Editor’s note: This article provides background information on the latest installment of our Workforce series, available here. Immigration attorney Elise Healy cites a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that as of January 2007, there were estimated to be 7 million illegal Mexican aliens in the United States, up from 4.7 million from 2000. The next leading source countries for unauthorized immigrants in 2007 were El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines, and China.
The report found the greatest percentage increases of illegal aliens from 2000 to 2007 came from Brazil, India, Guatemala and Honduras.
California was the state with the largest number of unauthorized aliens in 2007 with 2.8 million. Texas was next (1.7 million), followed by Florida (just less than 1 million). The greatest percentage of increased illegal alien populations (2000 to 2007) occurred in Georgia, Arizona, Texas and Washington (all figures from DHS).
Growing geographic dispersion of the unauthorized immigrant population is reflected by an increase in the share of the population living in all other states, says immigration attorney Elise Healy. The percentage of unauthorized immigrants residing in states ranked 6th through 10th in 2007 – Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington – increased from 16 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2007. In addition, the share of the unauthorized population residing in all other states increased from 21 percent to 25 percent during the same period.