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.
What we know about illegal immigration from Mexico
Pew Research Center tracks the origins of unauthorized immigrants, their participation in the labor force and where in the U.S. they are settling.
More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.
Between 2009 and 2014, about 140,000 more Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here, citing family reunification as the main reason for leaving.
On Immigration Policy, Wider Partisan Divide Over Border Fence Than Path to Legal Status
As immigration emerges as a key issue in the presidential campaign, there is little common ground between Republicans and Democrats in views of several immigration policy proposals.
Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 1960 – 2013
There were a record 41.3 million immigrants living in the U.S. in 2013, making up 13.1% of the nation’s population, a fourfold increase since 1960. These interactive charts explore immigration population trends, from origin to length of time in the U.S., to age and language use.
Selected U.S. Immigration Legislation and Executive Actions, 1790 – 2014
Explore how immigration in the U.S. was shaped by laws and acts in this interactive timeline of U.S. immigration legislation since the 1790s.
Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to the U.S.
The nation’s foreign-born population has swelled from 10 million in 1965 to a record 45 million in 2015. By 2065, the U.S. will have a projected 78 million immigrants.
Number of babies born in U.S. to unauthorized immigrants declines
About 295,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2013, making up 8% of the 3.9 million U.S. births that year. This was down from a peak of 370,000 in 2007.
What Americans want to do about illegal immigration
There is little support overall for an effort to deport all those in the U.S. illegally, but past surveys have found support for building a barrier along the Mexican border and for banning birthright citizenship.
Public Views of Immigration
There is broad public support for a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. But other opinions on immigration, including views of legal immigration, are more mixed.
With help from Mexico, number of child migrants crossing U.S. border falls
Mexico’s 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of fiscal year 2015 represent a 56% increase over the same period a year earlier.