Number of illegal immigrants in U.S. falls in 2009

After peaking at 12 million in 2007, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to about 11.1 million in 2009, which is the first clear decline in two decades, according to The New York Times.

The decline primarily is a result of fewer illegal immigrants from Latin American countries other than Mexico. The number of Mexicans living in the U.S. without legal immigration status mainly held steady from 2007 to 2009; about 7 million Mexicans make up about 60 percent of illegal immigrants.

The recession and stricter immigration enforcement at the Southwest border and in workplaces are viewed as reducing the number of illegal immigrants by at least 900,000.

Still, there was no mass exodus of illegal immigrants to their home countries; more than 11 million illegal immigrants remain in the U.S.

Date : 9/2/2010