Posted on June 20, 2011

Report: Most Illegal Immigrants Come from Mexico

Paul Bedard, U.S. News, June 15, 2011

A new congressional report sure to stir up the heated immigration debate finds that about 1 in 4 foreigners in America are here illegally and that 62 percent of them come from Mexico through America’s most porous border. Using brand new data, the Congressional Budget Office also reports that 25 percent of “noncitizens,” or those here illegally or with temporary passes, live in poverty.

Overall, the CBO found that there are about 39 million foreign-born people living in the United States, making up more than 12 percent of the population, which is the largest since 1920, the height of the European migration to the United States. Of those, about 10.8 million are here illegally and the subject of much of the discussion in the immigration debate.


From the CBO report, Director Douglas Elmendorf highlighted the following points on his blog:

• In 2009, about 38 percent of foreign-born people in the United States were from Mexico or Central America; the next-largest group came from Asia and accounted for 27 percent of the total foreign-born population.

• About one-fifth of naturalized U.S. citizens were from Mexico or Central America; more than one-third were from Asia. About half of the noncitizens living in the United States in 2009 were from Mexico or Central America, and about one-fifth were from Asia. An estimated 62 percent of noncitizens unauthorized to live in the United States were from Mexico.

• From 2000 to 2009, more than 10 million people were granted legal permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States. Legal permanent residents are permitted to live, work, and study in the United States. {snip}


• Marriage and fertility rates are generally higher among young foreign-born women than among their native-born counterparts.


• The amount of annual earnings among foreign-born workers varied greatly by country of origin. For example, in 2009 the median annual earnings of male workers from Mexico and Central America was $22,000. Among male workers from Asia, the median was $48,000; among male workers from Europe and Canada, it was $53,000; and among native-born male workers, it was $45,000.