Illegal immigration continues to be in the news because it is a problem. There are many aspects to the problem – the wall, the expense to taxpayers, the diseases they bring into the country, plus many others. Now we are being told that there are many more undocumented immigrants than anyone ever thought.
The traditional number cited for illegal aliens residing in the United States is 11.3 million. Some researchers affiliated with Yale thought that number was too high and decided to do a “sanity check” on it. They were surprised by what they found.
Immigration is the focus of fierce political and policy debate in the United States. Among the most contentious issues is how the country should address undocumented immigrants. Like a tornado that won’t dissipate, arguments have spun around and around for years. At the center lies a fairly stable and largely unquestioned number: 11.3 million undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. But a paper by three Yale-affiliated researchers suggests all the perceptions and arguments based on that number may have a faulty foundation; the actual population of undocumented immigrants residing in the country is much larger than that, perhaps twice as high, and has been underestimated for decades.
Using mathematical modeling on a range of demographic and immigration operations data, the researchers estimate there are 22.1 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Even using parameters intentionally aimed at producing an extremely conservative estimate, they found a population of 16.7 million undocumented immigrants.
The researchers do not want anyone to get the wrong idea and think that there is a huge increase in illegal aliens in the country. They say that is not the case and that the larger number of illegal aliens have been here for decades. So, if it seems to you that the United States has been overrun by people who should not be here, you are right. We have been overrun by them, but they came decades ago.
The researchers claim that their “paper is not oriented towards politics or policy.” It is simply about getting a better handle on the number of illegal aliens in the country. This writer agrees that it is important to know how many people are residing illegally within the borders of the United States. The researchers filled an important role in bringing this information to us.