Here are two graphs which clearly show that the 2000s were the high point of unauthorized crop workers in the United States, after a tremendous surge which matches the rise and then slight decline of unauthorized persons in the country. the crop worker population became more settled (less migratory) and less unauthorized. I’ve noted this before as part of a larger context, which the gradual normalization of immigrants into the U.S. born population.
First, let’s look at the growth of the total unauthorized population. See how it rose a lot, then stopped growing.
Now let’s compare for four years between 1990 and 2018 the % of crop workers which were unauthorized (left); the percentage of crop workers who were migratory (center); and the percentage of crop workers who were citizens or green card holders (right).It becomes clear that the sharp rise then decline in unauthorized crop worker population is closely associated with migratory work. Since then, legal workers have increased.