Twenty-Two Million: Yale/MIT Study Doubles Prior Estimate of Illegal Immigrants In The United States

200px-Yale_University_Shield_1.svgdownload-9There has remained considerable debate over the number of illegal immigrants in the country — a figure that obviously has great import in our ongoing debate over immigration policy.  Now, Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have completed a study that that doubles the prior estimate of 11 million.  That figure was used to argue for the passage of amnesty legislation. However, the study finds that the actual number is roughly 22 million.

In a video statement,Jonathan Feinstein, an economics professor at Yale states

This paper is not oriented towards politics or policy. I want to be very clear. This paper is about coming up with a better estimate of an important number, and we are really trying in this paper to keep away from making any statements about how that could or should be used. It is just a paper to help the debate be organized around some better information, which in my opinion is a good thing to do. I think the debate should always be centered around the best information we can develop.

Edward Kaplan, operations research professor at Yale said that they did the study expected a much smaller figure but the findings were clear. The study states:

The figure [below] also shows our conservative estimate of 16.7 million in Red, and the most widely accepted estimate heretofore of 11.3 million in Blue on the far left. We note that this last estimate is for 2015, but should be comparable since both the estimates based on the survey approach and our modeling approach indicate that the number of undocumented immigrants has remained relatively constant in recent years. Finally, the mean estimate of 22.1 million is shown in black in the center of the distribution.

Notably, these numbers only include the years leading up to 2016 and thus do not include any added numbers from 2017 and 2018.

This estimate places the undocumented population at roughly 17 percent of the population.



31 thoughts on “Twenty-Two Million: Yale/MIT Study Doubles Prior Estimate of Illegal Immigrants In The United States”

  1. In 1993, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) visited the US-Mexican border with Attorney General Janet Reno. This is what she had to say:
    “When you come to these two borders, you have to remember a [few] things: In Mexico, there is no welfare, there is no AFDC, there is no SSI, there is no Medicaid, there is no Social Security, there is no Medicare, and there is a 50 cents an hour minimum wage. … The day when America could be the welfare system for Mexico is gone. We simply can’t afford it… It’s a competition for space. Whether the space is a job, the space is a home, a place in a classroom.”

  2. Thrice iterated original intent originally adopted within the year of adoption of the Constitution:

    Federal naturalization laws (1790, 1795, 1802).

    United States Congress,

    “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (March 26, 1790).

    “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…”

    1. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

      – Abraham Lincoln

      Little did “Crazy Abe” know he was referring to his own legacy; the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments.

      How long will actual Americans allow the utter destruction of their country?

      “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

      – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

  3. Don’t you morons realize that no one is “illegal” and if you disagree you are an evil, rascist, sexist, homophobic Nazi who deserves to be doxxed, fired and prosecuted!

    Of course, the above applies to Europe and North America (above the Rio Grande) only.


  4. We’re only 2 years away from the 2020 Census. The “citizenship” question will help pin down the numbers of illegals by indirect means of subtraction.

    # Illegals = Total headcount – US_citizens – PLRs

    The government has an accurate count of PLRs.

    With the DHS reporting 730,000 new illegal immigrants per year by visa overstay, the total number of illegal immigrants cannot hover at 11 million year after year. Hopefully that progressive myth will be dispelled.

  5. That probably means 10 million uninsured drivers. In California since permitting illegal aliens to have driver licenses hit and run accidents have went up %25. The solution is relative easy if you hire someone they have to show proof of citizenship that’s kept on record and renewed by the employee every six months through the federal government if this is not done by the employer he or she gets a heavy fine for every illegal employee.

    1. Your idea does not go far enough. Change the law to make being here illegally “criminal Trespass ” then charge those who employ them (without E-verify) or help them, with obstruction of justice . Criminal trespass and obstruction are both felonies.

  6. No one, Democrats nor Republicans has disputed that there are too many illegal immigrants in the US, that it is a problem, that it must be addressed. The difference between the Obama approach and the Trump approach is that Obama selectively addressed those who are a negative or minus contribution to the country and deported them in numbers exceeding any previous administration, very effectively and in the most appropriate manner. Obama also identified and postponed for further scrutiny those illegal immigrants who were on track to educating themselves, providing jobs, investing in the society, or being a plus to society. Obama did this without making a big deal of it, using it for political purposes, or pointing fingers. He understood, as do all intelligent Americans, that this problem has been going on for decades and would not be fixed over night. During the Obama administration over a million undesirable and problematic illegal immigrants were deported and the influx of illegals diminished.

    So far during the Trump administration, the issue of illegal immigrants has been dealt with for political reasons primarily. Hate has been fostered-read this blog to understand that. Blame has been laid down. A problem that was being successfully addressed has been exaggerated to present Trump as the savior. “I’m the only one that can fix it.”

    It is not a question of whether or not there is a problem. It is a question of the approach to solving the problem. Trump uses hate and partisan politics to further his own grasp on power. Obama successfully selected the bad eggs and removed them, scrutinized the potential of those contributing to society, and did it with a modicum of dignity. Trump is scum, plain and simple.

