A Yale University study found that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States may be as much as three times larger than previously estimated, The Washington Times reports.
Professors at the Ivy League school looked at estimates of how many people entered the country illegally and how many of them likely left.
The researchers concluded that there are likely twice as many people illegally in the United States than the frequently cited 11 million estimate. The study found that the figure is likely closer to 22 million, but may be as high as 30 million.
“If true, the numbers would mean U.S. officials have done a poorer job of catching illegal immigrants than imagined, and that one out of every nine people living in the U.S. is here illegally,” writes The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan.
“Policy debates about the amount of resources to devote to this issue, and the merits of alternative policies, including deportation, amnesty, and border control, depend critically on estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., which sets the scale of the issue,” wrote the professors behind the study, Jonathan S. Feinstein and Edward H. Kaplan, and postdoctoral associate Mohammad Fazel-Zarandi.