Over the last several years, illegal immigration has dropped rapidly, which has led to a significant drop in the number of undocumented immigrants in the country. It is estimated that 11.1 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S. compared to an estimated 12 million in 2007. Close to 80% of the population of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are from Latin America, with the majority from Mexico.
For just the first time since 1910, more immigrants from Asia entered the country last year than Hispanic immigrants. An estimated 28% of foreign born people residing in the U.S. are undocumented immigrants, while 31% are legal permanent residents who have green cards and 37% have become naturalized U.S. citizens.
During the 1990s as well as the early 2000s there was a spike of the number of immigrants who were undocumented entering the U.S. when the economy in the country was stronger than it presently is.
A number of children who are undocumented immigrants were brought into the country during that period and are currently entering into adulthood. A big part of the decline in the amount of illegal immigration in the U.S. is due to a weakened economy, because of stronger enforcement and because of an aging population in Mexico.
Fifty-five percent of the undocumented immigrant population is Mexican, other countries in Latin America represent 25% and Asians represent 10%. Migration entering the country from Mexico is zero since fewer workers from Mexico are entering and many are returning home due to lack of work in the sluggish economy.
In the early 2000s, many Mexicans came to the U.S. looking for construction work and found it in the housing construction business, but that sector was hit hard by the financial crisis and many have had to find other work or return to Mexico.