New census data affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases, the Associated Press reports. 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 a waning of Hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, Hispanic immigration last year was topped by immigrants from Asia.
The finding suggests an uphill battle for Republicans, who passed legislation in the House last week that would extend citizenship to a limited pool of foreign students with advanced degrees but who are sharply divided on whether to pursue broader immigration measures. The biggest surge of immigration in modern U.S. history may have occurred in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, yielding illegal residents who now have been settled in the U.S. for 10 years or more. They include migrants who arrived here as teens and are increasingly at risk of “aging out” of congressional proposals like the DREAM Act that offer a pathway to citizenship for younger adults.