Posted on June 29, 2023

Nearly 17 Million Illegal Immigrants Living in the US

Adam Shaw, Fox News, June 22, 2023

hawkish immigration group is estimating that there are nearly 17 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States — and that the number has increased by 16% since President Biden took office in early 2021.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which calls for lower overall levels of immigration, is publishing a new research report on the number of people living illegally in the U.S.

That report estimates that there are approximately 16.8 illegal immigrants in the U.S., up from 15.5 million in January 2022. Other groups have put the estimate in recent years at around 11 million, which is the most quoted number.

“This estimate is also a 2.3 million increase from our end-of-2020 estimate, meaning the illegal alien population increased 16 percent nationwide during just the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency,” the report says.


FAIR’s analysis defines an illegal alien as “any alien who is present in the United States without legal status, like a valid visa or lawful permanent residence.”

That, therefore also includes those who are protected from deportation — including recipients of deferred enforced departure, Temporary Protected Status, and those who have been paroled into the U.S. — who are described in immigration law as “lawfully present” despite a lack of legal status. {snip}

FAIR acknowledges that accurately estimating the population of illegal immigrants can be murky and inexact, given the size and distribution of the population — and that many live at least partially in the shadows. Many typical estimates are based on Census Bureau data.

“In truth, we do not know exactly how many people cross the border illegally and evade immigration authorities, nor can anyone accurately quantify overstays or gotaways. We can only estimate these figures based on changes in annual census data, along with how many individuals CBP and ICE believe slip through undetected,” the report says.