Contrary to popular perception, the rates of illegal immigration have dropped sharply over the past decade. This is the just-released conclusion of a new PewResearchCenter study:
The annual inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States was nearly two-thirds smaller in the March 2007 to March 2009 period than it had been from March 2000 to March 2005, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.
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This sharp decline has contributed to an overall reduction of 8% in the number of unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S.-to 11.1 million in March 2009 from a peak of 12 million in March 2007, according to the estimates. The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades….
As regards the controversy over our Mexican border, there is this important note:
The Pew Hispanic Center’s analysis also finds that the most marked decline in the population of unauthorized immigrants has been among those who come from Latin American countries other than Mexico.
And from the complete report:
The unauthorized population from Mexico grew steadily from 2001 through 2007, expanding from 4.8 million to 7 million during those years. Since then, the number from Mexico has been stable.
You can download the full document here.