Undocumented immigrants, who had been steadily leaving the U.S. since the first signs of the recession in 2007, reducing their population by eight percent through 2009, are staying put, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center report released today.
The 2007 population was 12 million. It now stands at 11.2 million. The findings coincide with a Republican push to restart workplace raids, which hit record highs in the past four years, both under Bush and under Obama.
The reason for the decline’s leveling off is not clear, although the reason for the 2007-2009 decline itself may have been the doubling in deportations—mostly of Mexican—in the last 10 years, which reached 400,000 in 2009.
Many states, particularly in Mountain States like Utah, Arizona and Nevada, have seen significant decreases in undocumented populations, as have, surprisingly, Florida and New York (though they remain third and fourth, respectively, in undocumented population), a group of South Central states saw a rise: Lousiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The report did not cite a reason for the shift.