U.S. Illegal Alien Population Reportedly Falls Below 11 Million

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By Fred Elbel

Fred is an internet marketing consultant and director of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, www.cairco.org.

The writer's views are his own.

January 26, 2016

​In a January 20, 2016, news article, “U.S. illegal immigrant population falls below 11 million, continuing nearly decade-long decline,” it was reported:

“The illegal immigrant population in the United States has fallen below 11 million, continuing a nearly decade-long decline that has the potential to reshape the debate over reforming the nation’s immigration system, according to a study released Wednesday.

“The total undocumented immigrant population of 10.9 million is the lowest since 2003, says the report from the Center for Migration Studies, a New York think tank. The number of undocumented immigrants has fallen each year since 2008, the report says, driven primarily by a steady decline in illegal migrants from Mexico...”

How could America’s illegal alien population suddenly drop from an estimated number perhaps as high as 38 million down to under 11 million? Answer: it can't, unless the numbers are fudged.

Who would believe a report such as this? Answer: The Washington Post, where the story was picked up from a press release issued by the Center for Migration Studies. And why would a questionable report such as this be issued now? Answer: the story clearly points out that this information could impact the 2016 election. For example, donor-controlled candidates could now state with presumed authority that America’s illegal alien population is voluntarily declining, thus invalidating the call for a border fence from Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. In politics, timing is everything.

Getting Down to the Numbers

It all hinges on how – or whether – you count the number of illegal aliens in the United States.

The mainstream media, whenever it actually mentions the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S., categorically quotes the official government figure of approximately 11 million. This number originated with the Department of Homeland Security, which in December 2003 estimated 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens resided in the country and that 700,000 new illegals enter each year and remain in the country. Those stale and outdated estimates have not changed for 12 years, even though the official annual increase alone would yield a corrected estimate of 15.7 million to 19.7 million illegal aliens today (not adjusting for Obama's unconstitutional 2014 executive amnesty).

William Campenni writes in his December 29, 2015, Daily Signal article, “You Only Think You Know How Many Illegal Immigrants Live in the U.S.,” that without fail if any journalist, pundit or lobbyist is asked the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S., inevitably the response will be 11 million and the source, the Pew Research Center.

“For a decade now, no number has been given greater certitude and less investigation than that. Not even the number of planets in our solar system has enjoyed such constancy and acceptance.

“Since so much of the national discourse, debate, culture and treasure hinges on the accuracy of the number 11 million, one would think that some enterprising reporter would seek his Pulitzer by validating or debunking it.”

According to Campenni, Pew Research Center, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Department of Homeland Security are responsible for the persistence of the same number, which is based on their interpretation of source data from the U.S. Census Bureau and its Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey.

“Pew claims impartiality, but the methodologists for its numbers come from decidedly liberal roots such as the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.  The Center for Immigration Studies approaches the question from the side of more controlled and limited immigration flows. Homeland Security is a bureaucracy with a presidentially appointed secretary who carries out administration policies.

“The Census Bureau’s surveys are conducted both by mail and in-person visits to selected homes. Neither asks directly, ‘Are you in the United States illegally?’...

“All of these estimates rely on what is called the residual method of estimation, which in Pew’s methodology equates to: C (illegal immigrants) = A (total foreign born) – B (estimated number of legal immigrants)...”

In actuality, the number of illegal aliens who evaded capture at out border isn't 11 million – likely it’s much, much higher. See links below.

Those who without exception regurgitate the 11 million number are mindlessly – or deliberately – engaging in perpetuating a Big Lie, a formal debating technique where something is repeated endlessly until it is finally accepted as fact.

For those who understand the numbers, the Big Lie becomes a Big Joke.


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A version of this post first appeared at the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform.

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