The number of people in the United States illegally… criminal trespassers who are bleeding welfare and education services… is nearly double that what was estimated, according to a study produced by MIT.
The study was cited by immigration spokesman Ken Cuccinelli, and has shocked many people. The border situation is dire.
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which handles the legal immigration process, said the number comes from a study done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That study put the number at 22.1 million.
The number typically cited is 11 million to 13 million illegal immigrants in the country. The latest estimate, from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, is 14 million. An accurate count is difficult to calculate.
An MIT study put the illegal immigrant population at 22.1 million.
But Cuccinelli, who is on the shortlist to lead the Department of Homeland Security, said that for policy purposes it is better to work around the larger potential number than be blind to how big the crisis could actually be.
“I was just quoting the MIT study,” he told Secrets after speaking at a Christian Science Monitor newsmaker breakfast.
“That’s the one I know. I just use it as a reference point. Because from an operational standpoint, it doesn’t matter too much. We deal with what’s in front of us. So that’s the perspective that I bring to it. It’s useful to know. It’s an important thing at a 100,000-foot level,” he said.
He raised the 22 million number while discussing the potential fate of some 800,000 student-age illegal immigrants Democrats in Congress want to grant amnesty to. They are referred to as DACA, for the Obama-era program and put off deportation under “deferred action for childhood arrivals.”
Should Congress and the White House fail to cut a deal on them, Cuccinelli said that they would join the pool of illegal immigrants in the country that could be deported.
“They are here illegally,” he said.
He said a deal could be made to let some or all stay, but if not, “They are in the same pool, if MIT is correct, with the 22 million people who are here illegally.”