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Illegal immigrants outnumber legal immigrants in US

There are now more than 34 million immigrants in the US and make up 12 per cent of the nation's population.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2005 18:41 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Despite tighter border security, the number of new illegal immigrants to the United States surpassed the number of authorised immigrants, a latest study has said.

Immigration to the United States, legal and illegal, from all regions of the world, rose during the 1990s, peaked in 2000 and declined substantially since 2001 as the national economy slowed, a study based on government statistics that was released by the Pew Hispanic Centre said on Tuesday.

The number of new arrivals rose in 2004, as economic conditions improved, the study said.

Although, the arrival of both authorised and unauthorised immigrants declined with the economic downturn, the number of legal immigrants declined more sharply. Fewer legal immigrants arrived in 2003 and 2004 than in the mid-1990s, while the number of new illegal immigrants has settled back to about the same level as in the mid-1990s.

More than 34 million immigrants now live in the United States, and make up 12 per cent of the nation's population, according to a Census Bureau estimate last year. The number has more than tripled since 1970.

The Pew Centre report, which tracked immigration year by year using Census Bureau surveys, said that the number of new immigrants, both legal and illegal, grew very gradually in the early and mid-1990s, from slightly more than a million a year in 1992 to 1.2 million in 1997. But as the economy expanded in the late 1990s, the number of new immigrants increased dramatically, to 1.5 million in 1999 and 2000.

The number of people entering the US in 2003 was 1.1 million while in 2004 the number was 1.2 million.

First Published: Sep 28, 2005 00:00 IST