There are currently around 11 million undocumented (illegal) immigrants in the United States today, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
Of those, 5.3 million are from Mexico, accounting for 48 percent, while an additional 741,000 are from El Salvador and 724,000 from Guatemala.
However, it is also worth noting that more than half a million are actually from India – and that figure includes those who simply overstayed their visa.
Of the total undocumented immigrants, nearly 3 million are now between the ages of 25 and 34, while another 3 million are 35 to 44. Just 606,000 – five percent – were under 16. Moreover, nearly 60 percent – 6,185,000 – currently reside in the country with no children.
Yet the number of migrants traveling to the United States with families has risen sharply.
How Many Undocumented Came Under Biden?
According to the latest data from Syracuse University’s TRAC immigration database, some 3.8 million individuals have entered the United States since President Joe Biden took office in 2021 – and nearly half of those came to the country illegally, and were never caught.
The New York Post reported last month that over the past three years, nearly 2.4 million people have been granted Notices to Appear (NTAs) before an immigration court. NTAs are typically issued to people who arrive on U.S. soil, hand themselves over to Border Patrol, and then claim asylum. Those deemed to potentially have a case are assigned a hearing, where a judge then determines if they can remain in the country or will be deported.
This has certainly become a political issue, and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, claimed that there has been more illegal immigration under Biden than under the Trump and Obama administrations combined.
“There have been more illegal encounters under Biden than the previous two administrations combined,” Scott posted July 11 on X, the social media formerly known as Twitter.
Politifact countered the statement, suggesting that Scott’s campaign used two metrics – encounters both at and between ports of entry – for the Biden calculation, but for Trump and Obama, Scott’s team only used encounters between ports of entry.
More people are still coming to the United States, in part due to an increase of Venezuelans crossing the “Darien Gap” and fueled by the nation’s socioeconomic crisis that has been made worse by U.S. sanctions. In fact, one in four Venezuelans has fled their homeland since 2015. The Biden administration has already given Temporary Protected Status to an estimated 472,000 Venezuelans who have arrived in the United States as of July 31.
Another factor is that many migrants have simply been waiting in Mexico for months, while many Mexicans are now seeking to flee their country as cartel violence has increased.
“These are the three levers that are in play right now. … And regardless of what the Biden administration does today or tomorrow,” Ariel Ruiz Soto, a senior policy analyst at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington, told CNN last month. “The people that are on the way already are going to continue unless something else happens in the region.”
What is also different is who is increasingly coming to the United States. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, mostly single adults made the trek, while today, more families are increasingly arriving. That also means that there is a greater need for government services – including the fact that kids need to go to school.
Immigrants are also increasingly using social media to share the best places to go, where the border can be crossed, and alert those back at home about what services are available.
This is far cheaper than the long-distance phone calls of the 1990s. The message does seem to be that efforts to travel to the United States, even with the costs and dangers involved, are still worth taking.
As long as those other nations have problems at home, many will continue to head to the United States in search of a better life. And that will mean the border crisis will continue.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.