A new study by the Pew Research Group was released on Tuesday and shows that the number of unauthorized immigrants coming to the United States are at a ten year low. The estimates are based on 2016 data from the government and numbers show that there is a noticeable decline in Mexican immigrants entering the United States illegally.
However, immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have seen an increase in numbers of unauthorized persons crossing the US/Mexico border.
There were 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007, according to the new estimates.
The total is the lowest since 2004. It is tied to a decline of 1.5 million people in the number of Mexican unauthorized immigrants from 2007 to 2016. Nevertheless, Mexico remains the country of origin for 5.4 million unauthorized immigrants, or roughly half of the U.S. total.
As overall numbers declined, other related changes occurred in the unauthorized immigrant population. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of unauthorized immigrant workers fell, as did their share of the total U.S. workforce over the same period. So did the number of unauthorized immigrant men in the prime working ages of 18 to 44, but not women in that age group.
The number of recent arrivals has also declined, especially with people from Mexico.
The new Pew Research Center estimates indicate that not only is the total number of unauthorized immigrants shrinking, but that population includes markedly fewer people who arrived in the previous five years. Only 20% of all unauthorized immigrants (including both adults and children) in 2016 had arrived in the previous five years, compared with 32% in 2007.
Pew also found that the number of people being deported peaked in 2013.
Deportations also can have an impact in limiting the size and growth of the unauthorized immigrant population. Deportations rose during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations – from 211,000 in 2003 to a record 433,000 in 2013, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics. They remained well above 300,000 a year through fiscal 2016, the last full year for which numbers are available. The vast majority of those deported were from Mexico and the three Northern Triangle nations in Central America.
Read the complete report here.