Report: Illegal immigration to U.S. drastically down

Liz Goodwin
September 1, 2010

Two-thirds fewer illegal immigrants entered the country last year than crossed U.S. borders each year between 2000 and 2005, according to a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The total number of illegal immigrants living in the country has dropped by 8 percent to 11.1 million, down from a peak of 12 million in 2007.

Princeton Professor Douglas Massey tells the Washington Post the drop can be attributed to the recession and lack of jobs in the United States, as well as to an increase in deportations and enforcement at the border. Chronically high unemployment in the United States reduces the incentive for illegal immigrants to take the increasingly risky journey across the border.

Meanwhile, The Department of Homeland Security announced that unmanned drones are now surveying the entire Southwest border. The drones have night-vision cameras and can be flown up to 30 hours at a time.