Assessing the Illegal Alien Population - Key Findings from an Exclusive Report

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 17, Number 4 (Summer 2007)
Issue theme: "How many illegal aliens are in the U.S.?"

Understanding the actual size of the illegal foreign population in the necessary in order sound immigration policy decisions.  This article summarizes the studies on population numbers contained within the report “The Illegal Population Explosion: A Realistic Appraisal of it’s Actual Size, Implications for the Future, and Consequences for Public Policy Decisions and Citizen Activism,”  prepared by Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS).

In “The Illegal Population Explosion: A Realistic Appraisal of it’s Actual Size, Implications for the Future, and Consequences for Public Policy Decisions and Citizen Activism,” experts from four disciplines challenge the official data in a report prepared by Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). The following summary extracts the key findings in this unrivaled study.


Summary of Findings


The Illegal Population Explosion

by Diana Hull

  • The number of illegal aliens living in the United States has been underestimated for decades. Evidence from a number of disciplines suggests that the widely cited official figure of 8-12 million illegal aliens currently residing here is a gross understatement.

  • The number of foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S. is likely double or more than federal government experts assert.

  • Arriving at a more accurate illegal population count is crucial for making informed decisions about immigration-related issues

Illegal Aliens: Counting the Uncountable

by James H. Walsh

  • The author, a former Associate General Counsel of the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), argues that 38 million illegal aliens are probably living in the U.S. at the present time, far more than the 7-to-12 million claimed by federal sources.

  • Official INS statistics have been suspect for many years.

  • Independent studies by Northeastern University, for example, concluded that the illegal population is at least twice the size of the official federal figure.

  • Veteran Border Patrol officers estimate that a minimum of five illegal aliens, and more likely seven, succeed in entering the United States for every one that is caught.

  • The “ghost population” of illegals is now so large that the problem can no longer be ignored.

Counting the Uncountable

by Nancy Bolton

  • The Census Bureau arrives at population estimates based on surveys that depend on self-reporting. This makes it almost impossible to arrive at an accurate count of the illegal alien population.

  • The Census Bureau cannot force people to respond. Illegal alien households have a number of reasons not to respond to Census Bureau questionnaires, or to make false and misleading replies.

  • Sources independent of the federal government suggest that the illegal alien population is far higher than official figures. Approximately 30 million foreigners enter the U.S. on temporary visas (as tourists, students, businessmen) but no one knows how many fail to leave the country after their visas expire.

Racing Backwards: The Fiscal Impact of Illegal Immigration in California

by Philip J. Romero

  • The average illegal immigrant receives $8-to-$12 in public services for every $1 they pay in taxes. Annually, this amounts to a special “tax” on legal Californians of tens of billions of dollars—perhaps totaling 20 percent of the entire state budget.

  • The average illegal alien from Mexico, the prime source of illegals in California, is poorly educated compared with the majority of Americans. They have low job skills and are heavy users of public services.

How Many Illegal Aliens are there in the U.S. ? An Alternative Methodology to Discovering the Numbers

by Fred Elbel

  • The Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency which has failed to secure our borders, issues official estimates of the number of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. that are probably a vast undercount.

  • The author basis his own estimates on a number of factors, including the number of illegals believed to be entering the U.S. as well as the number that the Border Patrol fails to arrest.

  • Georgia state Senator Sam Zamarripa stated in 2003 that there were 20 million illegals living in the U.S.

  • A January 2005 report by Bear Sterns investment advisors, sharply criticized Census Bureau figures and concluded that “The number of illegal immigrants in the United States may be as high as 20 million people, more than double the official 9 million people estimated by the Census Bureau.”

  • Official government estimates are intentionally low, static, and misleading. It is likely that up to 20 million illegal aliens presently reside in the U.S. with an additional 12,000 entering every day.

Understanding the actual size of the illegal foreign population in the contingent on making sound immigration policy decisions. The following study is a major step forward in deciphering the real magnitude of the illegal alien population. ■

About the author

Wayne Lutton is Editor of The Social Contract.