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60% of adult illegal immigrants in U.S. for 10 years or more, report says

December 1, 2011 |  3:03 pm

60% of adult illegal immigrants in U.S. for 10 years or more, report says

More than 60% of adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have lived here for at least 10 years and nearly half have minor children, according to a report published Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The analysis based on data from the March 2010 Current Population Survey and the Pew Hispanic Center’s 2010 National Survey of Latinos shows a marked increase in the long-term duration of illegal immigrants in the U.S. compared with a decade ago.

Currently, about 35% of illegal immigrants adults have been in the U.S. for 15 years or more; in 2000 only about 16%  had been in the country for that long, says the report, titled “Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood.”

An additional 28% have been in the country for 10 to 14 years, a percentage has not changed since 2000. Meanwhile, the percentage of illegal immigrants who have lived in the country for fewer than five years dropped from 32% in 2000 to 15% in 2010.

According to the report, the increased duration of unauthorized immigrants in the country reflects a surge in illegal immigration in the late 1990s and early 2000s but has since slowed due to the sputtering U.S. economy and increased border enforcement.

In addition, relatively few of those who have been in the United States for a long time are now returning to their home countries. There are about 10.2 million unauthorized adults living in the country and an additional 1 million children under the age of 18, according to the report.


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-- Paloma Esquivel

Photo: An anti-pedestrian border fence in San Luis, Ariz. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times