Immigration by the numbers

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Few surprises in this new Pew study on illegal immigration to the US. The number of undocumented immigrants has reached 10.3 million and keeps on growing; Mexicans account for the largest chunk, at 57 percent, or 6 million; undocumented migrants now represent about one-third of the total foreign-born US population; the most rapid growth of illegal immigration occurred in states without a long tradition of immigration, especially North Carolina and Arizona. (One number that did surprise me: one in six illegals is a child.)

The AP story doing the rounds describes a “surge” in illegal immigration driven by Mexicans and making a mockery of post 9/11 border-control efforts. True enough, these are big numbers, and they’ve been getting steadily bigger — by about 485,000 a year since 2000. But I notice that more illegal immigrants came to the US in the boom years of 1995 and 1999 than did between 2000 and 2004 (3.6 and 3.1 million, respectively); this doesn’t suggest to me that we’ve got a handle on illegal immigration; but nor does it tell me the problem’s gotten totally out of hand, which you’d assume from the tenor of the coverage. Just something to bear in mind as Bush gets together with Vicente Fox and the usual suspects renew their calls for draconian anti-immigrant measures.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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