WASHINGTON — After dropping during the recession, the number of immigrants sneaking across the border into the U.S. unlawfully appears to be on the rise again.
A new Pew Research Center study shows the total number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally edged up from 11.3 million in 2009 to 11.7 million last year. Immigrants from countries other than Mexico are at an apparent all-time high.
The change is within the margin of error for this survey. Still, Pew says the decline in illegal immigration from 2007-2009 has bottomed out and other factors point to an increase.
Among the six states with the largest numbers of immigrants here illegally, only Texas had a consistent increase from 2007 to 2011.
The number of immigrants here illegally peaked at 12.2 million in 2007.