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  1. Unauthorized Immigrant Population Fell in 2015 Below Recession Level

    by , 04-25-2017 at 10:07 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Media contact: Brian Mahl, 202-419-4372,

    As Mexican share declined, U.S. unauthorized immigrant population fell in 2015 below recession level

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2017) – The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2015 fell below the total at the end of the Great Recession for the first time, with Mexicans continuing to represent a declining share of this population, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on government data.

    There were 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015, a small but statistically significant decline from the estimate of 11.3 million for 2009, the last year of the Great Recession. And according to a preliminary 2016 estimate, the unauthorized immigrant population is 11.3 million, which statistically does not show a change from the 2009 or 2015 estimates and is inconclusive as to whether the total unauthorized immigrant population increased, held steady or continued to decrease. (Note: the preliminary 2016 estimate uses a different data source with a smaller sample size and larger margin of error.)

    Mexicans have long been the largest origin group among unauthorized immigrants – and the majority for at least a decade – but their numbers have been shrinking since peaking at 6.9 million, or 57% of the total, in 2007. In 2014, they numbered 5.8 million (52% of the total). In 2015, according to the Center’s new estimate, they declined to 5.6 million, or 51% of the total. According to the preliminary 2016 estimate, while the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico remained the same at 5.6 million, their share fell to 50% of the total unauthorized immigrant population, which would mark the first time since at least 2005 that Mexicans did not account for a majority of the unauthorized immigrant population.

    As the number of Mexicans has decreased, the number of unauthorized immigrants from other parts of the world has increased, particularly from Asia and Central America. The estimated number from countries other than Mexico declined from 5.3 million in 2007 to 5 million in 2009, but grew after that, reaching 5.4 million in 2015. The preliminary 2016 estimate (5.7 million), while higher than the 2009 estimate, is not statistically different from the 2015 estimate.

    Pew Research Center estimates are derived from data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is used when ACS data are not available. The 2016 estimate is considered preliminary because it is derived from the CPS, which has a larger margin of error due to its smaller sample size compared with the ACS. All other Center estimates since 2005 are derived from the ACS.

    Read the analysis:

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brian Mahl at or202-419-4372.

    Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on our Fact Tank blog.

    by , 04-25-2017 at 08:35 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The US legal and legislative system framework is one checks and balances. The legislative branch – the Senate and House of Representatives – creates and passes law, which in most instances must also be signed by a President.

    The executive branch, which now is headed by President Trump, is tasked with administering US federal law. The President typically works through agencies and departments in order to administer the law. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security administers laws concerning, among other things, US immigration. The executive branch’s authority is limited by the underlying law that is passed by Congress.

    (As an aside, the President’s authority to administer law is also limited by the third branch of government—the judiciary. In the short Trump presidency, we have seen several instances where the judiciary has not backed down from exercising their authority and limiting President Trump’s executive action.)

    The scope of an underlying Congressional law is what limits the President. Accordingly, there are some things that President Trump can consider to do, and other things that he probably cannot do.

    Here is our list of H-1B-related changes that President Trump can probably because these actions probably do not exceed the underlying Congressional statute.

    • Revoke H-4 / EAD authorization. This rule was put in by President Obama’s administration.
    • Revoke prior Guidance Memoranda that is favorable to the H-1B program. In fact, he has already started down this path by revoking a 17 year old memorandum on the approvability of Computer Programmers.
    • Increase H-1B employer or employee site visits. Site visits are clearly within Presidential authority. Again, the USCIS has recently released a press release notifying US employers of increased site visits.
    • Increase obtuse/harassing RFEs and NOIDs. The President has indicated to DHS that it would like to see DHS use all its power to interpret rules against H-1B users.
    • Delay Consular approvals under a cloak of “background checks”. The President generally has wide latitude to process or delay visa approvals.

    Our next post will address whether the Trump administration could change the H-1B lottery to a system whereby H-1B lottery slots were awarded based on another criterion, such as the salary offered to the H-1B worker.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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