Currently, there are approximately 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. According to the Pew research organization, this number has remained stable since 2010. Currently, it constitutes about 3.5% of the U.S. population. This number shows a drop from the number achieved in 2007, when the figure stood at 12.2 million.
 
Since 2007, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico declined. Mexican nationals now make up 52% of all unauthorized immigrants. According to Pew, their numbers have been decreasing since 2012. In 2012, there were 5.9 million Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S.. During the same period, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Asia,  Caribbean Central American countries, and the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere grew.
 
Sixty percent of unauthorized immigrants appear to have flocked to California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. However, during the 2009-12 period, three states on the east coast saw increases. Overall, there were seven states that saw an increase of unauthorized immigrants: Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
 
Other states saw a net decrease: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Oregon. Even so, Nevada has the nation’s largest share (8%) of unauthorized immigrants of any state.
 
Pew reports that unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of persons working in the U.S. In the 2012 labor force, there were 8.1 million unauthorized immigrants either working or seeking employment. Among the states, Nevada (10%), California (9%), Texas (9%) and New Jersey (8%) had the highest shares of unauthorized immigrants in their labor forces.
 
Approximately 7% of students K-12 had at least one unauthorized immigrant parent in 2012. Among these students, about eight-in-ten (79%) were born in the U.S. In Nevada, almost one-in-five students (18%) have at least one unauthorized immigrant parent, the largest share in the nation. Other top states on this measure are California (13%), Texas (13%) and Arizona (11%).
 
A 2011 report by the Department of Homeland Security had similar figures. The report estimated that 8.9 million (77 percent) of the total 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. were from North America, including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.
 
The next leading regions of origin were: Asia (1.3 million), notably China, the Philippines and Vietnam; and South America (0.8 million), especially Ecuador. Between 2000 and 2011, the greatest increase in the unauthorized population occurred among natives of North America (2.8 million). The report confirmed that Mexico is the leading source of unauthorized immigrants. In 2011, there were 6.8 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico in 2011, representing 59 percent of the unauthorized population. From 2000 to 2011, the Mexican-born unauthorized population increased by 2.1 million or an annual average of 190,000. The next leading source countries were El Salvador (660,000), Guatemala (520,000), Honduras (380,000), and China (280,000). The ten leading countries of origin represented 85 percent of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2011.
 
 
In a July 2015 report by the Violence Policy Center, researchers found that the homicide victimization rate for Hispanic victims is nearly twice as high as the homicide rate for white victims. It also found that homicide is the second leading cause of death for Hispanics ages 15 to 24. The VPC report showed that two-thirds of Hispanic murder victims are killed with firearms.
 
According to the NAACP website, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people during the 1980-2008 period. Currently, stated the website, the U.S. represents 5% of the world population and has 25% of the world’s prisoners. Furthermore, according to the NAACP, African American and Hispanics together comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are currently 70,571 Hispanics in Federal prisons, while there are 156,507 non-Hispanics similarly incarcerated. Hispanics, therefore, repsent 34.1 of Federal inmates, while non-Hispanics represent 65.9 percent.
 
According to U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2013 there are roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately 17% of the U.S. total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic minority. Hispanics can be of any race or color. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that the Hispanic population for 2060 is estimated to reach 128.8 million, constituting approximately 31% of the U.S. population by that date. Hispanics represent several different origins. In the U.S. in 2012, Mexicans ranked as the largest groups at 64%. Following Mexicans were Puerto Ricans (9.4%), Salvadorans (3.8%), Cubans (3.7%), Dominicans (3.1%), Guatemalans (2.3%),and the remaining 13.7% were people of other Hispanic or Latino origins. The number of Puerto Ricans arriving on the U.S. mainland is expected to increase, due to the plummeting economy and increased drug-related violence on the tropical island.
 
According to a 2008 article in the Marine Corps Times, the rate of recruitment among Hispanic Americans during the midst of the second Iraq War showed a steady increase, even while the number of African American recruits to the Corps declined. The newspaper reported that the number of Hispanics enlisted  in the Corps had remained steady at 16 percent of all Marines 2004-2008, while an al-time high of 17 percent of Marines of Hispanic ethnicity was reached in 2007. That was significantly higher than the figure of 12 percent for Hispanics in the Marines reached in 1997, and treble the number reached in 1988.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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