5 facts about undocumented immigration in the U.S.

*At a quick glance, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has leveled off; Mexicans make-up about half of undocumented immigrants but their number is declining; 60% of the undocumented live in 6 states; the undocumented make-up 5.1% of the labor force; and 7% of K-12 students have at least on parent who is undocumented. VL

pew-research-center-logoBy Jens Manuel Krogstad and Jeffrey Passel, Pew Research Center

The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stabilized in recent years after decades of rapid growth. But there have been shifts in the states where unauthorized immigrants live and the countries where they were born.

President Obama’s executive action on immigration, announced Nov. 20, 2014, would among other thingsexpand deportation relief to almost half the unauthorized immigrant population, though this part of the program is on hold due to a lawsuit to stop the move.While executive actions on immigration have a long history, Obama’s recent action was the most significant protection from deportation offered to unauthorized immigrants since 1986, when Congress passed a law that allowed 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants to obtain a green card.

Here are five facts about the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S.

1There were 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014. The population has remained essentially stable for five years, and currently makes up 3.5% of the nation’s population. The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when this group was 4% of the U.S. population.

2Mexican Unauthorized Immigrant Population Declines Since 2007 PeakMexicans make up about half of all unauthorized immigrants (49%), though their numbers have been declining in recent years.There were 5.6 million Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2014, down from 6.4 million in 2009, according to preliminary Pew Research Center estimates.

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[Photo by Victoria Pickering/Flickr]

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