The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. But unauthorized immigrants have become a source of political debate, and Congress and President Obama disagree over the best course of action to address issues such as deportations, legal status, education and benefits. For years, the Pew Research Center has estimated the size of the unauthorized immigrant population and surveyed the U.S. public about immigration.

Hispanic Mar. 26, 2015

U.S. Unauthorized Immigrants in the Labor Force

Most hold low-skilled service, construction and production jobs, but those shares have fallen since 2007. In the states, the leading industry employers are hospitality, manufacturing and construction.

Fact Tank Feb. 11, 2015

States suing Obama over immigration programs are home to 46% of those who may qualify

A group of 26 states filed a lawsuit in December to stop his executive actions on immigration, arguing that he didn’t have the authority to make the changes.

Feb. 4, 2015

50 years later, Americans give thumbs-up to immigration law that changed the nation

As Washington once again engages in a heated political battle over immigration policy, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how much the country and its politics have changed since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act — a law that dramatically changed the makeup of the nation.

Fact Tank Dec. 30, 2014

U.S. border apprehensions of Mexicans fall to historic lows

For the first time on record, more non-Mexicans than Mexicans were apprehended at U.S. borders in 2014 by the Customs and Border Patrol.

U.S. Politics Dec. 11, 2014

Immigration Action Gets Mixed Response

Americans are divided over President Obama’s recent executive action that allows more unauthorized immigrants to stay and work in the U.S. At the same time, the public continues to support a pathway to legal status for those here illegally.

Fact Tank Dec. 11, 2014

Texas tops list of states where this year’s unaccompanied child migrants ended up

One-in-three (36%) of the nearly 54,000 unaccompanied children released to sponsors over the past year after their apprehension by immigration authorities have been placed in homes in three states – Texas, New York and California.

Fact Tank Dec. 9, 2014

How the 1986 immigration law compares with Obama’s program

As the federal government gears up to offer deportation relief to about 4 million unauthorized immigrants, it’s worth looking back to 1986, when a new law established what was then the biggest legalization and citizenship process in U.S. history.

Fact Tank Dec. 5, 2014

If original DACA program is a guide, many eligible immigrants will apply for deportation relief

So far, about 702,000 unauthorized immigrants have had their applications accepted for review since the program began in August 2012, according to government data. Of the applicants, 87% have been approved for the renewable two-year permits.

Fact Tank Dec. 1, 2014

Who are the unauthorized immigrants ineligible for Obama’s executive action?

The 5.8 million unauthorized immigrants not eligible for deportation relief under President Obama’s executive actions are more likely than those eligible to be unmarried and not have U.S.-born children living with them, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

Fact Tank Nov. 24, 2014

Immigration changes draw broad public interest

President Obama’s executive action on immigration, expanding deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants, attracted strong public interest last week.