The estimated number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States reached a minimum of 12 years in 2016, continuing a decline of a decade in which the population fell from a maximum of 12.2 million in 2007 to 10.7 million in 2016, according to a report published on Tuesday.
Researchers at the Pew Research Center, which conducted the analysis, said that economics played an important role in that fall. The Great Recession eliminated millions of jobs that attracted undocumented immigrants to the United States, while the Mexican economy improved steadily, giving Mexicans more reasons to stay in their country.
Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew's director of global demographic and migration research, said the increasing security presence of the US government. UU Along the southwest border, under the Democratic and Republican administrations, it discouraged more immigrants from attempting to cross illegally. Demographic changes in Mexico have left fewer men of working age willing to make the dangerous journey.
"Those are the main issues," Lopez said.
President Donald Trump continues to press his 2016 campaign pledge to complete the southern border wall to prevent illegal immigration, and described the caravans of Central American immigrants arriving at the US border as an "invasion" that threatens national security .
The Pew report shows that more people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras entered the United States. The proportion of the undocumented population in Central America increased from 12 percent in 2007 to 17 percent in 2016.
This increase has not offset the drop in the number of undocumented immigrants of Mexican descent, which decreased by 1.5 million during the same period. The population of Mexico is four times greater than that of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras combined, so that fluctuations in Mexican immigration continue to be the driving force behind the general undocumented population in the United States.
In fact, Pew concluded in 2015 that more Mexicans returned to their country of origin than those who entered the US. UU., A historic change in the source of illegal immigration.
That leaves Central Americans, Asians, Africans and people from other corners of Latin America, who represent a greater proportion of newcomers to the United States.
The slowdown in illegal immigration means that undocumented immigrants living in the United States are more likely to be long-term residents.
In 2000, approximately 38 percent of undocumented immigrants had lived in the United States for five years or less, compared to 35 percent of undocumented immigrants who had been in the country for more than 10 years. Now, 66 percent of undocumented immigrants have lived here for more than 10 years, and only 18 percent have been here less than five years.
The median number of years an undocumented immigrant has lived in the United States is 15 years.
"The population has become more stable," Lopez said. "They have had children in the United States, they have formed family relationships."
Other findings of the report:
- The majority of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the last five years are "probable" visa overruns: foreigners who enter the country legally with a visa, then stay after the visa expires.
- The number of undocumented immigrants working in the US UU (7.8 million) and its participation in the US labor force. UU (4.8 percent) decreased steadily from its highest points in 2007.
- During the last decade, a dozen states saw their populations of undocumented immigrants decrease; Three states saw an increase; and the undocumented population in all the remaining states remained approximately the same. California lost the highest number of undocumented immigrants: 550,000. The three states that saw increases in undocumented populations were Maryland (60,000), Massachusetts (35,000) and Louisiana (15,000).
The Pew researchers based their estimates on the undocumented population in an analysis of data from the United States Census Bureau.
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