You Only Think You Know How Many Illegal Immigrants Live in the US

Article author: 
William Campenni
Article publisher: 
The Daily Signal
Article date: 
29 December 2015
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 
Call any journalist, pundit, anchor, strategist or lobbyist and ask: 1. How many illegal immigrants [illegal aliens] are in the United States? 2. What is your source for that number?
Almost without exception he or she will answer: 1.  11 million. 2. The Pew Research Center.
For a decade now, no number has been given greater certitude and less investigation than that. Not even the number of planets in our solar system has enjoyed such constancy and acceptance.
Since so much of the national discourse, debate, culture and treasure hinges on the accuracy of the number 11 million, one would think that some enterprising reporter would seek his Pulitzer by validating or debunking it.
Nope. Just unquestioned faith. No curiosity as to the source for that iconic value, or the methodology creating it.
So the correct answers are: 1. Nobody really knows. 2. It’s not Pew...
Three main players were involved in generating that number of 11 million illegal immigrants: Pew Research Center, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Department of Homeland Security. But they were only masseurs of the source data, which comes from the Census Bureau by means of two surveys: the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey...
Pew claims impartiality, but the methodologists for its numbers come from decidedly liberal roots such as the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.  The Center for Immigration Studies approaches the question from the side of more controlled and limited immigration flows. Homeland Security is a bureaucracy with a presidentially appointed secretary who carries out administration policies.
The Census Bureau’s surveys are conducted both by mail and in-person visits to selected homes. Neither asks directly, “Are you in the United States illegally?”...
All of these estimates rely on what is called the residual method of estimation, which in Pew’s methodology equates to: C (illegal immigrants) = A (total foreign born) – B (estimated number of legal immigrants)
Border-jumpers don’t sign a register. The roughly half of illegals who have overstayed visas are not tracked in any meaningful way, since America has no worthwhile exit controls...
Other equally credible studies have produced numbers quite different from the now doctrinal 11 million...
The Heritage Foundation has suggested that if given amnesty, 11 million illegal immigrants would cost taxpayers $6 trillion or more over the immigrants’ lifetimes.
While not exactly linear, those costs would double or more should the real count be in the range of 20 million to 30 million. That money could buy a lot of high schools, highways and health care for Americans...

Let’s question that 11 million. It’s not Scripture. It’s a guess.


CAIRCO research