LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — A new report says the number of immigrants in the U.S. illegally as declined to its lowest level in more than a decade.
The Pew Research Center says in the report released Tuesday that there were 10.7 million immigrants without legal status in 2016, down from 11 million a year earlier and from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007 before the U.S. economy slumped.
The report says the 2016 total is the lowest number since 2004.
The decline stems largely from a drop in the number of Mexicans living in the U.S. illegally to 5.5 million in 2016 from nearly 7 million in 2007.
During the same period, the number of immigrants from Central America without legal status increased to nearly 1.9 million from 1.5 million.
The declining overall number of immigrants in the U.S. illegally is due “mainly to a very large drop in the number of new unauthorized immigrants, especially Mexicans, coming into the country”, according to the report.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)