Friday, Aug. 15, 2008 | 2 p.m.
Sun Expanded Coverage
(The Sun has gone on the road to listen to voters and talk to political leaders around the West. Reporters will examine the economic, cultural and demographic forces re-shaping the region as they drive to Denver for the first of the two major party conventions the Sun will cover.)
A few more interesting insights from David Plane, professor of geography at University of Arizona.
• The period of relatively light immigration in the 20th century was an anomaly. Immigration rates (legal and illegal) are lower, per capita, than the historic highs of the 19th century.
• Policymakers worsenened the illegal immigration problem by hardening the border over the years. Decades ago, when the border was softer, people would go back and forth. Come to the states, make some money, go home. Border crossings now are dangerous and expensive. Once you do it once, you're not going back. "Walls have two sides," Plane said.