WASHINGTON (AP) - New census data affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases.
The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million in 2007, part of an overall waning of Hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, Hispanic immigration was topped by immigrants from Asia.
Demographers say illegal Hispanic immigration isn't likely to return to its mid-2000 peak. That's due to a weakened U.S. economy and an aging Mexican population. Eighty percent of all illegal immigration comes from Mexico and Latin America.
The finding suggests an uphill battle for Republicans, who passed legislation in the House that would extend citizenship to a limited pool of foreign students.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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