WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A series of surges in illegal immigration across our southern border, coupled with large-scale abuses of our political asylum process and other humanitarian policies, have driven the illegal alien population of the United States into record territory, finds a new report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). There are now an estimated 14.3 million people living illegally in the United States, a jump of nearly 2 million people since 2017.
According to the report, a combination of factors is responsible for the dramatic increase in the number of people residing illegally in the U.S.:
- Coordinated surges of migrants crossing our southern border illegally, mostly from Central America, but also from more distant countries.
- Obama-era policies that expanded the grounds for claiming "credible fear" – the first step in seeking political asylum in the U.S. As a result, the backlog of pending asylum claims has grown to nearly a million.
- A judicial ruling that limits the detention of families with children to just 20 days. This ruling has led directly to the surge of families crossing the border illegally.
- A robust U.S. economy and labor market that is attracting economic migrants.
- Dangerous and illegal sanctuary policies that shield illegal aliens from federal enforcement, most of them implemented in the past five years.
"These new numbers suggest that we have entered a new phase of the ongoing phenomenon of illegal immigration," noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "In the past, Mexico dominated the flow of illegal immigration and most of the illegal migrants apprehended at our borders were promptly repatriated. Now, as a result of easily exploited policies, and intense partisan bickering in Washington that prevents even the most commonsense reforms to those abused policies, migrants from just about everywhere on earth are crossing the border and staying put.
"Without action in Washington to secure the border and curb the abuses of our humanitarian policies, the dramatic increase in the illegal alien population and the commensurate dramatic increases in costs to U.S. taxpayers will continue unabated," Stein warned. "After years of the needle being stuck at 11 million illegal residents, the new data suggest that, unless we change course, we will continue to see rapid growth of the illegal alien population."
The full report, How Many Illegal Aliens Currently Live in the United States?, can be found here.
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, [email protected] or 202-328-7004
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 2 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)