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A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has found that an estimated 2.5 million new illegal aliens have settled in the United States since President Obama took office in January 2009. While the pace is slower than the previous administration, the numbers are still startling.

The new arrivals, however, have been offset by the number of aliens who have returned home or received legal status, so the total population of illegal aliens living in the U.S. stands at 11-12 million. Still, the report shows that 300,000 to 400,000 new illegal aliens continue to settle in the United States each year.

“The continuing influx of 300,000 to 400,000 new illegal immigrants each year, while lower than a decade ago, has significant implications for the rule of law, national security, schools, hospitals and American workers. Saying this huge population is not a problem because it is not getting bigger is like an obese person saying he doesn’t have a problem because he’s not getting any fatter,” said Steven Camarota the Center’s Director of Research.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • The most recent analyses from the Center for Migration Studies and the Pew Research Center indicate 1.5 to 1.7 million aliens joined the illegal population from 2009 to 2013 — either overstaying a temporary visa or sneaking into the country.
  • Center for Immigration Studies analysis of Census Bureau data indicates that an additional 790,000 aliens joined the illegal population from the middle of 2013 to May of 2015, for a total of 2.5 million new illegal immigrants since President Obama took office in January of 2009 — 300,000 to 400,000 a year.
  • The size of the illegal population has remained roughly constant since 2009 because these new arrivals were offset by those who returned to their home countries, those who received green cards, and natural mortality.
  • Had the United States not allowed so many new illegal immigrants to settle in the country since 2009, the total number of illegal immigrants would have fallen by 2.5 million. But the arrival of so many new illegal immigrants offset this attrition in the illegal population.
  • Prior estimates from the Department of Homeland Security indicated that in the first 6 years of the Bush administration some 500,000 to 600,000 aliens joined the illegal immigrant population each year.
  • While the level of new illegal immigration is lower than a decade ago, the enormous ongoing scale of illegal immigration is a clear indication that the United States has not come close to controlling it.
  • Prior research indicates that roughly half a million illegal immigrants return home on their own each year, are deported, die, or get permanent residence. Those counted as having received legal status are not beneficiaries of the president’s administrative amnesty known as DACA — which does not give permanent residence, but does provide Social Security numbers, work authorization, and identity documents. Rather, it has been long-standing policy to allow those who violate immigration laws to still get green cards (permanent residency) if they qualify in one of the legal immigration categories, such as spouses of American citizens.

The data for the report comes from analysis by CIS of Census Bureau data from 2014 and 2015, combined with earlier estimates from the Center for Migration Studies and the Pew Research Center.

Read the full report

Illegal Immigration

Updated: Mon, Aug 3rd 2015 @ 8:00am EDT