Number of Undocumented Immigrants in US under Dispute

The number of undocumented immigrants residing in the US could be twice that of the accepted estimates, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale University researchers, released on Friday (September 21, 2018).

The number of undocumented immigrants in the US is estimated as being anywhere from 11 to 12 million by the US government and the majority of other groups. But the Yale and MIT researchers gave an average of 22 million, having claimed a ‘conservative’ figure of 16 million in 2016, Yale Insights has revealed. Bloomberg reports that the study could be validation for President Donald Trump’s claims that there could be as many as 30 million undocumented immigrants in the country and could provide further impetus for his administration to take an even harder stance on the immigration issue.

The researchers used data on US visa overstays, border apprehensions, and deportations, along with immigration and death rates to reach their conclusions, with the estimate based on data between 1990 and 2016. Edward Kaplan from Yale, responsible for conducting the study along with colleague, Jonathan Feinstein, as well as Mohammed Fazel-Zarandi from MIT, said that they expected to revise the accepted estimate downwards, only to end up with one that was as much as 50% higher.

Kaplan points out that the data also suggests undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes than believed, with the same number of criminal acts thus spread over more than double the number of people, halving the undocumented immigrant crime rate.