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The New York Times, in an Oct. 2, 2008 article titled "Fewer People Entering U.S. Illegally, Report Says," written by staff writer Ginger Thompson, offered the following:
"A report released Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center (228KB) indicates that fewer people are trying to enter the United States illegally and that there has been no growth over the last year in the number of illegal immigrants living here. The report showed that for the first time in nearly a decade, the number of people entering the country illegally was lower than the number arriving through legal channels. Experts said the loss of low-wage jobs in the American economy, combined with intensified enforcement at the border and at workplaces across the country, had caused those who might be considering an illegal border crossing to think twice before risking what has become an increasingly dangerous journey...

Another report by the center, (571KB)... studied household income and found that the median annual income for noncitizen households — more than half of which are led by illegal immigrants — fell 7.3 percent from 2006 to 2007, while rising by 1.3 percent for all households...

A Pew survey (681KB) of 2,015 Latinos released in September showed that half reported their lives had worsened in the past year. One in 10 said the authorities had stopped and questioned them about their immigration status. One in seven of those surveyed said they had trouble finding or keeping a job because they were Latino; and one in 10 reported similar trouble finding housing."

Oct. 2, 2008 - New York Times


Jeffrey S. Passel, PhD, Senior Demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, and D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer at the Pew Research Center, in an Oct. 2, 2008 Pew Hispanic report titled "Trends in Unauthorized Immigration: Undocumented Inflow Now Trails Legal Inflow, (228KB)" offered the following:

"There were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2008... The size of the unauthorized population appears to have declined since 2007... it is clear from the estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population grew more slowly in the period from 2005 to 2008 than it did earlier in the decade. It also is clear that from 2005 to 2008, the inflow of immigrants who are undocumented fell below that of immigrants who are legal permanent residents. That reverses a trend that began a decade ago. The turnaround appears to have occurred in 2007... inflows of unauthorized immigrants averaged 800,000 a year from 2000 to 2004, but fell to 500,000 a year from 2005 to 2008 with a decreasing year-to-year trend. By contrast, the inflow of legal permanent residents has been relatively steady this decade...

The estimates are not designed to explain why the net growth rate has declined. There could be a number of possible causes, including a slowdown in U.S. economic growth that has had a disproportionate impact on foreign-born
Latino workers (571KB), at the same time that economic growth in Mexico and other Latin American countries has been stable. Another factor could be a heightened focus on enforcement of immigration laws, which a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey (681KB) indicates has generated worry among many Hispanics.

Oct. 2, 2008 - Jeffrey S. Passel



Related Links:

1. Estimated US Population of Aliens in Violation of Immigration Law, 1970 - 2006

2. Demographics and Socio-Economic Status of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States, 2000-2006

3. How are illegal immigration and globalization related?