Illegal alien numbers drop

In the last couple of years, concern about illegal immigants has risen while the number of such immigrants has been reduced, according to a new survey.

In raw numbers, the number of illegals in the United States actually dropped by about 900,000, to 11.1 million, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. As some illegals left the country, fewer new ones arrived. About 300,000 people came to the United States illegally in the past two years. That’s nearly a two-thirds cut in the rate for the previous five years.

“The recent decrease in the unauthorized population has been especially notable along the nation’s Southeast coast and in its Mountain West, according to the new estimates,” said the report. “The number of unauthorized immigrants in Florida, Nevada and Virginia shrank from 2008 to 2009. … Nevada was the only state to have its own statistically significant decline; its unauthorized immigrant population went down by 50,000 during that year, to an estimated 180,000.” The report also said 9.4 percent of Nevada’s workforce is illegal, highest in the nation.

The level of concern over the issue tends to rise and fall. If gauged by the number of times the term illegal aliens appears in print, early 2006 was the period of the greatest public anxiety on the matter since 1970, according to Google Newspapers.