Latin America: Week in Review, United States

Number Of Undocumented Immigrants Levels Off In U.S.

February 2, 2011 By Staff

A U.S. Border Patrol Sign

Today in Latin America

Top Story –The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States leveled off at around 11 million last year, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The report shows that immigration levels in the U.S. remained virtually the same from a year earlier, ending a two-year slide since the start of the recession.

“It seems the decline has halted as of 2010,” said Jeffrey Passel, one of the report’s authors, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The center’s findings did not mention reasons for the decline or for the stabilization in the undocumented immigrant population, which has been attributed to the poor economy and tougher enforcement.

Many see tougher border enforcement as a main reason for the leveling off of undocumented immigrant populations. The number of Border Patrol agents has increased from 9,000 to 20,000 from 2000 to 2010.

“Certainly when you ask people along the border, they’ll tell you it’s become very, very difficult coming back and forth,” said Eric Rodriguez, vice president of the National Council of La Raza,according to USA Today.

However the report also found no evidence of an exodus of undocumented immigrants from the country. For example, there is no sign that Mexicans, who are the largest group — 58 percent — of undocumented immigrants, are leaving in larger numbers.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • President Raul Castro called on the Cuban government to eliminate wastefulness, provide more efficient, higher quality services while keeping its “feet on the ground” and its “ear to the ground” to hear what people are saying.
  • The tourism sector in Puerto Rico fears that the image of the Caribbean island as a vacation spot may deteriorate after 110 murders were registered in January.
  • Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier laughed at the notion he was a tyrant and claimed in a television interview on Tuesday that he had introduced democracy to his troubled homeland.

Central America

  • A total of 18 Salvadorans were among the 219 migrants found inside a trailer in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, El Salvador’s Foreign Ministry said, adding that the repatriation process was underway.
  • Hate crimes from beatings to murders are rising in Honduras but investigations and prosecutions are rare with few victims receiving help, according to the gay activists.
  • Six people were killed and 12 others injured when a cargo truck collided with a pickup near the northern city of Olanchito, Honduran media said Tuesday.


  • A former Venezuelan judge, whose arrest for corruption has been condemned by human rights activists, should be moved to house arrest to continue cancer treatment, the attorney general said Tuesday.
  • A gas explosion ripped through a mine in Colombia Tuesday, killing five workers and injuring a sixth, days after the government promised a safety overhaul following a string of similar tragedies.
  • Chevron Corp. is seeking to turn the tables on the plaintiffs who are suing the company over alleged oil pollution in Ecuador.

Southern Cone

Image: O. Cosma @ Flickr.

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