WASHINGTON (September 24, 2013)--A new study finds that the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally into the U.S. appears to be on the rise again after dropping during the recession.
The report by the Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project found that the total number of immigrants living in this country unlawfully edged up from 11.3 million in 2009 to 11.7 million last year and the number of immigrants from countries other than Mexico is at an all-time high.
Pew says Texas had a consistent increase in illegal immigration from 2007 to 2011, due in part to its stronger economy.
The number was unchanged from 2011 to 2012.
Florida and New Jersey had an initial drop but then increases during the same 2007-2011 period.
California, Illinois and New York showed declines.
The Pew analysis was based on census data through March 2012.
Because the Census Bureau does not ask people about their immigration status, the estimate on illegal immigrants is derived largely by subtracting the estimated legal immigrant population from the total foreign-born population.
It is a method that has been used by the government and Pew for many years and is generally accepted.