According to new reports from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the illegal immigrant population is declining but the unauthorized border crossings that still take place in large numbers are having a profoundly negative environmental impact.
The analysis suggests the illegal population declined by 13.7 percent (1.7 million) from a peak of 12.5 million in the summer of 2007 to 10.8 million in the first quarter of 2009.
CIS estimates also suggest that because the legal immigrant population has not declined, the overall foreign-born population has held relatively steady.
At the same time, a CIS web video using exclusive hidden camera footage shows wildlife populations are increasingly threatened by illegal immigration and smugglers who are cutting paths through federally protected lands.
"Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails," has found evidence of abandoned vehicles, drug drops, illegal groups trekking and camping, human waste and litter that are destroying Arizona’s ecosystems.
The document raises questions about the effectiveness of Obama’s immigration and environmental policies and suggests America’s borders are far from secure.