Figures show that between 2005 and 2009, illegal US immigration fell by more than 60 per cent. In the first half of the decade, an average of 850,000 people were moving to the US without the correct US visas. However, this has fallen to just 300,000 between 2007 and 2009, according to new figures released by the Pew Hispanic Centre.
The fall is thought to be the result of a combination of factors, including tougher border controls and the recession. The drop has also impacted the overall estimated number of illegal immigrants living in the US. In 2007, the number was thought to total around 12 million. This number had fallen by around eight per cent to 11.1 million by last year.
Some 60 per cent of the people moving to the US without US visas are coming over the border from Mexico, with a further 20 per cent coming from other parts of Latin America. The remaining illegals come mostly from Asia, Africa and Canada.The new figures may go some way towards calming the national debate about Arizona’s new US immigration act, which encourages law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if they have reason to believe they may be living in the US illegally.