David Nakamura
Washington Post
September 23, 2013

A sharp drop in the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States that accompanied the start of the Great Recession has leveled off in recent years and could be ticking back upward as the economy improves, according to a report released Monday.

In all, the analysis from the Pew Research Center estimated that there were 11.7 million immigrants living in the country illegally in March 2012. That was down from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007, a year before the stock market collapsed, but it represented a slight increase from the estimated 11.3 million in 2009, during the worst year of the recession.

Analysts cautioned that the changes over the past few years could not definitively prove that the amount of unauthorized immigrants is rising again because the figures represent the midpoint of ranges based on U.S. census surveys and other data.

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