MP Desk Report, Lisbon – No one knows exactly how many undocumented immigrants are living in the U.S, it can be difficult to establish an accurate number due to the nature of the situation, many unauthorised immigrants don’t wish to reveal their immigration status through fear of deportation.
Instead, estimates are often based on the total foreign-born population, minus the number of immigrants in this population that the Department of Homeland Security knows to be in the U.S legally. Currently, the Migration Policy Institute estimates that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S stands at just over 10 million.
The vast majority of the illegal immigrant population originate from Mexico and Central America and illegal immigration has become a significant political issue in recent years. Despite the rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration and the Mexican border by the Trump administration, most illegal immigrants living in the U.S are not those who have crossed the border illegally. The vast majority of undocumented immigrants in the U.S are people who have overstayed their visas.
Estimates also suggest that the undocumented population in the US has actually declined since 2005 when it stood at an estimated 12.2 million. The decline in the unauthorized immigrant population is largely due to the decreasing numbers from Mexico, which is estimated to have dropped by 2 million between 2007 and 2017. There has, however, been an increasing number of undocumented migrants arriving from Central America and Asia.