By: Valerie Johnston
In April 2017, PEW Research Center released data collected from the previous two years that showed a clear trend in immigration patterns in the U.S. Their last study, released in 2009, showed that 6.4 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. were Mexican. In 2015 and 2016, that number was down to 5.6 million – around half of all unauthorized immigrants in the nation. This marks the first time in history that Mexican immigrants did not make up the largest majority of this population.
PEW Research Center is a bipartisan political research facility, that primarily focuses on collecting and sharing data from demographic research, public opinion polls, and empirical social science research. The non-profit organization used a variety of resources to estimate these population fluctuations over the past eight years. Further, these numbers also show that in the states of California, Nevada, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, overall unauthorized immigrant populations have decreased, directly related to the decrease in Mexican members of this population.
Only one state showed an increase in unauthorized Mexican immigrants (Louisiana), and the overall data showed that about 66% of all unauthorized Mexican immigrant adults have been living in the U.S. for at least 10 years. While in 2005, 31% of this population had only been in the U.S. for five years or less, this year the number is closer to 7%. These numbers, when viewed all together, seem to indicate that new unauthorized immigration is on a steep decline between the Mexico-U.S. border.
However, the study also showed that the overall population of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has remained the same – roughly 3.4% of the populations. The decline in Mexican immigrants is offset by a rise in unauthorized immigrants from other countries, not identified in the study.