Number of undocumented immigrants in U.S. stays same for 6th year

0
157

September 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – The number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. remains steady at 11.1 million for the sixth straight year as a drop in people coming from Mexico is offset by an increase from the rest of the world, according to a report released Tuesday.

September 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – The number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. remains steady at 11.1 million for the sixth straight year as a drop in people coming from Mexico is offset by an increase from the rest of the world, according to a report released Tuesday.

Undocumented immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa sit at a detention center on May 17, 2015 in Tripoli, Libya. Illegal immigration to the U.S. from Africa, Asia and Central America are on the rise as the flow from Mexico has dropped.(Photo: Mahmud Turkia, AFP/Getty Images)

After two decades of continuous growth, the country's undocumented immigrant population peaked at 12.2 million in 2007. Once the Great Recession started in 2008, that number dropped and has remained steady ever since 2014, according to the report from the Pew Research Center, based on the most recent data available.

That has changed the nature of undocumented immigrants in America, with more of them becoming long-term residents more established in their communities. In 2014, 66% had lived in the U.S. for 10 years or more, compared to just 36% in 2000.

"As the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population has stabilized, it also has become more settled," wrote Jeffrey Passel and D'Vera Cohn, co-authors of the report.

Hispanic growth rate in U.S. lowest on record

The new data comes as immigration dominates the race for the White House. Republican nominee Donald Trump has called for building a giant wall along the southern border and closer screening of would-be immigrants trying to enter the country. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is pushing for more legal protections of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and expanding programs to accept refugees from abroad.

Mexicans continue to make up the largest share of the undocumented immigrant population at 52%, according to Pew. But with Mexico's economy improving, fewer job prospects in the U.S., tighter border security and an aging population in Mexico, fewer people are making the trek to the U.S., dropping Mexico's share of the undocumented population in recent years.

More Mexicans leave than enter USA in historic shift

They have been replaced by people coming from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Central America. Over the last six years, Pew estimates that the number of people illegally immigrating from Africa has increased 37.5%, the number from Asia has increased 11.5% and those from Central America have increased 6.3%.

Pew cites a variety of reasons for those increases, from raging drug violence in Central America to limited economic opportunities in Africa and Asia.

The report was based on Pew's analysis of information from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Courtesy: USA Today

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here