By Paul Bedard
June 1, 2016
Illegal immigration has exploded 57 percent in less than two years, with at least 550,000 new undocumented aliens pouring into America in a trend that is set to continue growing, according to new Census data.
In an analysis of the numbers, the Center for Immigration Studies found illegal and legal immigration have reached over 1.5 million a year, a new 15 year high, and a 39 percent increase over 2013.
He added that the increasing numbers of legal and illegal immigration and the administration policies sparking the drive to the border have to be "at the center of the national debate" in the presidential election.
Camarota's 17-page analysis said that immigration over the last two years reached 3.1 million, or more than 1.5 million annually. In the prior two years, 2012-2013, 2.3 million arrived or about 1.1 million each year.
But the number of illegals was shocking, surging to at least 550,000 in 2014 and 2015, up from 350,000 in 2012 and 2013. That's the size of Albuquerque, N.M.
The report dispels projections that immigration — legal and illegal — would drop due to a pull back in immigrants from Mexico. Instead, it has grown with new countries in Latin America, Cuba and Asia.
The huge numbers raise new questions about President Obama's policies and appears to support claims from critics, including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, that the administration's open-door approach is sparking the new wave.
"The latest Census Bureau data shows that the scale of new immigration is clearly enormous. The numbers raise profound questions about assimilation and the impact of immigration on the nation's education system, infrastructure, and labor market, as well as the size and density of the U.S. population. It is difficult to find a public policy that has a more profound impact across American society than the level of immigration. It is certainly appropriate that immigration should be at the center of the current presidential election," concludes Camarota.
The key findings from his report:
— New data collected by the Census Bureau shows that 3.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the country in 2014 and 2015, or more than 1.5 million annually.
— In 2012 and 2013, 2.3 million immigrants arrived, about 1.1 million annually. In 2010 and 2011, 2.1 million new immigrants arrived, about one million annually.
— The big increase in new arrivals in the last two years was driven by a rise in immigration from Latin America, particularly countries other than Mexico; South Asia (e.g. Pakistan and India); and East Asia (e.g. China and Vietnam).
— Our preliminary estimate is that, of the 3.1 million immigrants who arrived in that last two years, about one-third, 1.1 million (or 550,000 annually) were new illegal immigrants, a significant increase from the 700,000 illegal immigrants (350,000 annually) who entered in 2012 and 2013.
— The above estimate of illegal immigration represents the flow of new illegal aliens surreptitiously crossing the border, overstaying a temporary visa, or released into the country after a short detention, such as families from Central America. The numbers do not represent the net increase in the total illegal immigrant population.
— The available evidence also indicates that the number of new legal immigrants, both temporary and permanent, arriving from abroad has increased. Our best estimate is that the arrival of legal immigrants increased about 30 percent, from 1.6 million in 2012-2013 to two million in 2014-2015.