The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stabilized in recent years after decades of rapid growth. But there have been shifts in the states where unauthorized immigrants live and the countries where they were born.
Millions could receive relief from deportation and work visas from an executive order that President Obama is expected to announce soon. The action would be the most significant protection from deportation offered to unauthorized immigrants since 1986, when Congress passed a law that allowed 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants to obtain a green card.
There were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2012, a total unchanged from 2009, and currently making up 3.5% of the nation’s population. (Preliminary estimates show the population was 11.3 million in 2013.) The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when this group was 4% of the U.S. population.