Illegal immigration to U.S. down almost 67% since 2000, report says
By Tara Bahrampour
Washington Post Staff Writer
September 1, 2010
The number of illegal immigrants entering the United States has plunged by almost two-thirds in the past decade, a dramatic shift after years of growth in the population, according to a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
Between 2000 and 2005, an average of 850,000 people a year entered the United States without authorization, according to the report released Wednesday. As the economy plunged into recession between 2007 and 2009, that number fell to 300,000.
The sharp drop-off has contributed to an 8 percent decrease in the estimated number of illegal immigrants living in the United States, from a peak of 12 million in 2007 to 11.1 million in 2009, the report said. Of the 11.1 million, 8.9 million came from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Virginia, Florida and Nevada were among the states with steepest declines in their populations of illegal immigrants.
The new figures come amid a heated national debate over efforts by Arizona and other jurisdictions to identify people who are here illegally and push to have them deported...