Immigration by the numbers

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Few surprises in this new Pew study on illegal immigration to the US. The number of undocumented immigrants has reached 10.3 million and keeps on growing; Mexicans account for the largest chunk, at 57 percent, or 6 million; undocumented migrants now represent about one-third of the total foreign-born US population; the most rapid growth of illegal immigration occurred in states without a long tradition of immigration, especially North Carolina and Arizona. (One number that did surprise me: one in six illegals is a child.)

The AP story doing the rounds describes a “surge” in illegal immigration driven by Mexicans and making a mockery of post 9/11 border-control efforts. True enough, these are big numbers, and they’ve been getting steadily bigger — by about 485,000 a year since 2000. But I notice that more illegal immigrants came to the US in the boom years of 1995 and 1999 than did between 2000 and 2004 (3.6 and 3.1 million, respectively); this doesn’t suggest to me that we’ve got a handle on illegal immigration; but nor does it tell me the problem’s gotten totally out of hand, which you’d assume from the tenor of the coverage. Just something to bear in mind as Bush gets together with Vicente Fox and the usual suspects renew their calls for draconian anti-immigrant measures.

THIS IS BIG FOR US.

And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please consider joining your fellow readers with a donation to help make it all possible. Whether you can pitch in $5 or $500, it all matters.

If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

payment methods

THIS IS BIG FOR US.

And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please consider joining your fellow readers with a donation to help make it all possible. Whether you can pitch in $5 or $500, it all matters.

If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate