[JURIST] New statistics from the Office of Immigration Statistics in the US Department of Homeland Security [official websites] estimate that there were 2.5 million more illegal immigrants living in the United States in January 2006 than there were in January 2000, with an increase of half a million since January 2005 [report, PDF]. The report, released Friday, comes amidst animated debate on comprehensive immigration reform [JURIST news archive], to which the US House and Senate have taken sharply different approaches. President Bush has urged Congress to come to a compromise [JURIST report] on the divergent House [HR 4437; JURIST report] and Senate [S 2611 summary; JURIST report] versions of immigration reform bills. AP has more.
A report [text] released in March this year by the Pew Hispanic Center [organization website] estimated that the total number of illegal immigrants in the US has risen to some 12 million [JURIST report], with nearly 850,000 new illegal immigrants coming to the US each year since 2000.