Number of Mexican undocumented immigrants has sharply declined since 2007

Unauthorized Mexican immigrants are no longer the majority of those living in the country illegally, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center. Of the 10.5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2017, 4.9 million were Mexicans and 5.5 million were non-Mexicans. There has, however, been a surge in migration particularly from the “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

The U.S. reached a peak of 12.2 million unauthorized immigrants in 2007, and 6.9 million of those immigrants came from Mexico. The number of apprehensions of Mexican migrants at the border has also significantly decreased over the past decade, while apprehensions of non-Mexicans have increased over the last three fiscal years, according to Pew.

Along with Northern Triangle countries, there has been an uptick in unauthorized immigration from India and Venezuela since 2007.

Trending News

While the number of unauthorized immigrants has fallen by 14% over the last decade, the number of legal immigrants in the U.S. has been growing. From 2007 to 2017, the number of lawful immigrants rose to 35.2 million.

The study says that “a growing share” of undocumented immigrants are not crossing into the U.S. illegally, but instead are probably arriving in the U.S. with legal temporary visas and stay beyond their required departure date. 

Pew found that most of the unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. are long-term residents, with 66% living in the country for over 10 years. Around 1.5 million of these immigrants have temporary permission to stay in the U.S., but their status could soon be revoked, like recipients of Temporary Protected Status or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

This data comes as President Trump has tried to stem the tide of primarily Central American migrants from crossing the border. The U.S. and Mexico agreed to a deal this week with Mr. Trump calling off threats of tariffs in exchange for more assistance from Mexico in keeping migrants from crossing the southern border into the U.S.

Mexico has agreed to accelerate its national guard presence on the southern border starting Monday. It’s also agreed to expand a program requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claims are being processed. The administration claims these stipulations are all new, but former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had announced this asylum plan last December.  

Both governments have imposed a 90-day window to see if the measures are effective at tempering concerns along the border.

Leave a Reply