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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.

Investors fear inflation, labor shortages in second half of 2021

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors entered 2021 concerned about the transition to a new U.S. president, the form of new fiscal stimulus, the distribution of vaccines and the reopening of the economy. Now, top risks include supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, inflation and slower GDP growth.

Why it matters: Stocks have rallied almost unabated for over a year, leaving many to wonder if the market is overdue for a big selloff. Last week's declines amplify those concerns.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump works refs ahead of book barrage

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump has given at least 22 interviews for 17 different books since leaving office, with authors lining up at Mar-a-Lago as he labors to shape a coming tsunami of Trump tomes, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Trump advisers see the coming book glut as proof that interest in "POTUS 45," as they call him, has never been higher. These advisers know that most of the books will paint a mixed picture, at best. But Trump is working the refs with charm, spin and dish.