SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center showed the number of immigrants in the country illegally fell to 11 million in 2015 from six years earlier.
The shift was driven by a decline in the number of Mexicans without legal status, while the numbers of Asian and Central American immigrants in the country illegally grew.
A look at how this population has changed over the six-year period between 2009 and 2015:
There were about 5.6 million Mexican immigrants in the country illegally in 2015, down from 6.4 million in 2009. There were 5.9 million in 2014. In earlier reports, Pew said the decline in the number of Mexicans lacking legal papers may stem from slow economic recovery in the U.S. following the recession and stricter border enforcement.
The number of Central Americans in the United States illegally rose to 1.8 million in 2015 from 1.6 million in 2009. The shift came following a surge in unaccompanied children and families from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum.
About 1.5 million Asian immigrants lacked legal status in the United States in 2015, up from 1.3 million in 2009.
The number of South Americans in the country illegally in 2015 was 650,000, compared with 725,000 in 2009.
Source: Pew Research Center.