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.
U.S. immigrant deportations fall to lowest level since 2007
The Obama administration deported 333,341 unauthorized immigrants in the 2015 fiscal year, a decline of about 81,000 (or 20%) from the prior year.
International migration: Key findings from the U.S., Europe and the world
Millions of people around the world have migrated to the U.S. and other countries in recent years – some voluntarily, others to flee political turmoil, persecution or war.
Trump voters want to build the wall, but are more divided on other immigration questions
Though many Trump supporters say illegal immigration is a serious problem in the U.S. and want to build the wall, they are more divided on other questions.
Children of unauthorized immigrants represent rising share of K-12 students
About 3.9 million kindergarten through 12th-grade students in U.S. public and private schools in 2014 were children of unauthorized immigrants.
Estimated unauthorized immigrant population, by state, 2014
California has by far the largest number of unauthorized immigrants, about 2.3 million in 2014.
Unauthorized immigrant population trends for states, birth countries and regions
Explore U.S. unauthorized immigrant population trends for states of residence, as well as for international regions and largest countries of birth, based on Pew Research Center estimates.
Size of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Workforce Stable After the Great Recession
There were 8 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. working or looking for work in 2014, making up 5% of the civilian labor force, according to new Pew Research Center estimates using government data.
Number of babies born to unauthorized immigrants in U.S. continues to decline
About 275,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2014, a decline from 330,000 in 2009.
Unauthorized immigrant population stable for half a decade
The unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. – 11.1 million in 2014 – has remained essentially stable since 2009 after nearly two decades of changes.
Measuring illegal immigration: How Pew Research Center counts unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer, on the research techniques used to derive the unauthorized immigrant population estimate in the U.S. and the challenges involved.