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**** MATT DRUDGE // DRUDGE REPORT 2004�




Illegal immigration to U.S. grew by nearly 70 per cent in 12 years
Mon Jan 26 2004 13:22:21 ET

Mexico City (dpa) - The number of Mexicans illegally entering the United States increased by 66 per cent from 1990 to 2002, a Mexican government report said Monday.

The study, by the National Population Council (Conapo), found that the number of Mexicans who cross the border illegally every year has grown to more than 1 million. Of that number, only about a third achieve their goal of staying in the United States to work.

The number of Mexicans living in the United States went from 4.3 million in 1994 to 9.5 million in 2002, according to U.S. estimates.

According to Conapo, in the 12 years of the study an average 390,000 Mexicans remained in the United States annually.

Last year, Mexicans in the United States sent roughly 12 billion dollars back to their relatives in Mexico.

In a move acknowledging the illegal worker problem, U.S. President George W. Bush recently proposed granting undocumented workers, most of whom come from Mexico, temporary work permits.

Bush said the measure, which must still win passage by the U.S. Congress, would help do away with an ``undocumented underclass'' that struggle to get by in the United States.

END




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