A new report estimates that 2.5 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States since Barack Obama took office in 2009.
The Center for Immigration Studies released a study Monday citing data from the Center for Migration Studies, Pew Research Center and the Census Bureau that indicates 400,000 illegal immigrants on average have entered the country annually since 2009.
From the middle of 2013 to May 2015 alone, 790,000 illegals have come into the United States. These undocumented individuals entered the country after President Obama unveiled a controversial executive order in 2012 to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the country as children.
While the number of illegal immigrants leaving the country offsets the number of arrivals, thus allowing for the size of the illegal population to remain largely constant since 2009, the report suggests that tougher immigration policies would have enabled the country to shrink the illegal population by 2.5 million over the last six years.
"Had the United States not allowed so many new illegal immigrants to settle in the country since 2009, the total number of illegal immigrants would have fallen by 2.5 million. But the arrival of so many new illegal immigrants offset this attrition in the illegal population," the report says.
In 2014, Obama took another controversial executive action on immigration, offering temporary legal status to an estimated 4 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, a decision over which more than half of the 50 states are suing the president.
Immigration has fast become a key policy discussion ahead of the 2016 presidential election. While Republicans are emphasizing the need for border security in the wake of last year’s crisis at the southern border, Democrats are pushing to allow deportation relief to illegal immigrants.
In fact, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said earlier this year that she would go beyond Obama in her efforts to help illegals stay in the United States.
"We can’t wait any longer for a path to full equal citizenship," Clinton said during a visit to Las Vegas in May.
Currently, there are approximately 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.