Florida sees biggest rise of residents in U.S. illegally

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The total number of immigrants living in the United States illegally hasn’t changed much since 2009, but just where they live has.

A report from the Pew Research Center released Tuesday shows Florida saw the biggest increase in residents without legal immigration status.

Between 2009 and 2012, some 55,000 new immigrants in the country illegally came to Florida. That brings the total in Florida to an estimated 925,000. The increase in Florida highlights a broader shift from the West and Southwest.

Other states that saw sharp rises: Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico saw the biggest declines.

Florida’s agriculture, construction and hospitality industries have long attracted those in the country illegally. So too has South Florida’s thriving legal immigrant population.