Unauthorized Immigrants Today: A Demographic Profile

ByPhillip Kim

Unauthorized Immigrants Today: A Demographic Profile

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources provide some much-needed social context to the immigration debate.

(1) Three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been here for over a decade.

(2) One out of every 20 U.S. workers is an unauthorized immigrant.

(3) While unauthorized immigrants are concentrated in California, Texas, Florida, and New York, there are sizeable populations of unauthorized immigrants in other states across the country.

(4) Three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants come from Mexico, but significant numbers also come from Central America and the Philippines.

(5) Nearly half of all adult unauthorized immigrants have children under the age of 18, and roughly 4.5 million native-born U.S.-citizen children have at least one parent who is an unauthorized immigrant.

(6) More than half of unauthorized immigrant adults have a high-school diploma or more education.

(7) Nearly half of longtime unauthorized households are homeowners.

(8) Approximately two-fifths of unauthorized immigrant adults attend religious services every week.

(9) The size of the unauthorized population stands at just under 12 million.

(10) The Pew Research Center estimates that there were 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants in the country as of 2012; virtually the same as in 2008. This was down from a high of 12.2 million in 2007, but up from 8.6 million in 2000

*** As you can see above, most unauthorized immigrants are already integrating into U.S. society not only through their jobs, but through their families and communities as well.


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Phillip Kim administrator