The nation’s total immigrant population reached a record 40.4 million in 2011, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
Over the last decade, the number of immigrants in the U.S. has steadily grown. Since 2007 alone, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. increased by 2.4 million.
The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. also grew during the last decade, rising from 8.4 million in 2000 to 11.1 million in 2011. However, this population peaked at 12 million in 2007, then fell to 11.1 million in 2009. It has remained at that level through 2011, the last year for which an estimate is available (Passel and Cohn, 2012).The Washington Times, however reports on data pointing in the opposite direction:
Even as President Obama travels to Las Vegas Tuesday to call for legalizing illegal immigrants, the latest numbers from the U.S. Border Patrol suggest that the flow across the nation’s southwest border jumped by 9 percent last year.
The Border Patrol made 356,873 arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2012, up from 327,577 in 2011, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press and confirmed by The Washington Times. Border Patrol officials estimate that apprehensions are a good proxy for illegal crossings, so when the numbers go up, it means that the flow of illegal immigrants is going up as well.
Last year’s increase marks a reversal. Apprehensions peaked in 2005 at 1.2 million and had been steadily dropping every year since as first President George W. Bush and then Mr. Obama committed more manpower and resources to the border.