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Census Shows Growth of Immigrant Population in US

The number of immigrants living in America increased about 16 percent in the last five years, mostly because of recent arrivals from Mexico.

In a report issued Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there are more than 280 million people living in the United States. Of those, 41 million are Hispanics and the bureau estimates nearly 27 million are from Mexico.

The report also says three million are from Central America, and more than two million are from South America.

The figures also show an increasing number of immigrants are bypassing states like California and New York and settling in the American southeast and midwest.

The figures are based on the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which samples about three percent of the population each year.

Immigration reform is a key issue across the country prior to this year's congressional election.

Republicans, seeking to hold on to their majorities in both houses of Congress, are split on the issue of immigration reform.

The Senate has proposed giving some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, while a bill in the House of Representatives would tighten border security.