Pew: Recession-stalled illegal immigration is on the rise again

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Immigration,Border Security

The decline in illegal immigrants entering the United States due to the recession has ended and it appears the rush to make an unauthorized entry into America is back on track, according to a detailed survey by the Pew Research Center.

“The sharp decline in the U.S. population of unauthorized immigrants that accompanied the 2007-2009 recession has bottomed out, and the number may be rising again,” said the survey.



At the peak, there were 12.2 million illegal immigrants in the United States in 2007, the start of the recession. Just two years later, it dropped to 11.3 million. And now Pew said that there are 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. The non-partisan research center said that 21 percent of all 41.7 million immigrants in the United States are illegal, and 52 percent of the illegal population comes from Mexico.

The up swing comes as the nation’s economy is leveling off, providing some jobs at low income levels.



The shift has been expected and will likely play a part in the renewed effort on Capitol Hill to pass immigration reform.

The Pew details were included in a new poll from the center showing that authorized and legal immigrants in the United States have changed their view of illegal immigrants, with 45% of Hispanic adults believing that the impact has been positive, up 16 percentage points from 2010 when 29% said the same.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.