Arrests of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border have decreased by 23 percent from 2008 to 2009, a trend many attest to the faltering U.S. economy as well as the billions of dollars spent in “securing” the border since September 11th. The 10% unemployment rate and erosion of construction jobs that once lured many Latinos has certainly put downward pressure on immigration, but there is more to the story.

Interestingly enough, the current and expected growth amongst Latinos isn’t due to immigration; it’s due to natural birth in the country.

The post-recession economy could be a tremendous opportunity for Latinos, if only the financial doors were open. However, the current financial crisis poses new challenges to immigrants and natives alike, particularly when it comes to entrepreneurship and the accessibility of credit/funds to create new business ventures.  Everyone knows that credit is tight, but it is even tighter for Latinos.

Like trying to fit into the sweater you wore in the 1st grade tight.

Less than a tenth of 1 percent of available credit goes to Latino business men and women. A staggeringly low number considering Latinos will comprise a majority of the U.S. labor force within the next 20 to 30 years. If you want to grow an economy, why not put money into the hands of those bi-cultural Latinos who have the flexibility to navigate and manage the increasingly multicultural U.S. economy.

So how about we take some of the $10.9 billion we spent last year building fences trying to keep Latinos out, and open up the financial doors to the Latino business men and women who will be the harbingers of growth in the post-recession economy.

No jobs? No problem.

We’ll do what we’ve always managed to do…

Create opportunity.

Fence along the US-Mexico border.

Fence along the US-Mexico border, borders arrests have declined 23% from 2008 to 2009.

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