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Up to 12 million illegal aliens now in US: study

[JURIST] A new report [text] released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center [organization website] estimates that the total number of illegal immigrants in the US has risen to some 12 million, despite US government attempts to crack down on inflow. The US House of Representatives passed [JURIST report] a controversial bill [bill summary] late last year to tighten border security, but the Pew report says that this has only caused immigrant workers from Mexico to stay longer since movement across the US-Mexico border is now more difficult. Members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] began meetings last week to debate several additional proposals [JURIST report] on immigration reform which have bitterly divided lawmakers.

This latest Pew report estimates that since 2000, nearly 850,000 illegal immigrants have come into the US each year; a previous Pew study [JURIST report] released in September found that the rate of illegal immigration into the United States had increased despite tighter security measures in place since the September 11 terror attacks, but only at a pace paralleling the rate of economic growth. AP has more.

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