My colleague Steven Camarota has calculated that about 2.5 million of the illegal immigrants here today have come since Obama’s inauguration. That’s 1,000 new illegal immigrants a day. While less than under Bush, this puts the lie to the elite talking point best expressed in a New York Times op-ed a few years ago: “The immigration crisis that has roiled American politics for decades has faded into history.”
The reason the total number of illegal aliens remains at around 11 to 12 million is that about the same number of people have left the illegal population over that time – many going home on their own (Mitt Romney, call your office), some of them finagling green cards, and a few dying. In other words, if Obama had only enforced the immigration laws, the illegal population might have fallen by as much as 2.5 million (and maybe more, since many of the Obama-era illegals decided to come precisely because of Obama’s laxity).
Before the Cato/La Raza crowd pooh-poohs this estimate as dubious, note that it’s based mostly on numbers from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Center for Migration Studies, neither of them restrictionist outfits. There’s nothing especially controversial about the finding that Obama has overseen the settlement of 2.5 million illegal aliens who weren’t here when he was sworn in. Or at least nothing controversial about the data – the result itself is plenty controversial, as Donald Trump intuitively understands. If only other Republican politicians understood that too.