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Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center and Migration Policy Institute; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has fallen or flattened after rapid growth in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to estimates by think tanks like the Migration Policy Institute and Pew Research Center.

The big picture: The overall number is about 11 million. While the surge of Central Americans trying to cross the border has attracted recent headlines, there has been a steady decline in the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico.

  • These fluctuations mean the current influx and another in 2019 are more likely to change the demographic makeup of the undocumented population, rather than the overall number, MPI's research director Randy Capps told Axios.

Between the lines: In recent years, roughly two-thirds of new, unauthorized immigrants came to the U.S. legally but overstayed their visas — as opposed to crossing the border unlawfully, Capps said.

  • This is especially common among the rising number of unauthorized immigrants from Asian countries.

Of note: It's difficult to get an accurate count of the unauthorized immigrant population. Researchers can use slightly different models, which leads to the disparities seen in the chart above.

Go deeper

Harris to visit Mexico and Guatemala to address "root causes" of border crossings

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Harris said Wednesday she plans to visit Mexico and Guatemala "as soon as possible" in a diplomatic effort to address surging migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border has reached crisis levels. Harris, appointed by Biden as border czar, said she would be looking at the "root causes" that drive migration.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker