The number of illegal immigrants increased by 100,000 last year, according to estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center.
The data reveals that approximately 11.2 million undocumented immigrants, or 3.7 percent of the nation's overall population, were living in the United States in March 2010, which was up from 11.1 million in 2009. The growth in the illegal alien population bucked a two-year trend of decreasing numbers.
The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is below the 2007 mark of 12 million, but the total is still significantly higher than the 8.4 million that were recorded in 2000. In addition, the illegal immigrant population has tripled since 1990, when the total was 3.5 million.
Furthermore, undocumented immigrants accounted for 5.2 percent of the American labor force in 2010, while the national unemployment rate exceeded 9 percent all year.
Many state legislatures have proposed measures that are similar to Arizona's strict immigration law, which went into effect last July. According to MSNBC, at least 15 states have introduced bills since the beginning of the year that closely resemble Arizona's. Many lawmakers claim that illegal immigrants are taking jobs and services from U.S. citizens.