One good thing about a bad economy it keeps certain people from wanting to get in. Illegal immigration declines as U.S. economy falters - Yahoo! News WASHINGTON - Illegal immigration, which has sparked political and social turmoil in communities across the nation, is on the wane, according to an independent report released Thursday. The number of illegal immigrants entering the United States has slowed significantly the past few years, falling below the number of those entering the country legally, according to the report by the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington think tank. The report estimates there were 11.9 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. as of March. That would be a decline of 500,000 from the center's estimate a year ago. However, the change was not statistically significant because of the large margins of error.