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After Drop, Number Of Immigrants Illegally In U.S. Levels Off

Photo by Frederic J. Brown

Young people stand in line in Los Angeles to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows qualified immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to study or work openly.

The latest estimate by the Pew Research Center puts the number of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. at 11.7 million.

This new number, based on U.S. government data, can be found in a report released Monday titled "Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed." The key word in that headline is "may." As the authors write in the report:

"Although there are indications the number of unauthorized immigrants may be rising, the 2012 population estimate is the midpoint of a wide range of possible values and in a statistical sense is no different from the 2009 estimate."

And 2009 was when the estimated number of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. fell to 11.3 million, after a peak year at 12.2 million in 2007. The size of the population dropped sharply during the recession, and since the recession's official end in 2009, it has remained stalled at about 11 million.

This trend coincides with record levels of deportations under the Obama administration, which deported almost 410,000 people last year.

Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew's Hispanic Trends Project who co-authored the report, says deportation stats indirectly impact Pew's estimate, which is mainly based on analysis of the number of foreign-born residents from Census surveys and the number of legal immigrants from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics.

But Passel adds that deportation numbers include a mix of immigrant populations, some of which are not counted in Pew's estimate.

"Some of the deportations are really people who haven't lived in the U.S," he says. "[Some of them are] people who got caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally, and they were put through deportation proceedings."

The new report also notes that while Mexico is the main source of unauthorized immigrants (at 52 percent in 2012), the estimated number of Mexican immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has been on the decline since 2007, with around 6 million in 2012.

The estimated number of unauthorized immigrants from other countries, however, appears to be on the rise since 2009.

"The total [of unauthorized immigrants not from Mexico] for 2012 (5.65 million) appears to be higher than the 2007 peak [5.25 million]," the report says, "but because of the large margin of error, this cannot be confirmed with the preliminary estimates."

The Pew Research Center plans to update its estimates when additional Census survey data is released later this year.

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | September 24, 2013 at 6:53 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Just remember California State Senator Nancy Pelosi, who is now pressing for own immigration reform measure. She has an ulterior motive, as she and her husband use a lot of central California acreage and much is grape plantations. That kind of lucrative asset needs a lot of cheap labor?

Angeles: A Failed City— Poverty kept rising in Los Angeles post-recession, data

By Stephen Frank on 09/20/2013 of California
News & Views.

Former Mayor Phony Antonio raised billions in new bonds, now being paid off
by those left behind in LA. The city has a policy of allowing criminals
from foreign countries free reign on our streets, to steal jobs, crowd our
schools and hospitals. Los Angeles
is now a mess. Now we know the financial cost of this affair with
criminals and taxes.

“The numbers are another sign of continued suffering after the economic
downturn: More than 17% of people in the Los Angeles,
Long Beach and Santa
Ana metropolitan area lived below the poverty line
last year. That number rose year by year since 2007, when roughly 13% lived in

Millions of illegal aliens in California
displacing African-Americans in the workplace, and Liberals cry and wring their
hands over what they call "fairness".

Economic hardship is even more common within the city of Los Angeles, where
the share of people living in poverty rose from 18.5% to more than 23% between
2007 and 2012, the new figures show.”

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | September 24, 2013 at 6:53 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

I think some compromise could be in the works, which to me
would be a cap on Stem workers (Scientists, digital techs, Engineers and
mathematicians) in that category of highly skilled workers and scholars. They
should be given a special preference along with immediate family
members for working visas. The cap would be in the number of entries allowed on
an annual basis; if they have the availability of a job? What we don’t need is
an out of control importation of foreigners. If we must have foreign Guest
Workers, they must be strictly regulated and the majority of their wages
withhold and returned to them once back in the country of origin. Millions already
arrive here legally each year and that doesn’t denote we should financially
support every person who sneaks in here illegally.

In a new House and Senate law, any illegal entry after a definite
deadline should be prosecuted as a felony, not a civil violation.
Anybody really believes there are only 11 million illegal aliens already living in the United States, need their heads examined?

Every business owner who has no mitigating circumstances and
implicated in hiring foreign nationals, should get a mandatory jail sentence of
at least 1 year, including a hefty fine.

The number of immigration officers, either U.S. Border Patrol
or ICE, should have an equal number of agents to control the border, with
interior enforcement by ICE following through on Whistle Blower accusations
against businesses, and the Border Patrol to observe activity through the new
arrangement cameras, drones and equipment along the border. As an original policy
of the 1986 Secure Fence Act, another seven hundred miles of double layer

What is the most paramount expensive payout in the hundreds
of billions of dollars? It’s the bad misinformation doctrine of “The Birthright
Citizenship Act” This was predestined and ONLY meant for children/babies of U.S.
citizens. The real law was to acclaim those slaves and their descendants had a
right to citizenship, not the offspring of illegal aliens. This has been a
significant pathway for pregnant Mothers to dodge border enforcement and at
airline terminals.

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