As the immigration conversation continues on a political level, education on the topic remains a high priority, especially for Texans who live very intimately in the realm of modern-day immigration laws and the effects of those laws. Here are a few facts that shed some light on some of the topics of immigrants in America.
1. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. as of 2014. Economists say that even though their numbers are large, their average economic impact is minimal for several key reasons. According to staff writer Adam Davidson at the New York Times, the presence of large numbers of undocumented workers in some states increases wages among more skilled laborers who then tend to work longer hours and therefore get more work done. Also, with many undocumented immigrants working in industries such as food service, consumers see a lower cost of goods and the hiring companies see increased growth. On the other end of the impact spectrum, we do see immigrants consuming federal and state resources, however, in social security payments per year, $15 billion is collected from this population alone. All in all, the impact of millions of unauthorized immigrants does less damage to the economy than commonly perceived.
2. Mexicans make up 52% of all undocumented immigrants. According to Mamka Badkar at Business Insider, Mexicans specifically make a valuable impact on the US economy with first-generation immigrants contributing 4% to the GDP, and second and third-generation immigrants adding another 4%. Apart from this, the average number of Mexican immigrants has remained constant since about 2008, however they are the most visible immigrant group and the most negatively impacted by anti-immigration laws because they constitute the largest portion of this demographic. Populations from other countries are slowly gaining momentum, however, with the number of non-Mexican unauthorized immigrants has grown by 300,000 since 2009.
3. 66% of undocumented immigrants since 2014 have been in the U.S. for at least a decade. As immigrants stay longer and parent children, we see a natural increase of nationals with foreign-ties and parents who are more bent on remaining in the states to support their American-born children. Increasingly, these children are taking advantage of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) which allows undocumented immigrants who turned 16 before June 2007 to receive a two-year work permit and an exemption from deportation. Many others are getting married to U.S. citizens, and settling in long-term, which means that in the coming years, the Hispanic and foreign population of America will continue to grow and thrive with such a firm base of immigrants already planting their roots across states like New Jersey, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California.
We encourage you to stay on top of this issue as proud Texans wanting the best for your neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Be sure to keep abreast of the political debate, and know that Tellez is not only firm and competent in the arena of immigration law, but also empathetic and understanding, desiring nothing more than the best possible outcome in what is often a sticky and painful situation. Stayed tuned for more on this topic next week!