Someone tell Donald Trump that he's picking on the wrong immigrants. Turns out that, since 2000, unauthorized immigration from Asia has grown at rates much faster than from Mexico and Central America. That's according to a new report by the Migration Policy Institute. So Trump will need to amend his ideas for "securing our nation's borders."
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At 6 million, Mexicans still represent the majority of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country. But the percentage of those arriving has slowed since the recession. During that time, however, Asian unauthorized immigration has increased considerably. From 2000 to 2013, it increased 202 percent, according to the report.
A curious reason for this, says Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of U.S. immigration policy at MPI, and coauthor of the study, is that income in some Asian countries has risen. "That can be counterintuitive," he says, "since you often think of immigration is something that low-income people do."
(Related article: Why the 'illegal' population stopped growing.)
In the 1990s, the unauthorized population in America doubled from 3.5 to 7 million. It reached its apogee in 2007 at 12.2 million. Then the recession hit.