The number of illegal immigrants in California has declined, the report said

(Mariah Tauger/Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

The number of illegal immigrants in California has declined, the report said

Immigration and the border

Andrea Castillo

November 16, 2023

California’s immigrant population lacks legality


between 2017 and 2021, the status dropped by 150,000, but the state still has the highest number of 1.9 million unauthorized residents under

any state in the US

the States.

Only two states saw an increase, according to a report published Thursday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center

their illegal immigrant populations

such residents during the same period: Florida, which increased by 80,000 people, and Washington, which increased by 60,000.

Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois follow California

‘s lead

as states with the largest populations of unauthorized immigrants.

The population of immigrants without legal status does

However, such immigrants have become less geographically concentrated, with 56% of immigrants living in these six states

the total population of illegal immigrants in the country

that population in the US, down from 80% in 1990.

In his report says

The Pew Research Center analyzed the most current data from the US Census Bureau and government surveys such as the American Community Survey to determine the size and characteristics of

the country’s unauthorized immigrant

that population.

Those considered unauthorized immigrants by Pew include more than 2 million people with temporary permission to stay in the U.S., including through pending asylum claims, temporary protected status and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -program.

Nationwide, 10.5 million immigrants lacked legal status in 2021, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2021.


only up slightly from the low of 10.2 million in 2019.

Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew, said the recovery is partly due to pent-up numbers

request entry into the US

after strict enforcement during the Trump administration and subsequent pandemic closures.



foreign-born population


constituted approximately 14% of the country’s total population in 2021. Between


and in 2021, the population of legal immigrants grew by a quarter and the number of naturalized U.S. citizens grew significantly, accounting for about half of all immigrants in the country.

Passel said naturalizations have likely increased because of

to manhandle

restrictions on legal immigrants, as well as immigrants’ desire to vote in presidential elections since 2008. After U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reopened following a pandemic shutdown, nearly one million immigrants became naturalized citizens in fiscal year 2022, the second most highest number in history. file.


the Pew report

notes that the new estimates do not reflect changes since migrant arrests and deportations began increasing in March 2021 and later reached historic highs.

The number of illegal immigrants from Mexico fell by 900,000 to 4.1 million in 2021.

Meanwhile, the number of people from almost every other region in the world grew rapidly, including

from countries like

Venezuela, India and Canada. Immigrants from East Asia and India likely drove the surge in Washington, Passel said.

Passel said the decline in the number of Mexican immigrants partly explains the overall decline in the number of illegal immigrants in California. That


because many Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico, while fewer have entered the U.S., he said.

“In some ways it’s status quo, but I think it’s notable that the resources are changing quite a bit,” Passel said.

of the countries where immigrants were born

. “We’re seeing some growth in almost every region of the world, not huge, but some and the continued decline in Mexico as a source. I think this will probably continue in the coming years.”

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing last week

Department of

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the changes at the southern U.S. border as a global phenomenon.

We face economic, political and climate instability around the world, exacerbated in the wake of the instability of the COVID-19 pandemic that is fueling the greatest level of global migration since World War II, Mayorkas said.


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