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.
Interactive: U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Trends
Explore population trends from a new analysis of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States based on Pew Research Center estimates.
State Unauthorized Immigrant Populations Rise and Fall
Since the Great Recession ended, the population of unauthorized immigrants has risen in seven states and fallen in 14.
Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S., 2012
See how the unauthorized immigrant population varies state-by-state, how it has changed since 2009 and which states have the highest and lowest shares of unauthorized immigrants with our interactive maps.
All Publications from this Topic
Deportation Relief Outweighs Pathway to Citizenship
While Hispanics and Asian Americans overwhelmingly approve of creating a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, they also say relief from the threat of deportation is more important.
U.S. image in Mexico rebounds from 2010 low
The share of Mexicans with a favorable view of the U.S. has risen 22 percentage points since passage of Arizona’s restrictive immigration law in 2010.
More Latinos Say Illegal Immigration’s Effect on the U.S. Latino Community is Positive
Hispanics’ views of the impact of unauthorized immigration on the U.S. Hispanic community have grown more positive since 2010, according to a new nationwide survey of 5,103 Hispanic adults by the Pew Research Center.
The challenges of counting the nation’s unauthorized immigrants
A talk with Pew Research Center senior demographer Jeffrey S. Passel on the challenges of counting the nation’s unauthorized immigrants.
Slideshow: Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed
Key findings from the report, “Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed”
11.7 M Unauthorized Immigrants in 2012
A new estimate by the Pew Research Center shows that the recession-era decline in the number of unauthorized immigrants has bottomed out and the number may be rising.
High rate of deportations continue under Obama despite Latino disapproval
The Obama administration has provided a way for young unauthorized immigrants brought to the country illegally as children to remain in the U.S., but the total number of deportations of unauthorized immigrants continue at near record levels.
Are unauthorized immigrants overwhelmingly Democrats?
Will there be “an electoral bonanza for Democrats” if the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants are eventually granted the right to vote? The data provide some insights.
The public’s predictions on immigration, gun control bills this year
There’s a pretty good chance that immigration legislation will become law this year. The prospects for enacting a gun control bill are not nearly as promising, according to the American public.
Tea Party Republicans believe legal status would reward undocumented immigrants
More than eight-in-ten Tea Party Republicans say granting legal status to undocumented immigrants would reward illegal behavior.