U.S. Border Patrol agents watch the Rio Grande River at the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, on July 24, 2015. The number of undocumented residents from Mexico has decreased since 2008, according to the Pew Research Center. File photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States stayed at roughly 11.1 million between 2008 and 2014, the Pew Research Center says.
The number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico declined between 2008 and 2014, but the total from other regions worldwide increased, according to a new Pew research report that contains estimates based on data from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Pew estimates the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States was 12.2 million in 2007, 11.3 million in 2009, 11.5 million in 2011 and 11.2 million in 2013.
Mexicans consist of more than half of U.S. unauthorized immigrants (52 percent) but they have declined to 5.8 million in 2014 from a peak of 6.9 million in 2007 during the first year of the Great Recession that lasted until June 2009, Pew says.
But the number of unauthorized immigrants from Asia, Central America and sub-Saharan Africa rose between 2009 (5.0 million) and 2014 (5.3 million).
Among unauthorized immigrants from Mexico, 78 percent had lived in the United States for 10 years or more as of 2014, and only 7 percent had been in the United States for less than five years.
Among those not from Mexico, a smaller share -- 52 percent – had lived in the United States for at least a decade in 2014, and 22 percent had lived in the United States for less than five years.
"As the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population has stabilized, it also has become more settled," co-authors Jeffrey Passel and D'Vera Cohn wrote in the report.
Most states saw no statistically significant change in the size of their unauthorized immigrant populations from 2009 to 2014, Pew says.
The number of unauthorized immigrants increased in Washington, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Only in Louisiana was an increase in its unauthorized immigrant population driven by an increase in Mexicans.
The number of unauthorized immigrants, according to Pew, decreased in seven states -- California, Nevada, Kansas, Illinois, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
In 2014, 59 percent of unauthorized immigrants lived in six states. California, with 2.3 million, has by far the largest number followed by Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.
Unauthorized immigrants represented 3.5 percent of the overall population and 26 percent of the nation's 43.6 million foreign-born residents in 2014. The U.S. foreign-born population included 19 million naturalized citizens, 11.7 million lawful permanent residents and 1.7 million lawful residents with temporary status (students, diplomats and so-called "guest workers" in the technology sector). Immigrants represented 13.6 percent of the U.S. population in 2014.
Immigration has been a big issue in the presidential campaigns. Republican Donald Trump has called for building a wall along the southern border with Mexico and for a temporary shutdown on Muslims entering the United States. Democrat Hillary Clinton wants more legal protections for undocumented immigrants living in the United States and expanding the number of refugees from abroad.
On Tuesday, Barack Obama called for nations to deal with the migration problem during his last address to the United Nations General Assembly as the U.S. president.
On Monday, the U.N. adopted the "New York Declaration" -- a commitment to protect refugees and migrants, as well as to find solutions amid humanitarian crises.