The Obama administration said Friday that it will stop deporting illegal immigrants younger than 30 if they were brought to the United States as children and meet certain other requirements. (See Department of Homeland Security's explanation of the new policy)
Below are a few facts about immigration in the United States:
- The number of illegal immigrants in the United States was estimated at 11.5 million in 2011, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
- The illegal immigrant population grew by 27% between 2000 and 2009, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
- Sixty-three percent of the illegal immigrant population (approximately 6.8 million) entered the United States before 2000. (DHS)
- Fifty-eight percent of the illegal immigrant population is from Mexico. (Pew)
- Twenty-four percent of illegal immigrants reside in California; 16% reside in Texas. (DHS)
And here are recent developments relating to immigration in the United States:
- 2008: The Department of Homeland Security apprehended 792,000 foreign nationals. Eighty-eight percent of those arrested were natives of Mexico. Immigration and Customs Enforcement apprehended 379,000 people. (DHS)
- 2008: The Department of Homeland Security removed 359,000 illegal immigrants from the United States. Of those, 69% were repatriated to Mexico; 8% were repatriated to Honduras; 7.7% were repatriated to Guatemala. (DHS)
- 2008: More than 810,000 illegal immigrants accepted offers to return to their home countries without being forcibly removed. (DHS)
- 2008: The Department of Homeland Security removed 97,100 criminals who were also illegal immigrants. Of those, 36% had been convicted of drug-related crimes. (DHS)
- 2009: The number of children born to at least one unauthorized-immigrant parent was 350,000. These made up 8% of all U.S. births. (Pew)
- 2010: The total number of unauthorized immigrants in the nation's labor force in United States is 8 million. They made up 5.2% of the labor force in 2010. (Pew)
- 2010: About 1.04 million people received legal permanent resident status. Of those, 139,120 were born in Mexico, 70,863 were born in China, and 58,173 were born in the Philippines (DHS).
- 2011: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 396,906 illegal immigrants from the United States, the largest number in the agency's history. Of those, 216,698 (nearly 55%) had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors. (ICE)
- April 23, 2012: The Pew Hispanic Center announced that net migration from Mexico to the United States had stopped and possibly even reversed. The center noted that from 2005 to 2010, about 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the United States, and about 1.4 million Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-born children moved from the United States to Mexico.