According to the Homeland Security Department, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States fell recently for the first time in at least four years. Homeland Security sources tougher enforcement and rising unemployment for the decrease.
The decline still left the country with 11.6 million illegal residents in January 2008, down from a record 11.8 million a year earlier.
Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, says economic factors have historically caused surges and drops in illegal immigration. “Enforcement plays some role,” he says, but added that the number of illegal immigrants roughly doubled in the 1990s “in the fact of steadily ramped up enforcement over that period.”
Source: USA Today