Number Holds Steady at 11 million, Three-Fifths Have Been Here More Than a Decade
Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009. This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009. Despite that decline, the new data make clear that the current population of unauthorized immigrants is very much part of the social and economic fabric of the country. Three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade. Unauthorized immigrants comprise more than one-quarter of the foreign-born population and roughly 1-in-20 workers. Approximately 4.5 million native-born U.S.-citizen children have at least one unauthorized parent. While the largest numbers of unauthorized immigrants are concentrated in California and Texas, there also are sizable unauthorized populations in Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, and Maryland. In short, unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country have become integral to U.S. businesses, communities, and families.
The size of the unauthorized population has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009.Read more...
A refugee, as defined by Section 101(a)42 of the Immigration and Nationality Act(INA) (based on the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols relating to the Status of Refugees) is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to the home country because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin. Read more...
This comprehensive Q&A guide reviews the most current research available, debunks myths, and answers some of the most common immigration-related questions, including those about worksite enforcement, border security, birthright citizenship, access to public benefits, immigrant criminality, immigrant integration and the economic impacts of immigration.
Americans are justifiably frustrated and angry with our outdated and broken immigration system. The problem is complex, and a comprehensive, national solution is necessary. Politicians who suggest that the U.S. can deport its way out of the problem by removing 11 million people are unrealistic. The U.S. needs a fair, practical solution that addresses the underlying causes of unauthorized immigration and creates a new, national legal immigration system for the 21st century.
What is an immigration detainer and how does it work? Are detainers only placed on unauthorized immigrants? What happens after an immigration detainer has expired? What are the consequences of immigration detainers? In order to better understand immigration detainers’ function and impact, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) provides the following Fact Check to shed much needed light on this often misunderstood immigration enforcement tool.
While some characterize our immigration crisis as solely an issue of the 11 to 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in this country, our problems extend beyond the number of undocumented people to a broader range of issues. The lack of a comprehensive federal solution has created a slew of lopsided, enforcement-only initiatives that have cost the country billions of dollars while failing to end unauthorized immigration. The first step, however, in devising solutions to our problems is understanding the scope of them. IPC’s latest report addresses several key areas, including how our current immigration system functions, the structural failure of our system, issues stemming from an inadequate federal response and long-delayed immigration reform.
Citizenship Day (September 17) is an appropriate time to take stock of the growing number of U.S. citizens who are immigrants to this country—or who are the children of immigrants. Roughly one-in-seventeen U.S. citizens are foreign-born, and tens of millions of native-born U.S. citizens have immigrant parents. This demographic reality has important political ramifications. A rising share of the U.S. electorate has a direct personal connection to the immigrant experience, and is unlikely to be favorably swayed by politicians who employ anti-immigrant rhetoric to mobilize supporters. This is particularly true among the two fastest-growing groups of voters in the nation: Latinos and Asians. The majority of Latinos and Asians are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, and they comprised one out of every ten voters in the 2008 election.
There is a great deal of confusion about Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), a tool used by the IRS to ensure that people pay taxes even if they don't have a Social Security number. Despite the fact that ITINs have no bearing on legal status, some people point to the ITIN program as some type of benefit that gives quasi-legal status to people in the U.S. illegally. This fact sheet explains what ITINs are, who has them, and the purposes for which they are used.
AgJOBS is a bipartisan, compromise bill that is the result of years of negotiations among farmworkers, growers, and Members of Congress. The Immigration Policy Center has produced a Fact Check on Farmworkers.
Many people assume that their family immigrated to the U.S. legally, or did it “the right way.” In most cases, this statement does not reflect the fact that the U.S. immigration system was very different when their families arrived, and that their families might not have been allowed to enter had today’s laws been in effect. In some cases, claiming that a family came “legally” is simply inaccurate—undocumented immigration has been a reality for generations.