A federal report shows Georgia had the sixth-largest number of illegal immigrants in the country in January 2011, months before lawmakers passed a tough law targeting illegal immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security report released Friday shows that about 440,000 illegal immigrants lived in Georgia. Only California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois had larger illegal immigrant populations.
DHS estimates that the total number of illegal immigrants in the country in January 2011 was 11.5 million, roughly the same as the year before.
Estimates from a year earlier, in January 2010, put the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia at 460,000. But DHS cautioned against comparing the January 2011 numbers with estimates from previous years because of changes in the method used to calculate the illegal immigrant population.