With President Donald Trump’s administration taking steps to reduce the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. — including through the construction of a wall at the southern border — here’s what we know about illegal immigration from Mexico:
1The number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has declined by more than 1 million since 2007. In 2014, 5.8 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico lived in the U.S., down from a peak of 6.9 million in 2007. Despite the drop, Mexicans still make up about half of the nation’s 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants (52% in 2014).
3Mexicans were deported from the U.S. 242,456 times in 2015 – up from 169,031 in 2005, but down from a recent high of 309,807 in 2013. The increase over the past decade is due in part to a 2005 shift in policy that increased the chances of being deported following apprehension in the border region. Prior to that change, many unauthorized immigrants were returned without a formal deportation order.
5Unauthorized immigrants from Mexico make up at least 75% of the total unauthorized immigrant population in three states. This is the case in New Mexico (91%), Idaho (87%) and Arizona (81%). In California, Mexicans make up 71% of the state’s unauthorized immigrant population, and they numbered more than 1.6 million in 2014 – the highest total of any state.
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Note: This post was originally published July 5, 2015, and has been updated.