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Illegals push U.S. toward 300 million mark

Bolstered by an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants, the population of the United States is expected to top 300 million this month.

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the milestone will be reached sometime in mid-October. Today’s population estimate for the U.S. is 299,887,890.

Thirty-nine years ago, the U.S. population topped 200 million and 91 years ago, only 100 million people lived here. The United States ranks No. 3 in world population, after China and India.

The 300-million benchmark highlights the national concern over runaway illegal immigration, with estimates of as many as 20 million illegals currently living in the U.S.

Ironically, the U.S. Census Bureau says it “does not ask about legal (migrant) status of respondents in any of its survey and census programs.” For this reason it is difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants in the government’s statistics.

However, an analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies indicates that the first half of this decade – 2000 to 2005 – has been the highest five-year period of immigration in American history and that nearly half of post-2000 arrivals are illegal.

Reuters reports that from 2004 to 2005, population of the U.S. had a natural increase – births minus deaths – of 1.7 million plus another 1 million immigrants.

Most of the population growth is occurring in the South and West, according to the government’s census takers.

In 2000, Hispanics comprised about 12.6 percent of the population; in 50 years the Census Bureau projects that percentage will double with Hispanics making up about 24.4 percent of the population.

“During the 1990s,” says the Center for Immigration Studies, “an average of more than 1.3 million immigrants ? legal and illegal ? settled in the United States each year. Between January 2000 and March 2002, 3.3 million additional immigrants have arrived. In less than 50 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that immigration will cause the population of the United States to increase … to more than 400 million.”

As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, approximately 10 percent of Mexico’s population of about 107 million people is now living in the United States, and roughly 15 percent of that country’s labor force is working in America.

In 2001, the Census Bureau reported there had been a rapid increase in the foreign-born population in the United States from 9.6 million in 1970 to 28.4 million in 2000. In March 2000, Mexico accounted for more than one-quarter of the foreign-born population.

Currently the Census Bureau estimates that one baby is born in this country every 7 seconds. Every 13 seconds someone dies. And every 31 seconds one “international migrant” – the government census takers not distinguishing between legal and illegal – enters America.

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