The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States in 2016 dropped to its lowest level in about a decade, according to a report released last Tuesday (November 27, 2018), by the Pew Research Center. The report states there were an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants living in the country in 2016, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007.
The decline is mainly attributed to a sharp decrease in illegal immigration coming from Mexico. The former recession and real estate crash, coupled with enhanced border enforcement and a subsequent rise in deportations, are pointed to as other key factors for the decrease in the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. between 2007-2016. The Pew Center estimates that most undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S during this period did so with valid visas, but eventually overstayed the time they were allowed to stay in the country.
There has also been a significant decrease of “new immigrants” (documented/undocumented) overall, a 46% decline compared to the number of total immigrants who entered the U.S. within the period of 2002-2007.
Notably, however, the number of undocumented immigrants coming from Central America, largely from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, has increased by 375,000 between 2007-2016.
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