The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of undocumented immigrants in North Carolina has decreased, though there is a large margin of error. The trend is identical here as elsewhere--fewer people are coming (particularly from Mexico) but there is no evidence of large scale return migration:
"There's no indication that the numbers leaving have gone up," Passel said. "The best thing we can do with our data is say that the overall numbers have stopped growing."
The sad part is that anti-immigrant groups are pleased, seeming not to understand the logic behind all this.
"That means that North Carolinians will have a better chance of getting jobs that really belonged to them in the first place," said Ron Woodard, head of N.C. Listen, a citizen group that advocates for a crackdown on illegal immigration.
Um, no, it doesn't mean that at all. It means there are no jobs for anyone. If fewer people are coming illegally, it is because there is nothing here. If we ever get to a point where there is an exodus out of here, it means our economy has essentially collapsed. Hooray!
As a matter of fact, the flip side is that an increase of undocumented immigrants could well be viewed as an early indicator of economic recovery.