A new report suggests that while the number of people living illegally in the United States illegally dropped during the economic recession, it could now be increasing once again.
The report from the Pew Research Center estimated that there were 11.7 million undocumented immigrants living in the country in March 2012. This was a slight increase from the 11.3 million that were believed to be living in the country in 2009, the height of the recession.
However, this was still a reduction from 2007, when a record 12.2 million undocumented immigrants were believed to be living in the United States.
Past reports from the Pew Research Center have shown that immigrants have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border at a much lower rate in recent years after the two most recent presidents heightened border patrol efforts. Additionally, the Obama Administration has overseen record numbers of deportations, including roughly 410,000 last year alone.
Interestingly, the Pew Research Center's report indicates that the number of Mexican-born undocumented immigrants has been on the decline over the past five years while the number of undocumented immigrants born in other countries has been on the rise.
It is expected that the report could play a role in talks over Congress' proposed action on immigration reform. The U.S. Senate has approved a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants currently in the country, but the Republican-controlled house has said it won't approve the measure.
Instead, the House is focusing on several different bills that promote tighter border security and do not provide the path to citizenship opportunity.
Living in the country illegally can be an extremely scary and stressful situation to be in. That's why it's best to discuss your options by talking with a trustworthy immigration lawyer.
Source: The Washington Post, "Number of illegal immigrants dropped during recession, study finds," David Nakamura, Sept. 23, 2013