US Illegal Immigration Plunges

For the first time in years, legal immigrants outnumber incoming illegals
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2008 3:00 AM CDT
US Illegal Immigration Plunges
A US Border Patrol agentchecks an irrigation ditch near Fabens, Texas. The ditch is used by illegal immigrants to hide as they enter the US.   (AP Photo/ Victor Calzada)

(Newser) – The number of illegal immigrants entering the US has plummeted in the last several years, a new study has found. Close to 800,000 illegal immigrants entered the US each year from 2000-2004, but 500,000 have entered each year since, reports the Washington Post. For the first time in a decade the number of legal immigrants entering the US has surpassed the illegals coming into the country.

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There are an estimated 11.9 million illegal immigrants currently living in the US. The slowdown is attributed to the cooling of the US economy, which may have a disproportionate impact on undocumented workers. "This was a population that was growing very rapidly and substantially for at least 15 years, and the growth has essentially come to a halt," said the co-author of the study.
(Read more illegal immigration stories.)

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