The number of illegal immigrants in the United States totaled 11.3 million in 2014, outnumbering the 9.6 million Americans who were unemployed in the same year, according to data from Pew Research Center and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014,” says a Pew report. “The new unauthorized immigrant total includes people who cross the border illegally as well as those who arrive with legal visas and remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.”
Of those 11.3 illegal immigrants, 8.1 million are participating in the labor force. “Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force,” Pew says. “In the U.S. labor force, there were 8.1 million unauthorized immigrants either working or looking for work in 2012.”
In 2014, there were 1.7 million more illegal immigrants living in the United States than there were unemployed Americans. According to the BLS, the average number of unemployed Americans in 2014 was 9.6 million. The BLS defines an unemployed individual as someone who did not have a job but actively sought one in the past four weeks.
The executive action on immigration President Obama put in place in November of 2014 is set to help more illegal aliens become active in the labor force.
“Last year, President Barack Obama took executive action to expand an existing program and establish a new one that would offer work permits and deportation relief to an estimated 5 million unauthorized immigrants,” according to Pew. “The actions—which are on hold because of a lawsuit by 26 states—would be open to unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, who are parents with a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, as long as they meet certain requirements.”