April 4th, 2015
from the Dallas Fed
Demographers at the Pew Research Center estimate that there are around 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. - about 3.5 percent of the population and 5.1 percent of the labor force. Lawmakers have long debated what to do about this population.
The last broad-based legalization was the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. It legalized 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants, giving them permanent resident status (green cards). About one-third have since become naturalized U.S. citizens. There have been smaller legalization programs since 1986, but bills proposing comprehensive immigration reform were defeated in 2006, 2007 and 2013.