Decline in undocumented immigrants in Texas - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Decline in undocumented immigrants in Texas

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Texas - As lawmakers struggle with controversial proposals for immigration reform, there are already signs of progress in Texas.

The number of undocumented immigrants across the state has fallen to its lowest level since the 1980s.

The Center for Migration Studies finds that nearly 183,000 immigrants entered Texas illegally in 2000, which was at its height.

That number dropped to 55,000 in 2010.

Right now the undocumented population in Texas is at 1.6 million.

Factors attributed to this decline are the nation's wounded economy and beefed up border security.

Enforcement actions accounts for 35 percent, of the 227,000 that left the state since 2007.

Many of the undocumented immigrants, as many as 400,000, work in the construction industry.

That is actually about half of total number of construction workers in Texas.

It's estimated undocumented workers receive lower pay than their U.S. born counterparts and are less likely to receive safety training or be covered by workers' compensation if they are injured on the job.