A Reader Wonders If There Could Be Forty Million Illegals?
August 14, 2007, 05:00 AM
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Re James Fulford's Blog How Many Illegals? October 10, 2006 

From Dave Brehmer: [email him]

I also would tend to agree more with the Bear-Stearns assessment [PDF] than any other—but I believe that even that study is on the 'low-end' of the figure.

Here's how I arrive at my "best-guess"...

Taking into account the last amnesty was in 1986 as a baseline date, that would mean 21 years have passed.

Given that the U.S. Federal government estimates that between 3-4 million people enter the U.S. illegally every year.

As well, the U.S. Border Patrols (hard) statistics that they catch and remove (?) between 750K and 1 million illegal entrants per year.

Extrapolating from these very simple numbers, using the lower of the Fed number of 3M and the higher of the USBP statistic of 1M equals 2 million illegal aliens remain in the U.S. uncaught and unaccounted for.

Using the 20-year timeframe since the last amnesty and multiplying that by the 2M illegals annually, that comes to a resulting figure of 40 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS.

Of course, this is (just like every other figure) just a guess or  an estimate—but I see it as realistic as any other method of determining the number of illegal aliens.

Even if you give any credence (which I do not) to claims by some groups that roughly 500K to 1 million people return to their home countries each year, that only reduces the figure by some 10-20 million which is still over 20 million illegal aliens.

Just imagine what would have happened if the "comprehensive" reform passed into law?!?  Remember that in 1986, the estimated number of applicants for amnesty was 1-1.5 million and turned out to be almost 3.5 million.  That was double the publicly-stated number.  Given that, in 2007, the Fed was using 12-15 million as their estimate—in the end, the true figure would most likely have been between 25-30 million.

Remember that in 1986, chain migration brought another 8-10 million aliens into the U.S. over time, at an average of 3 additional persons per amnestied alien.

If the comprehensive reform had passed, and chain migration been allowed—using the average of 3 persons per alien—that would have brought an additional 90-120 MILLION ALIENS into the U.S.!!!  Effectively that would have been a 50-plus percent increase in the population over a period of roughly a decade, which would have permanently altered the societal make-up of the population.

James Fulford Replies: I think  if there were as many as forty million illegals, the Census would have found them.But you're right, no one knows, and your guess is as good as Chertoff's.