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Important Statistics on Illegal Immigration

Important Statistics on Illegal Immigration


Illegal immigration has been a hotly debated issue in the United States for decades. Supporters of illegal immigration argue that these individuals contribute significantly to the American economy through labor while opponents argue that they are a burden on public resources and don’t pay taxes. It’s important to be equipped with the right information to form an evidence-based opinion of the matter. In this article, we’ll be looking at the latest statistics on illegal immigration in the United States and what they mean for the nation.

Number of Immigrants Living Illegally in the United States

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, there were approximately 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2016. This number represents a decline from the peak of 12.2 million in 2007, with the number being relatively constant between 2009 and 2014. The decline is attributed to several factors including a decrease in the number of unauthorized immigrants crossing the border, increased deportations, and the relative difficulty of remaining in the country without proper documentation.

The states with the largest populations of unauthorized immigrants are California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. Together, these six states account for more than half of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States. In California and Texas, the numbers of unauthorized immigrants are estimated to be around 2 million each.

Most of these immigrants come from Mexico and Central America, with 51% of all unauthorized immigrants being from Mexico. Other countries that have a significant number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States include Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and China.

Impact of Illegal Immigration on the U.S. Economy

Illegal immigration has a significant impact on the American economy, both positive and negative. On the positive side, unauthorized immigrants contribute to the country’s labor force, particularly in low-paying jobs that many Americans are not willing to take on. For instance, they work in industries such as agriculture, construction, and hospitality, providing a cheap and efficient source of labor for businesses.

On the negative side, unauthorized immigrants might compete with American workers for jobs, thereby lowering wages. Furthermore, their work is often under-the-table, without undergoing essential formalities such as receiving minimum wages and paying taxes. This means that they don’t pay taxes, depriving the government of revenue that could otherwise be used to fund social programs. This can put a heavy burden on local and state resources, risking the provision of essential services such as health care, affordable housing, and education.

Deportation and Illegal Immigration

The Trump administration created a stir with their harsh anti-immigration policies and especially their stance on deportation. As a result of these policies, the number of deportations has significantly increased. In 2017, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security, 226,119 people were deported from the United States, including both illegal and legal immigrants.

It’s essential to note that a large number of these deportations were not due to illegal immigration violations but rather crimes committed by immigrants. The policy mainly targets dangerous criminals, gang members, drug dealers, and people who pose a threat to national security or public safety. In 2017 alone, for instance, 128,765 of the 226,119 deportations were people with criminal convictions.

The number of arrests for illegal immigration has also increased in recent years, with the number standing at 34,546 in fiscal year 2018. In comparison, the number of arrests in 2016 was 15,891. Trump’s administration has increased border enforcement initiatives, including expanding the border wall and increasing personnel at ports of entry. This is an attempt to control the influx of illegal immigrants.

Public Opinion on Illegal Immigration in the United States

Public opinion on the issue of illegal immigration tends to be divided, with many Americans having a hard stance on the matter. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2019 found that 54% of Americans believed that reducing illegal immigration should be a top priority of the government, with only 24% saying that it should not be a priority. However, opinions are split when it comes to opinions about legal immigration, with almost half of Americans believing the level of immigration should remain the same.

When it comes to border enforcement, a majority of Americans are strong supporters of more rigorous enforcement policies. The same Pew survey found that 74% of Americans believe that the government is not doing enough to secure the country’s borders.

Future Trends on Illegal Immigration in the United States

Several trends will determine the future direction of illegal immigration in the United States. One of the trends involves population growth in Mexico and other Central American countries. If the populations continue to grow at the same pace, then an increased number of immigrants are likely to come to the United States to seek work and a better life.

Another trend with significant repercussions is the political environment. The stance of the government, as well as political polarization, can increase or decrease the number of illegal immigrants. President Trump’s anti-immigration stance undoubtedly dissuaded many would-be migrants from trying to cross the border, but with a new administration, those who had been waiting may believe they now have a chance for a better life in the U.S.

Finally, the economic environment will also play a significant role. Different economic factors such as wages, job creation, unemployment rates, and the level of economic growth will influence the number of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. A strong and growing economy may lead to an increase in demand for workers, while a weak economy and high unemployment rates may grant employers fewer opportunities to hire, reducing the demand for immigrants.


Illegal immigration remains a contentious issue in the United States, with proponents and opponents having varying perspectives. It is, therefore, vital to have a good understanding of the subject by looking at the latest data and understanding its implications. According to data from the Pew Research Center, approximately 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants live in the United States, with most coming from Mexico and Central America. While illegal immigrants contribute significantly to the American economy through low-paying jobs, they also present a burden on public resources and don’t pay taxes. Deportations have increased rapidly under the Trump administration, with about 226,119 people deported in 2017. Public opinion is split on immigration, with many Americans supporting more rigorous enforcement policies. Future trends, such as the political environment, population growth, and economic factors, will continue to shape illegal immigration levels in the United States in the coming years.

Out of the countries in the world, it may be argued that the United States currently has the most illegal immigration. The illegal immigration  statistics provided by the United States Center for Immigration Studies shows that there are approximately 12 million immigrants in the country.

However, illegal immigration statistics will sometimes provide for a range of 7 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. Illegal immigration facts will show that the majority of the illegal immigrants in the country are typically from Latin American countries, particularly Mexico.

Illegal immigration statistics report that over 50% of the illegal immigrants in the United States are from Mexico, with over 20% of all illegal immigrants hailing from other Latin American countries. Other nations reported substantially lower numbers, with Asian countries representing for the third largest figure, being only 13% of illegal immigrant population.

Illegal immigration facts in regard to the United States will show that the majority of the population of illegal immigrants is concentrated in the state of California. Illegal immigration statistics state that nearly three million illegal immigrants reside in California. Second to California is the state of Texas, with about 1.5 million illegal immigrants total.

Such illegal immigration facts will allude to the conclusion that bordering states with Mexico are most susceptible to having larger illegal immigration populations. However, other states such as Illinois and New York also house a large population of illegal immigrants, which proves to show that illegal immigrants will move to other states further beyond the border.