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Illegal immigrant population in U.S. plummets, according to a new report

The number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. plummeted to 10.8 million in 2009, from 11.6 million the previous year, marking the sharpest decline in years and coinciding with the economic downturn, according to a new report by the Department of Homeland Security.

Mirroring a nationwide trend, California’s illegal-immigrant population dropped to 2.6 million, from 2.8 million during this same period, according to the report, which is based on census data. The only state to see its number of undocumented residents go up during this time was Georgia, which went from 460,000 to 480,000.

The report cautioned that changes made to the census survey could have affected the results.

Some researchers said that the drop is because fewer illegal immigrants were entering the country.

But others disagree, saying the decline is largely due to undocumented immigrants either voluntarily leaving or being deported.

Most researchers said that the downturn in the economy has played a key role in reducing the illegal immigrant population. But some point out that the drop in the undocumented population started before the recession.

The number of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. declined to 11.6 million in 2008, from 11.7 million the previous year, according to the Department of Homeland Security. To see the full report, visit http://www.dhs.gov/files/statistics/immigration.shtm.

-- Teresa Watanabe 

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Comments () | Archives (118)

Still way to many sucking the life out of this state and country. Enough already...

This statistic must be done by the same people saying unemployment is 10% not 23% (actual unemployment)

FAKE NUMBERS from an illegal alien Newspaper.

Try 35-40 million. We're not as stupid as you'd like us to be.

Not to blindly defend everything we do at Homeland Security but my agency (USCIS) works damn hard to enforce the immigration rules created by Congress. Do you know who lets them stay the great majority of the time?: judges. Unfortunately, and contrary to public perception, Homeland Security cannot deport any illegal aliens unless they are caught by CBP in the act of crossing illegally. If we discover somebody in illegal status we can only send them to the Immigration Court to see an Immigration Judge. Then, 99% of the time they let them stay.

Yes, illegal immigration is a problem, and a big one. Know what has caused it? Two things,the first one being GREED. As in American business and well to do's who want CHEAP LABOR. As in not wanting to pay legal American workers DECENT WAGES for a day's work. The other cause is that, for all intents and purposes, Mexico is a FAILED STATE, and has NEVER cared about the well being of it's good, hard working people, who have had misery heaped on them for the past 150 years by one corrupt government after another. WHO WOULDN'T want to get out of that misery any way they could? If this country was serious about dealing with illegal immigration, it would make very clear to the Mexican government that they have to get their house in order, and in order NOW, or we will cut off ALL aid to them, economic, military, and otherwise. And as for stateside over here, penalties for hiring illegals should be extremely tough, businesses who hire them should have their assets seized and distributed to unemployed Americans, especially if they have been fired to make room for illegals. Well to do people who hire them should not only suffer financially, but should have their tax bills raised to compensate the state and federal governments for not only providing services to them, but for employment compensation for displaced American workers. Taking care of those two points will put an end to illegal immigration, and it will do it NOW.

Apparently, no one has noticed that illegals are making their way up into western Canada. The US-Canada border is longer and less protected. There are plenty of points where they can cross over undetected. What's disturbing is that all the illegals in the US could conceivably take over western Canada. We're talking two-thirds of Canada's land but less than one-third of Canada's population. Will Canada permit this? Will the US lend a hand? To be continued...

Whatever your feelings are on illegal immigrants, you have to admit that the growth of our population is due to them. In the past when immigration was open to all (that is, if you were Caucasian), millions of poor people from places like Ireland and Italy came to the States. So many in fact that those countries are now experiencing population declines - the USA "stole" their population growth for over a century. Those immigrants and their offspring became part of the fabric of the USA and contributed many things to our country in big and small ways. Do third and fourth generation Italian-Americans increase the welfare rolls and insist that we speak Italian to them? Of course not, they are integrated into our society. I know many second and third generation immigrants, some from families that immigrated illegally, and they are American as apple pie.
In my area, the Latino immigrants are the ones who spend money on family supplies, start small businesses, and buy homes. All of their children speak English and the parents learn English from interacting with their kids. These kids will be the next generation of teachers, cops, and professionals in my community. If you look at demographic data, the US would have had no population growth if it weren't for immigrants, legal and otherwise, from Latin America and Asia. Without them, the birthrate would fall below replacement and with our Social Security and MediCare problems, we would be in worse shape without their presence over the last 40 years. Also, for you haters out there, since we have again "stolen" the population growth of the world for the past century, there are relatively fewer potential immigrants than there were in the past. Coupled with improving economies in the developing world, the number of potential immigrants in total will decline. This is good news for you immigrant bashers but bad news economically because we will have fewer minds and bodies for our labor force. Look at Italy, Ireland, Japan, and Australia and see what their demographics bode for their future economic development.
On another note, this article is about illegal immigrants but I know for some commenters that this outrage over illegal immigration is just a facade for their racism and xenophobia against all immigrants legal or not. The majority of immigration over the past 40 years has been non-Caucasian and a certain portion of the population has and never will be comfortable with that development.
If you are so concerned with brown non-English speakers, and you are concerned for your country, why don't do your best to help integrate your immigrant neighbors into the American culture? When my parents immigrated legally in the 70's, local church groups helped them learn about living in America. Immigrants stick to their own customs when they feel discriminated against and when they feel they can be cheated by a system that is foreign to them. By offering a helping hand, you can help the next generation of Americans succeed, and the best part about that is that you don't need the government to pass any new laws or fund a new bureaucracy. You become in control of your community and you can help make it stronger by doing this.

