Immigration from Mexico plummeted well before Arizona law (interactive map)

The Supreme Court upheld the most controversial portion of Arizona's immigration law Monday, clearing the way for police officers in the state to ask about a person's immigration status during routine stops. Whether this tactic will deter future border crossings will be difficult to measure, however, because illegal immigration from Mexico has plummeted in recent years. There are many factors that have probably contributed to this decline, chief among them the fact that there are more border patrol agents on the ground and fewer jobs for those who do make it to America.

To visualize how dramatically illegal immigration has abated, Yahoo News teamed up with Michael Gastner, a junior research fellow at Imperial College London who specializes in creating maps that manipulate the shape of states to represent data. (One of his popular "cartograms," for example, uses physics equations to reshape the United States according to population density.)

In the interactive infographic below, we treat the border with Mexico like a rubber barrier that bends according to the pressure of immigration, as represented by the number of apprehensions in that region of the border. When the border bends way into U.S. territory, it represents a large number of people caught trying to cross illegally in that area that year. If it contracts back to its normal shape, it is because immigration is down for that year.

We've provided some data on the Border Patrol force and the economy for reference. Just click the bars on the chart to see the border bend for that year.

Loading...
  • Beijing faces defiance in Hong Kong on vote reform
    Beijing faces defiance in Hong Kong on vote reform

    HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers disrupted a Beijing official's speech Monday as he sought to explain a decision announced over the weekend to tightly limit voting reforms for the southern Chinese financial hub.

  • Ukraine soldiers battling Russian tanks at Lugansk: Kiev
    Ukraine soldiers battling Russian tanks at Lugansk: Kiev

    Ukrainian troops on Monday were battling a Russian tank contingent in the eastern city of Lugansk, Kiev said, accusing Moscow's army units of moving into large cities in the region. "The battle between Ukrainian paratroopers and a reinforced tank battalion of the Russian armed forces is continuing with the goal of controlling the Lugansk airfield," military spokesman Leonid Matyukhin wrote on his Facebook page. Ukraine's Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey further said that Russian units are moving into other towns in the region, including the largest city of the region Donetsk.

  • Aftershock hits California's Napa Valley

    (Reuters) - California's Napa Valley, the site of a strong and damaging earthquake a week ago, was shaken by a small aftershock early on Sunday. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring magnitude 3.2, occurred five miles southwest of Napa. There were no immediate reports of damage. It was one of many aftershocks that have occurred since Aug. 24 when a magnitude 6.0 quake struck, the biggest to hit California's Bay Area in 25 years, injuring more than 200 people and damaging dozens of buildings. ...

  • Disruptive Hong Kong protests loom after China rules out democracy

    By Clare Jim and Diana Chan HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police used pepper spray to disperse pro-democracy activists on Monday as the Asian financial center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision to rule out full democracy. China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee set the stage for a political showdown on Sunday when it rejected democrats' demands for the right to freely choose Hong Kong's next leader in 2017, leading scores of protesters to take to the streets. Scuffles broke out on Monday during a tense stand-off at the entrance to a center where a senior Chinese official was explaining Beijing's decision, prompting police to use pepper spray amid chaotic scenes inside and outside the venue. Activists from a movement called Occupy Central have threatened to lock down Hong Kong's financial district on an unspecified date unless Beijing grants full democracy.

  • Israel agreed Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu
    Israel agreed Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel agreed to a permanent truce in its 50-day Gaza war with Hamas in order to keep focused on the threat from regional militants. "We fought for 50 days and we could have fought for 500 days, but we are in a situation where the Islamic State is at the gates of Jordan, Al-Qaeda is in the Golan and Hezbollah is at the border with Lebanon," Netanyahu said in an address on public television. He was referring to Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq -- both neighbours of Jordan -- Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front Syria rebels on the Israeli-annexed Golan and Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah. "We decided not to get bogged down in Gaza, and we could have, but we decided to limit our objective and restore calm to Israeli citizens," Netanyahu added.

  • Fukushima fallout: Resentment grows in nearby Japanese city
    Fukushima fallout: Resentment grows in nearby Japanese city

    By Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski IWAKI Japan (Reuters) - Like many of her neighbours, Satomi Inokoshi worries that her gritty hometown is being spoiled by the newcomers and the money that have rolled into Iwaki since the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost three and a half years ago. Property prices in Iwaki, about 60 km (36 miles) south of the wrecked nuclear plant, have jumped as evacuees forced from homes in more heavily contaminated areas snatch up apartments and land. "The situation around Iwaki is unsettled and unruly," said Ryosuke Takaki, a professor of sociology at Iwaki Meisei University, who has studied the town's developing divide. "There are many people who have evacuated to Iwaki, and there are all kinds of incidents caused by friction." HOSTS WEARY, GUESTS FRIGHTENED Residents across Fukushima prefecture hailed the first wave of workers who arrived to contain the nuclear disaster in 2011 as heroes. Cities like Iwaki also welcomed evacuees from towns closer to the meltdowns and explosions.

  • Gay NFL player overlooked by teams: report
    Gay NFL player overlooked by teams: report

    Michael Sam, who is seeking to become the NFL's first openly gay player, was passed over by 31 teams Sunday just one day after being cut by St. Louis, USA Today reported. Sam was cut by St. Louis on Saturday as the Rams tried to get their roster down to 53 players for the first game of the season. Sam thanked the Rams on Saturday for the opportunity and said he would continue to try and land a position on an NFL team. "I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to show I can play at this level," said Sam.

  • Longtime personal chef to Obama weds MSNBC host
    Longtime personal chef to Obama weds MSNBC host

    POCANTICO HILLS, N.Y. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Saturday temporarily set aside the pressures of trying to calm the world's trouble spots and assumed the role of spectator for something more joyous: the wedding of the Obama family's longtime chef and friend.

Loading...

Follow Yahoo! News