Report: Illegal Immigration Has Increased
The pace of illegal immigration to the United States has increased despite tighter security measures and it generally parallels the pace of economic growth and the availability of jobs, a report said Tuesday.
The report by the Pew Hispanic Center also found that the stronger security steps since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have had the effect of reducing legal immigration.
Overall, immigration to the United States declined along with the economy after 2000, but the report says the number of people trying to get into the country is on the upswing again.
Immigration - both legal and illegal - topped 1.5 million people in 1999 and 2000, according to the report. The number of people entering the United States then plummeted to 1.1 million people by 2003, the same level it was at in 1992.
Immigration levels bounced back to 1.2 million in 2004, but the report cautioned that it is difficult to predict whether the recent upswing is part of a new trend.
"The extremely high (immigration) flows at the end of the past decade were not the norm, nor part of a long-term trend, but rather the peak of a momentary increase that lasted for only a few years," said the report...
The report documents immigration levels from 1992 to 2004, generating estimates from a variety of Census data. The report acknowledges weaknesses in the data, especially when it comes to estimating annual changes in the number of illegal immigrants trying to enter the country....
Among the reports findings:
_Since 2001, the number of legal permanent residents entering the United States has declined from 578,000 to 455,000, while the number of illegal immigrants has increased from 549,000 to 562,000. Legal, temporary residents account for the remainder of people entering the country....
_Mexico accounted for about a third of all U.S. immigrants, a percentage that was steady from 1992 to 2004.
_More immigrants are shunning states with large immigrant communities, such as New York and California, and moving to states with smaller foreign-born populations, such as North Carolina and Iowa.
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