Re: Population

Hal Finney (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 16:58:35 -0800

Michael Lorrey, <>, writes:
> Hal Finney wrote:
> >
> > > The centerpiece of the Senate bill aims to curb the flow of the
> > > estimated 300,000 foreigners who enter the United States illegally or
> > > overstay their visas each year, and to make it more difficult for
> Unfortunately, that article is not up to date, and only includes
> illegals who are caught and deported. The INS just reported a record
> 360,000 deportations this year. It is estimated that there is an annual
> influx of between 600k to 1.5 mill a year, but it is hard to track
> because there is so much seasonal traffic.

Do you have a source for these estimates? How credible are they?

My quotes were from figures used to justify a bill to crack down on
immigration. They were not numbers of people caught and deported, they
were estimates of illegal immigration (presumably meaning the people who
were _not_ caught and deported). Supporters of this legislation would
not have any incentive to minimize the figures. And this was only a
year ago, so it can't be that far out of date.

The number of deportations in a year does not tell you the number of
illegal immigrants in that year. Some people may be deported multiple
times. Some deportees are people who entered in previous years.
There is no direct connection between the two figures.

This value of 360,000 deportations a year doesn't seem to match what I
am finding on the web:

INS statistical yearbook, 1994:

> Each year the Border Patrol is making more than a million apprehensions
> of persons who flagrantly violate our nation's laws by unlawfully crossing
> U.S. borders...

> As an indication of the growing magnitude of the problem, the annual
> apprehension of undocumented aliens by the Department of Justice's
> Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) increased from 505,949 in
> 1972, the first year legislation aimed at controlling illegal immigration
> received House action, to 1,767,400 in 1986. In 1987, after the adoption
> of IRCA, INS apprehensions dropped by a third to 1,190,488.

I found another reference to the number of illegals, from the Cato institute:

> The rate of illegal immigration is agreed by all experts to be about
> 250,000 to 300,000 per year.

This seems consistent with the figures used by the Senate to justify their