A story in MercuryNews.com says a new report by the Dept. of Homeland Security showing the number of undocumented workers in the U.S. has dropped by more than one million people in two years may have been affected by the method of the count.
“It’s very clear the undocumented population basically stopped growing after 2006,” said Jeffrey Passel, a demographer with the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center. “It’s plausible that the numbers have gotten smaller. But the way that they’re measuring it, if you compare this estimate with the one two years ago, it overstates the degree of decline.”
Twice over the past two years, Passel said, the U.S. Census Bureau has changed the way it measures immigration in its annual population surveys.
Since nearly all estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population rely on census survey numbers, these changes might have distorted the results. The authors of the government estimates could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The report cautioned that changes made to the census survey could have affected the results.
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