Oh please! You can't use the "oh, we're not Indian's therefore we're illegal" argument. Once the U.S. of A. was created, we all came legally by going through the proper channels. We waited our turn and applied to enter the country LEGALLY and then waited and applied for citizenship when we were able to. We didn't break the law and jump over a fence and then demand to have the rights of US citizens. It just appalls me when criminals demand public services that tax payers pay for.

I work in the healthcare industry and to see the audacity of these illegals in hospitals is insane! They say to me "No ingles. No hablas espanol?" as if i'm crazy. Then when I say no, they throw me attitude and expect an interpreter to come.

We should just stop providing schooling, medical care, welfare and other social services to anyone who cannot prove their citizenship. Go back to your country and come to the US legally by waiting your turn!

Baloney!!! This is what they want us to believe....

It is still not enough, and HomeLand Security is. Not doing its Job.

Well, they are undocumented persons and they are human beings. They are like any other individuals, if there are no jobs, they will look for work someplace else. The problem is the economic situation of US is bad shape. Good economy, let's have more immigrants. If you dont like them to be undocumented, just legalize them. It is now a good time to pass immigration reform

We must continue to increase our border patrol agents and utilize every means to secure our borders. Our agents deserve all the support necessary to accomplish their missions. We know that it is a tough and sometime thankless battle but it must go on. We have to also make sure that the Obama admininstration does not grant amnesty and devalue all of the hard work, sacrifice and integrity of the border agents.

We could end illegal immigration forever if our government would make E-Verify mandatory nationwide for ALL employers. Instead, J-No is gutting enforcement. This is why we must vote out all incumbents. No more career politicians bought by lobbyists and special interest groups. If you don't represent the American people, you need to be thrown out of office. If you are an illegal alien, you need to go home and come back legally or not at all. The free ride is over, we're broke!

You mean the same agency and head Napolitano, the one who described the panty bomber incident as "everything worked right" tells us this....
Hahahahhahahhaha
The woman is a LIAR and a TOOL...and not a very good one at that!


GO Sheriff JOE!!!!

There's probably 10 million illegal immigrants in Southern Cal alone.

It is good news that the number of illegals is going down, from 12M to 10.8M, if i trust this article

But 10.8M is still way too high, it should be zero, right now we have
millions, growing millions, of citizens, blue collar workers, and legal immigrants who are unemployed
and some had low wage jobs that illegals took

Lets bring the number down to 8M in a few years, and under 4M in 5-10 years, then i will open champagne.
All the billions that illegals cost us will eventually go back to us

As illegals disappear the economy should slowly start to resurface esp in CA the most devastated state
but as the ecomony resurfaces around 2015-2020 this could attract illegals again, so it will be
crucial to have very stiff enforcement by then so they never try again.

E-Verify will not expedite the removal of illegal foreign labor across America? Nor will the local police 287 (G) federal training program to capture illegal immigrants around the country. Even the--TRUE--international fence that waits to be built correctly? Or any of the series of immigration enforcement laws designed for the SAVE ACT. But together, including the rescinding instant birthright laws to an illegal alien parent, can and will make a difference to our financial economy, that has been wrecked by unwelcome illegal labor and family members. Our government tells us their is a reduction in the unauthorized population that has settled here. But if the Tucson US Border Patrol agents express that for every 10 people who slip into America, only one gets apprehended. Or that there is no figure for illegal immigrants who have crept into our nation from Canada. Or having no true accounting of knowing who is departing by plane, ship, how many have ignored the expiration date on their entry visa?

Its all guesswork of how many of the population are here without "THE PEOPLE'S" permission. The government and open border cronies say numbers have dwindled to 10.5 million? But how can they agree on this exact number, when 1200 were detained from a clothing factory in California? Then we have 300 at a meat packing plant in Iowa? Now we have Koch food knowing hiring 161 foreign laborers and have been fined. Bear Stearns the now extinct financial house, estimated a number between 20 and 30 million. But whatever the number they still need to be removed? They broke our laws and therefore deserve not to be rewarded, Those politicians on either side who have pandered or taken money from open border lobbyists, should starting at mid-term election be ejected from office. We need to find fair lawmakers who believe in the working man and women first, not attributing to the businesses who buy their loyalty? Years have passed since true immigration enforcement and that was President Eisenhower in 1954, empowered the Immigration And Naturalization (INS) now remade as ICE to remove about one million illegal immigrants from the southwestern states.

Thousands left by their own accord, so as not to take the risk of being arrested and buses, trains and vehicles, hassled thousands back across the border. This proves it can be done? Then with a permanent, super-refined operation of E-VERIFY mandated throughout America--BY ATTRITION--can influence businesses to use it, or face serious consequences. Don't let open border pundits influence you that its full of errors. Visit the local Social Security office for work clearance. Opponents never explain in their diatribe, that this is a very easy solution. WE CAN WITH THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, OPEN UP JOBS FOR AMERICANS TAKEN BY ILLEGAL LABOR. WE CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER AMNESTY OR THE CONSEQUENCES OF MILLIONS OF MORE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ACCESSING GOVERNMENT ENTITLEMENTS. Learn what you can do at NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIALWATCH or call your federal representative at 202-224-3121. A good example of state politicians ignoring their commitment to their legal residents, is the near bankrupt state of California.

This country needs the US Army to round up the illegal invasion for that one way ticket to their homeland where ever that is. And absolutely no amnesty.

Lies.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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