By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org
While opponents to President Obama’s Nov. 20 executive action are decrying the plan’s legal consequence and calling attention to the scourge of illegal immigrants in the country, the numbers are saying the problem is actually not as severe as in years past.
A look at census data over the past few years reveals record numbers of illegal immigrants are going back home, with or without the president’s help, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest study on illegal immigrant population.
The numbers reveal an increase of illegal immigrant populations in seven states since 2009, but an overall decrease in 14 states. An estimate of the total numbers of illegal immigrants stands at 11.2 million, roughly 3.5 percent of the U.S. population.
The states that have seen the largest decrease in the numbers of undocumented migrants are California, New York and Arizona.
“The losses in 13 of (the states) were due to drops in the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico,“ claims the Pew study.
It was conducted using census data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and mapped according to current population figures.
California’s illegal immigrant population went down by 90,000 in the past three years, while New York’s fell by over 60,000. The states with the largest amount of increase were New Jersey and Florida, with 75,000 illegal immigrants moving to the Garden State and 55,000 making their way to the Sunshine State on the country’s southern coast.
With just a few days left in the legislative sessions in both the U.S. House and Senate, it is uncertain what Congress will attempt to thwart the president’s recent action.
"This is a serious breach of our Constitution,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday at a press briefing at the Capitol, describing the president’s legal action offering work visas to illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children. "It’s a serious threat to our system of government. And, frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly.”
The plan proposed by the president halts deportations for children who have been born in the United States and their parents who are illegal immigrants, in turn offering them a chance to obtain a temporary work visa.
That would direct federal resources more towards immigrants involved in criminal activity rather than standard deportations, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
One such provision of that action would also provide more flexibility to employers looking to hire hire skilled foreign-born workers, a move currently being challenged in court.
As Watchdog.org reported Tuesday, a federal court has agreed to hear the case for scrapping the extension of F-1 visas for high-skilled foreign-born workers.