Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Conflicting New Estimates of Illegal Immigration

Adrees Latif/REUTERS
Trump critics touted a new Pew study that claimed a decline, but a recent Yale study tells a different story.
As a general rule of thumb, scholarly population studies aren’t fodder for newspaper headlines. But when the Pew Research Center issued a new study this week about the number of illegal immigrants in the country, it was greeted by the mainstream media with the sort of acclaim which is only reserved for stories that can make President Donald Trump look bad.
Nevertheless, the news from Pew was remarkable. Much of the debate about illegal immigration has been driven by the idea that the number of those whom sympathizers dub “undocumented” is enormous. That’s the conceit of much of Trump’s comments. Not long after declaring his candidacy for the presidency in 2015, he declared the number of illegals to be as high as 30 million and growing all the time due to a porous border and broken enforcement system, even though most of those who claimed to be experts on the topic claimed there were only 11 million. Yet according to Pew’s latest work, rather than getting larger, the population of illegals is shrinking.
According to Pew, the number of illegals was estimated at 10.7 million in 2016, down from the last generally accepted estimate of 11.3 million and a sharp decline from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007. Pew researchers claim that the overall total of those entering and staying illegally is down and that the nature of that population is also changing. The study said a much larger percentage of them is made up of those who overstay visas rather than those who sneak into the country. Those who make up that 10.7 million were also said to be more likely to be longstanding residents of the United States, with many of those who were here for shorter periods going back to their countries of origin.
Read the rest from Jonathan Tobin HERE.

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