable Aliens Located
in the U.S., FY 2010
Spanish-Speaking Nations    
1 Mexico 427,940
2 Guatemala 23,068
3 El Salvador 18,520
3 Honduras 17,899
4 Nicaragua 1,347
5 Costa Rica 275
6 Panama 75
English-Speaking Nations    
1 Canada 808
2 Belize 109

Source: 2010 Year Book of Immigration Statistics, 2010, DHS, 2012, Table 34.

There are, of course, many significant variables at work here beyond geography. Canada, for instance, has about 100 times the population of Belize; on the other hand, Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations and Belize (the former British Honduras) is one of the poorest in this hemisphere. Similarly, Mexico is much more populous than the Central American countries.

The concept "deportable aliens located" should not be confused with deportations, a term that applies to a smaller population; many deportable aliens are granted voluntary departure and would not be included in the numbers of deportations. Others were simply released.

While all this may border on trivia, it is useful to be reminded that there are, in the case of migration by land, intermediary countries. Mexico, under heavy U.S. pressure and some financial assistance. has strengthened its southern border. We should be doing the same with Guatemala's eastern borders.