CRS – Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 23, 2012

Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986, Ruth Ellen Wasem, Specialist in Immigration Policy. December 13, 2012

  • “Estimates derived from the March Supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) indicate that the unauthorized resident alien population (commonly referred to as
    illegal aliens) rose from 3.2 million in 1986 to 12.4 million in 2007, before leveling off at 11.1 million in 2011. The estimated number of unauthorized aliens had dropped to 1.9 million in 1988 following passage of a 1986 law that legalized several million unauthorized aliens. Jeffrey Passel, a demographer with the Pew Hispanic Research Center, has been involved in making these estimations since he worked at the U.S. Bureau of the Census in the 1980s.”
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