Study: Wisconsin is home to an estimated 85,000 illegal immigrants

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin is home to an estimated 85,000 people who immigrated illegally, three-fourths of them from Mexico.

That's according to a new study released Tuesday, November 18th by the Pew Research Center. It focuses on illegal immigration from 2009 to 2012.

The study says illegal immigration has been largely stable nationwide since 2009. It had declined during the recession after peaking in 2007 at 12.2 million people.

The study estimates 55,000 people who immigrated illegally were working in Wisconsin in 2012, less than the estimated 60,000 employed in 2007. Other people who immigrated illegally include workers' children and spouses.

Overall, people who immigrated illegally accounted for 1.5 percent of Wisconsin's population in 2012, less than the national average of 3.5 percent.

"We put incredible amounts of money at the federal level into securing our airports, our ports of entry, and the waterways -- and yet we have a land border that we do very little, certainly not enough, to protect, and until we resolve that, the Congress shouldn't be taking anything else up -- until we actually protect our borders," Governor Scott Walker said.