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India largest source of new unauthorized immigrants in U.S.

Now 3rd largest in Arizona as demographics shift; Canadians No. 2 in state

Despite a marked decline in the number of immigrants from Mexico, the population of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained steady over the last five years, buoyed by new immigrants from India, Haiti, and Central America, according to analysis of new figures released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. 

Pew said that an estimated 11.1 million immigrants were living in the country without authorization in 2014, compared to 11.3. million in 2009. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Pew estimated that in 2014 unauthorized immigrants account for around 3.5 percent of the U.S. population, and around one-quarter of the nation's 43.6 million foreign-born residents. 

"The recent relative stability in the estimated size of the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population is a contrast to previous periods," wrote Jeffrey S. Passel, a senior demographer and D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer for Pew's Hispanic Center. 

From 1990 to the early 2000s, the number of unauthorized immigrants grew steadily, peaking at 12.2 million in 2007, wrote Passel and Cohn. 

In Arizona, the population of unauthorized immigrants topped out at 500,000 in 2007 before dropping precipitously throughout the Great Recession to around 300,000 in 2012. 

In 2014, the population of unauthorized immigrants increased about 16 percent to 325,000 people, making up just less than five percent of the state's total population. 

Nationwide, the unauthorized population changed in 13 states from 2009 to 2014. In the five states where the population increased, the change was largely due to an increase in unauthorized immigrants from countries other than Mexico; states that saw a decline largely lost Mexican immigrants. The only exception was Louisiana, which gained people, many from Mexico.

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Overall, the population of unauthorized immigrants rose in Washington, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. 

In the last five years, the population of immigrants in the country illegally has become more dispersed, wrote Passel and Cohn, but California continues to have the largest population, hosting around 2.3 million people. Of those around 71 percent are originally from Mexico. 

This is followed by Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, the researchers wrote. 

Around 81 percent of the unauthorized population in Arizona came from Mexico. 

But, unlike the rest of the United States where people from El Salvador and Guatemala took the second and third spots, Arizona's second largest population of unauthorized immigrants hails from Canada, followed by India. 

The number of unauthorized immigrants from India increased from around 130,000 in 2009 to an estimated 500,000 in 2014, wrote Passel and Cohn. Many of these immigrants arrived as legal immigrants, but overstayed their visas, they wrote. 

During an interview on Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that federal officials were "doubling down" on preventing immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and Central America from getting to the southwest border.  

While Mexico has historically been the main source of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, in 2014, apprehensions of people from countries surpassed Mexico. 

In the last half-decade, the population of unauthorized immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa rose 35 percent to 275,000 people, while the number of people from Asia ticked up 10 percent to 1.45 million. The total from Central America rose 6.8 percent to 1.7 million. 

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This increase was largely driven by thousands of unaccompanied children and family units streaming from violence and poverty in Central America, a trend that continues through 2016. 

According to statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of people apprehended as family units from three Central American countries—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—in the fiscal year of 2016, was nearly 20 times higher than the same population from Mexico. 

The number of children, who arrived without parents or guardians, from Central America was almost as unbalanced. 

Roughly 42,000 unaccompanied minors came from Central America, nearly four times as many as from Mexico in 2016. 

However, through nearly 8,400 family units and more than 8,800 children have passed through the two Border Patrol sectors in Arizona, that population appears to be using the state as a pass-through before heading on to other states. 

Pew's research shows that historic immigration patterns between the U.S. and Mexico remain, and that most long-term residents remain in western states. 

In California, the median time that an unauthorized immigrant has been in the U.S. is 15.6 years and the data suggests that at least half of those immigrants have lived in the United States since the late 1990s. 

New arrivals are a decreasing share of the unauthorized population. Only around 14 percent of people in the country illegally had been in the country for less than five years, compared to 31 percent in 2005. 

In 1995, the median stay was around seven years, but that has grown to 13.6 years in 2014. 

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1 comment on this story

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180 comments
Sep 26, 2016, 9:41 am
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So where we gonna build the wall to keep these “illegals” out?

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