All this talk of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico has tainted the discussion about immigration in the U.S. — so much so that it’s made us forget about some pretty simple facts.

A new study released by the Pew Research Center on Thursday reported that more than 1 million Mexicans and their families left the U.S. for Mexico from the years 2009 to 2014. Meanwhile, over the same period, a total of 870,000 Mexicans came to the U.S.

That, in the simplest of terms that even politicians can understand, means that over those five years, there was a net flow 140,000 people from the U.S. to Mexico. Many of the families leaving for Mexico, the study says, also included children born in the U.S. About 61 percent of the families who’d returned to Mexico responded to surveys saying that they were leaving to reunite with family.

Data like this is generally tricky to calculate, because there’s no official count of how many people come in and go out. But using a national household survey and census data from both countries, the research came up with pretty reliable count.

The data marks the first time that more people are leaving the country for Mexico than entering it from Mexico — a reversal of some five decades of mass immigration. The change is so stark Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew’s director of Hispanic research, told the Associated Press that he believes that the previous era of immigration is “at an end.”

Meanwhile, as immigration decreases, the political hive minds have latched onto the issue like a swarm of ticks. Similarly in the current debate about Syrian immigrants, the people coming in are not the threat that the politicians trying to shut them out think they are.

[Image via Getty]

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