Feds Undercount Illegal Aliens

NewsMax.com, March 16, 2001

LOS ANGELES (UPI) New data from the 2000 Census and other sources suggest the government has long underestimated the number of illegal aliens living in the United States.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service had figured the number of illegal aliens as 6 million. Scholars at Boston's Northeastern University are now suggesting that the actual number might run as high as 13 million.

Several facts point toward there being far more illegals than had been previously admitted. A year ago, the Census Bureau expected to count about 275 million residents of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 2000. Instead, it found 281.4 million.

This, by the way, is an unadjusted number based on the raw count. The Census Bureau thinks it might have missed counting between 0.96 percent and 1.40 percent of the population, as many as 4 million people...

The bureau found it had particularly underestimated the number of Hispanics. In March 2000, the bureau claimed, "In 2000, 32.8 million Latinos resided in the United States." Yet, after compiling the Census data, it had changed its tune: "According to Census 2000 ... 35.3 million, or about 13 percent, were Latino." In other words, the rigorous Census 2000 search had found 8 percent more Hispanics than the government's more spotty annual estimates had turned up...

Northeastern University researchers Andrew Sum, Neeta Fogg and Paul Harrington have been researching for some time another anomaly. From 1994 to 2000, U.S. businesses reported creating 5.2 million more jobs than U.S. workers had been reporting obtaining. They believe this discrepancy largely stems from illegal aliens who wish to avoid coming to the government's attention. This would suggest that the annual increase in illegal aliens is between 500,000 and 1 million. That would be about the same as the net number of legal immigrants each year...

The new estimates of illegal immigration have important implications for long-term population growth. Last year, the Census Bureau estimated that America's population would grow to 571 million in 2100, with the number of Hispanics growing to 190 million. But these figures may now have to be looked at again...

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