Sunday, March 3, 2024

Indians form third-largest “illegal” immigrant population in U.S.: Pew Research findings

With about 725,000 immigrants Indians constitute the third largest undocumented immigrant population in the U. S.

According to the findings of a recent study published by Pew Research Centre, after Mexico and El Salvador, the next largest unauthorised immigrant population in the US hail from India. 

The study shows almost all regions in the world had a sizeable increase in the number of ‘illegal’ immigrants coming to the US from 2007 to 2021. The largest contributors to the increase are Central America with 240,000 and South and East Asia with 180,000 immigrants. But at the same time, the overall “illegal” immigrant population has been declining, according to Pew Research

While the number of unauthorised immigrants from Mexico living in the US — 4.1 million in 2021 — was the lowest since the 1990s,  India with 725,000 immigrants saw an increase in the numbers.

Other countries which accounted for most unauthorised immigrants were Guatemala (700,000) and Honduras (525,000), according to new Pew Research Centre estimates.

As per the figures in 2021, the country’s 10.5 million unauthorised immigrants formed about 3% of the total US population and 22% of the foreign population.

Among countries with the largest numbers of U.S., unauthorised immigrants, India, Brazil, Canada and former Soviet Union countries all experienced growth from 2017 to 2021, the report said.

The six states with the largest unauthorised immigrant populations in 2021 were: California (1.9 million), Texas (1.6 million), Florida (900,000), New York (600,000), New Jersey (450,000) and Illinois (400,000).

The new data revealed by the US Customs and Border Protection projects an increase in the number of undocumented Indians trying to cross the border on foot. With a five-fold increase from 2020, out of the nearly 97,000 apprehended this year, 30,010 were at the Canadian border and 41,770 at the Southern border. 

The overall hike in the number of immigrants crossing the border on foot is assumed to be a “post-pandemic phenomenon” as the borders were opened and people were desperate to find ways to deal with the financial crisis. Smugglers all around the world have been making use of the overall growth in the global migration by devising new methods of getting people to America and other European countries.

Meanwhile, the lawful immigrant population grew by more than 8 million, a 29% increase, and the number of naturalised US citizens grew by 49%. In 2021, naturalised citizens accounted for about half (49%) of all immigrants in the country, the report said.


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