    1. Your argument is flawed. When NYC was the nation’s crime capital, mayor Guiliano told the police to enforce all the laws all the laws, all the time. As a result violent end major crimes dropped like a rock. ALL crimes went down. Under the” Obama administration over a million undesirable and problematic illegal immigrants were deported and the influx of illegals diminished. ” Trump is correct. Selective enforcement of a Few offenders allows the millions to live without fear like the 2 valedictorians from Dallas area high schools who after getting scholarships to major universities told everyone they were Illegal. Like the Lawyer in New York who was educated and licensed by officials who Knew he was Illegal. And HE is an Officer of The Court. Deport them ALL.

      1. My argument stated that Obama focused on undesirable illegals and deported them in record numbers, record numbers for all illegal deportations, inclusive of undesirable and potentially positive contributors. Obama deferred decisions on those who might have a chance such as those brought while children, those with families with children born in the US and them being positive contributors, etc. Obama used the government services to get rid of the worst of the worst. Those examples of the two valedictorians who received scholarships are examples of those cases that were deferred to be decided upon on a case by case basis. Perhaps the country could use more like them to offset the mindless dupes that rally to the torches.

        It is not an issue of whose correct. It is an issue of how the country’s resources are applied; either against the greatest danger first with Obama’s approach or the shot gun/scorched earth manner of Trump. Obama’s approach let remain positive contributors to the country while Trump’s approach is simply built upon mindless hatred. Bush sent troops to the border. Obama sent troops to the border. Trump is not the first. Trump is the loudest liar though. According to Trump nothing had been done before he came along and he is solving the problem all by himself. Look at all the statistics, not just those that fuel your bias.

    2. You said, “No one, Democrats nor Republicans has disputed that there are too many illegal immigrants in the US, that it is a problem, that it must be addressed.”

      Huh??? What frigging universe do you live in, you damn doorknob! The Democrats are going apesh*t crazy about deporting the illegals! Haven’t you ever heard the plaintive cry of “there are no illegal people!”???

      Sheeesh, but your self delusion is huge!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  7. Of my parents and grandparents who immigrated here in the ’30s and 40s, three out of six spoke English when they came. Two others learned to speak English with thick accents. and one never was able to speak English and was financially supported by the others. .I haven’t seen many comments anywhere about the issue of whether or not wannabe immigrants are able to learn/speak the majority language. It may be that those who are unable to learn English prior to immigration, are likely unable to learn it after immigration and therefore cannot be allowed to immigrate. Learning a new language as an adult is next to impossible for many people. It has to be a large factor in allowing immigration.

  8. Whatever the number, provide them all with green cards and a route to citizenship. This is a nation of immigrants.

    That includes my indigenous ancestors who immigrated to this land a very long time ago.

    1. The numbers are so far out of whack. At the high point of illegal immigration around 2000, total immigrant arrivals and births were 3 for every 4 native births. We’ve rolled it back to somewhere between 2 and 2.5 immigrant arrivals and births for every 4 native births.

      It’s NOT about loving or hating immigrants. It’s about the rate of immigrant arrivals and births in relation to native births. A comfortable level that would encourage assimilation is 1:4. That is a very GENEROUS immigration policy.

      I question your “this is a nation of immigrants” slogan. That could be taken to mean, “why not allow 8 immigrant arrivals for every 4 native births?” Or 20:4.

      The question of numbers is central to forging a good policy, one that promotes assimilation and national unity, and brings immigrant skills, wealth, energy and commitment to educational excellence. Any policy position that seeks to dismiss a quantitative discussion as “anti-immigrant” is escapist.

    2. @issac

      Let me guess, you favor unlimited immigration for Nigeria, Japan, Mexico and of course, Israel?


  9. Well, the influx of illegals has certainly helped CA’s economy: of all 50 States, CA now has the highest ratio of residents living under the poverty line. When I grew up there, it was a middle class nirvana. Now CA is Carmel, Calcutta, and an ever-shrinking middle class.

    CA also has the highest ratio of illegal residents. How do immigrants increase wealth while also increasing the poverty rate? Hmm….. (This formula must require public school math. And math is RAY-cis, right?)

    Also, if Latino immigrants increase wealth, why is Mexico so poverty-stricken? (Again, must require public school math.)

    1. Joseph, California has the nation’s largest agricultural industry. That alone might account for high levels of poverty. The poorest counties tend to be in that agricultural center north of L.A. and south of San Francisco.

      California’s middle class has been shrinking for decades. It’s a matter of supply and demand. The demand for affordable housing far outstrips supply.

      So your argument Joseph, that California is a diminished state sounds like that Yogi Berra joke about a restaurant that he once liked. “No one goes there anymore because it’s too busy”.

      1. CA poverty isn’t just a rural phenomenon. It’s in the cities, and in the suburbs. The image of 3 families sharing a 3-bedroom house, or a family renting the garage — that is the picture of CA poverty.

    2. JJ,

      govt people of Cali are Phk’ed. what is it Calpers? Its been underfunded for a decade or more & I looked for a recent story I saw days back it’s so ph’d up they’re turning the management of it to the Commie Chicom.

      Maybe someone can find it.

      They’re not the only BK’d pension plan.

  10. So 50 years later liberals are going to acknowledge the foreign invasion force?

    What would possibly be the appropriate response?

    Let me guess.

    Give them amnesty.

    And give them the vote.

    In Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Mexico, etc., they’d be chopped liver.

  11. There are some who put the number of illegal aliens as high as 30 million and I do not think that is unreasonable.

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