NATION -- September 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM ET
Pew: Illegal immigration into U.S. on the rise
The most recent estimate of the number of immigrants who have entered the country illegally in the U.S. is 11.7 million as of March of 2012, according to a new Pew Research Center study showing a rising trend in illegal immigration into the U.S..
There was a sharp decline in the numbers in 2007-2009, except in six states in which 60% of the immigrants reside: Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. The Texas Tribune reported that there was no change in trend in Texas during those years - in fact, it was the only state that saw a possible increase. The Pew Research Center says that since the figures are the middle of a wide range, the actual total number will likely be different from the estimates.
These estimates are important numbers for lawmakers in Washington as they continue to debate an immigration overhaul that could give illegal immigrants citizenship or another kind of legal status, The New York Times reported. The Pew report did not give any specific reasons behind the population changes.