While it’s still below the nationwide peak back in 2007, the undocumented immigrant population in Texas is seeing a steady increase. Texas has historically had a need for immigrant labor, so the demand endured despite changes in the national economy.
"We're definitely going to be getting more immigrants coming in when the economy is doing better and, of course, when the economy is doing poorly, we don't get nearly as many," immigration expert Terri Givens said.
The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, but fell by nearly a million in 2009, breaking a decades-long trend.
But Texas bucked national declines.
The Pew Research Center looked at the six states that have large undocumented immigrant populations and Texas was the only state that didn't see a decline in undocumented immigrants.
Immigration experts say part of those results point to the state's economy.
"Texas has been doing a lot better economically, especially than places like California and Arizona, where would you normally have flows going into those states as well,” Givens said.
Laws passed -- or not passed - by state legislatures may also be a factor. The Texas legislature was unsuccessful in their attempts to pass several stricter immigration bills in 2011.
"Although there were bills that were in the legislature that were fairly restrictive, they never got passed, where in Arizona, you saw SB 1070," Givens said.
While parts of the Arizona law were overturned by the Supreme Court - the "Show me Your Papers" portion of it is still in place.
"I think there was a lot of fear amongst immigrants that they still might get picked up," Givens said.
And as the nationwide debate over sweeping immigration reform continues, some question whether that's also playing a part in what's becoming a steady increase in the number of undocumented workers across the board.
"People thinking, ‘Hey, maybe I should be in the U.S. and take advantage of the reform if it happens,’" Givens said.
In Austin, LeAnn Wallace, YNN.
While the state legislature was unsuccessful in passing stricter immigration laws back in 2011, there wasn't any momentum to give them a second try during this year’s session.