That’s right, and they actually made an effort to count as many entries and exits as they could. “Our conservative estimate is 16.7 million for 2016, nearly fifty percent higher than the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million, which is based on survey data and thus different sources and methods,” Mohammad M. Fazel-Zarandi, Jonathan S. Feinstein, and Edward H. Kaplan write. “The mean estimate based on our simulation analysis is 22.1 million, essentially double the current widely accepted estimate.”
“Our model predicts a similar trajectory of growth in the number of undocumented immigrants over the years of our analysis, but at a higher level.” All three researchers are affiliated with Yale while Fazel-Zarandi boasts affiliations with both Yale and MIT.
“While our analysis delivers different results, we note that it is based on many assumptions,” they write. “The most critical of these concern border apprehension rates and voluntary emigration rates of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.”
“These rates are uncertain, especially in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, which is when—both based on our modeling and the very different survey data approach—the number of undocumented immigrants increases most significantly.”