So far, in 2013, 311 immigration laws have been approved in 43 states in the United States, revealed a recent report. (Photo : Reuters)
After taking a sharp turn downhill during the recession, a new study finds that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States appears to be back on the rise as the economy improves.
The total number of immigrants unlawfully living in the U.S. jumped from 11.3 million in 2009 to 11.7 million in 2012, according to a report released Monday by Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project. 2007 reportedly had the biggest influx of undocumented workers at 12.2 million.
The new study also reveals that the number of illegal residents migrating from countries other than Mexico is also at an apparent all-time high.
According to Pew, of the six states with the largest numbers of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, only Texas had a consistent increase in illegal immigration from 2007 to 2011, due in part to its stronger economy. Its number remained the same from 2011 to 2012. On the other hand, Florida and New Jersey had an initial drop but then experienced increases in 2007-2011, while California, Illinois and New York showed only declines.
"As a whole, with the recession ending, the decrease in illegal immigration has stopped," Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew, told NBC News.
The new figures come as Congress is trying to pass comprehensive immigration reform to stop future waves of undocumented immigrants coming into the country.
In July, the Senate passed a bill that would dedicate $46 billion to securing America's southern border with Mexico and allow most of those 11.7 million undocumented immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship after 13 years. However, House Republicans opposed the idea of granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants before fully securing the border.