Friday, April 28, 2017

Pew Research: Unauthorized Population Still Declining as of 2015

The Pew Research Center provides lots of useful information in two recent reports. One of these, released on April 25, shows that the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. remains around the level it hit during the Great Recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s—in fact, it was actually declining in 2015. So much for the repeated  warnings from anti-immigrant forces that Obama administration policies like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would set off a new wave of unauthorized immigration.

Another report, one issued in March, analyzes the share of immigrants in various industries and jobs. There’s no industry where immigrants make up the majority of the workforce, although it’s true that in some jobs (manicurist, for example) more than 50 percent of the workers are immigrants. But we should note that even in these jobs, undocumented immigrants are still a minority. Some advocates feel they’re helping immigrant rights by claiming that “immigrants just take the jobs we don’t want,” but this is untrue and isn’t going to convince the many citizens who work alongside immigrants. A far better argument is that immigrants are  our coworkers and we should support their rights.—TPOI editor.

As Mexican share declined, U.S. unauthorized immigrant population fell in 2015 below recession level

By Jeffrey S. Passel and D’vera Cohn, Pew Research Center
April 25, 2017
The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2015 fell below the total at the end of the Great Recession for the first time, with Mexicans continuing to represent a declining share of this population, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on government data.

There were 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015, a small but statistically significant decline from the Center’s estimate of 11.3 million for 2009, the last year of the Great Recession.[…]

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Immigrants don’t make up a majority of workers in any U.S. industry

By Drew Desilver, Pew Research Center
March 16, 2017
Immigrants are more likely than U.S.-born workers to be employed in a number of specific jobs, including sewing machine operators, plasterers, stucco masons and manicurists. But there are no major U.S. industries in which immigrants outnumber the U.S. born, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

All told, immigrants made up 17.1% of the total U.S. workforce in 2014, or about 27.6 million workers out of 161.4 million. About 19.6 million workers, or 12.1% of the total workforce, were in the U.S. legally; about 8 million, or 5%, entered the country without legal permission or overstayed their visas. (Roughly 10% of unauthorized immigrants have been granted temporary protection from deportation and eligibility to work under two federal programs, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status.)[…]

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