About 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States as of January 2011, according to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security. The department study indicates that “in summary, an estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in January 2011 compared to a revised 2010 estimate of 11.6 million.”
“These results suggest little to no change in the unauthorized immigrant population from 2010 to 2011,” the report states, adding that “it is unlikely that the unauthorized immigrant population increased after 2007 given relatively high U.S. unemployment, improved economic conditions in Mexico, record low numbers of apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants at U.S. borders, and greater levels of border enforcement.”
The report adds that with 6.8 million, or 59 percent of America’s unauthorized immigrants, “Mexico continued to be the leading source country of unauthorized immigration to the United States.”
El Salvador (660,000), Guatemala (520,000), Honduras (380,000) and China (280,000) were the “next leading source countries.”
According to Reuters, “immigration has been a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail with Mitt Romney, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination to face President Barack Obama in November’s election, backing tougher measures to crack down on illegal immigrants,” while President Obama “has sought to block some tough new state laws aimed at pushing out illegal immigrants” and urged “Congress to pass a comprehensive package of immigration reforms, but that effort has gone nowhere.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security report in 2011, Florida, with 740,000, had the third largest number of unauthorized residents while “California remained the leading state of residence of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2011, with 2.8 million,” followed by “Texas with 1.8 million unauthorized residents.”
Florida’s unauthorized immigrant population declined from 800,000 in 2000 to 740,000 according to the report.