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.
Most Support Legal Status for Illegal Immigrants
Most Americans say unauthorized immigrants should be allowed to stay, but there is less agreement on whether they should be able to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Immigration Q&A: Pew Research Data on Public Opinion and the Immigrant Population
U.S. Immigrant Population Continues to Grow
The nation’s immigrant population reached a record 40.4 million in 2011, while the number of unauthorized immigrants has declined from a 2007 peak of 12 million.
11.1 Million Unauthorized Immigrants Were Living in the U.S. in 2011
The number was unchanged from the previous two years and a continuation of the sharp decline in this population since its peak in 2007.
Up to 1.7M Youths May Benefit From New Deportation Rules
An updated analysis of President Obama’s new deportation policy finds 1.7 million of 4.4 million unauthorized immigrants ages 30 and under could qualify for temporary but renewable work permits to remain in the U.S. legally.
Up to 1.4 million Unauthorized Immigrants Could Benefit from New Deportation Policy
President Obama’s announcement on June 15 about changes in deportation policies could benefit up to 1.4 million unauthorized immigrants.
Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero and Perhaps Less
After four- decades that brought 12 million current immigrants — more than half of whom came illegally — the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed.
As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama’s Policy
Latinos disapprove by a margin of more than two-to-one of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants, according to a new national survey of Latino adults by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
Illegal Immigration: Gaps Between and Within Parties
The public continues to support tough measures to crack down on illegal immigration, but also a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.
Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent endorsement of a proposal to create a path for unauthorized immigrants to gain legal status if they have lived in the country for a long period of time has prompted renewed interest in the characteristics of this population. An analysis finds that nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least ten years.