- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped by nearly 1 million from 2007 to 2009 as the Bush administration ramped up enforcement efforts and the economy took a dive, according to figures the Homeland Security Department released Tuesday.

Illegal immigrants totaled 10.8 million in January 2009. That was down from a peak of 11.8 million in 2007, and 11.6 million in January 2008. The drop was powered in large part by a drop in illegal immigrants from Mexico, which saw a decline of nearly 400,000.

The data comes as President Obama and congressional Democrats seek to push a new immigration bill legalizing illegal immigrants.

The numbers suggest a steady trickle of illegal immigrants have left the country over the last two years, and that the flow of new illegal immigrants has also lessened.

After the last effort to pass an immigration bill failed in mid-2007 the Bush administration announced it would step-up enforcement, including high-profile raids and granting powers to enforce immigration laws to some state and local police departments. Also, the economy entered a recession in December 2007.

Late last year Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said enforcement has proved to be effective, and the government has shown it can secure the borders. She argued the time is now ripe to move to a broader legalization bill.

But those who favor a crackdown on immigration say there are still millions of illegal crossings on the southwest border each year, which belies claims the border has been secured.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide