Illegal immigration has become a political topic for the 2016 election cycle in the United States. Who really makes up this population demographic? Are the facts that the media and politicians distributing to the voters true, partially true, or just made up? These demographics will shine the light of truth on the subject.
As of 2012, the population of immigrants in the United States illegally is estimated to be approximately 11.43 million.
About 3 out of every 100 people that is currently living in the United States is here illegally. Although that doesn’t seem like a lot, the issue is that each person who is here illegally is potentially consuming resources that don’t legally belong to them. They could be holding down jobs that they shouldn’t have. There’s also the perspective that the US should help those who need it, whether someone has a legal or illegal status. That’s why there is passion on both sides of the equation.
- 53% of the illegal immigrants in the United States are men.
- 1 out of every 4 illegal immigrants has chosen to make California their home. Texas is in second place, accounting for 16% of the total demographic.
- About 8.9 million unauthorized immigrants in 2011 were born in North America, which includes Central America, Canada, and the Caribbean.
- 59% of the illegal population is believed to be from Mexico.
- About 5.5 million children living in the United States in 2010 had at least one parent who was living in the country illegally.
- There were more than 600,000 apprehensions in 2012 of illegal immigrants, with 57% of the apprehensions being reported by the US Border Patrol.
- People from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador make up 92% of the total apprehensions that occurred.
An interesting thing to note about the illegal immigrant demographics is that many of the facts are based on “apprehensions” instead of individuals. That means that people can actually be counted more than once in the demographics, so the actual totals of the demographics may be skewed by repeat illegal immigrants who are deported multiple times back to their country. For the United States, the border crossing at Mexico continues to be an issue because of the political climate of the country and other job and environmental factors, but it isn’t the only issue. People from all over North America are coming to the United States to find a new life.
What Do Illegal Immigrants Do?
- 31% of the illegal immigrants that come to the United States to work are employed by the roofing industry.
- 27%. That’s the percentage of illegal immigrants that come to find work as a maid or as a housekeeper.
- 1 in 4 illegal immigrants will find work in the agricultural sector, often finding a job as a migrant worker.
- 19% of illegal immigrants have an occupation as a maintenance worker for groundskeeping businesses.
- The top profession that has the greatest majority of illegal immigrants is masonry, either brick, block, or stone at 40% of the total workforce.
- The total civilian labor force that is estimated to be in the United States illegally right now: 5%.
- About 9.7 million of the illegal immigrant demographic are in the prime working ages of 18-54.
With 5% of the workforce being illegal immigrants, it means that 5 out of 100 jobs right now are being held by someone with an illegal status. This means that the employer isn’t withholding taxes for this individual, which hurts local communities and the national economy. It is understandable to see why people may be upset by this fact. Why should someone who is in the US illegally be able to find work when legal citizens have sometimes been out of work for years? Although many of these jobs are paid at the minimum wage or less and this helps to keep customer costs down, it may still be an overall negative. The proposed amnesty program for illegal immigration just adds fuel to the fire. It may allow illegal workers to earn Social Security benefits.
Facts About Illegal Immigration You Should Know
- The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, so numbers have come down slightly since.
- There are 500,000 fewer Mexican nationals living in the United States now when compared to 2009.
- More than 1 million illegal immigrants come from Asia.
- About 98% of Border Patrol apprehensions occurred along the Southwest border.
- 10% of the working population in the State of Nevada is believed to be illegal. 20% of children in Nevada have at least one parent who is living in the country illegally.
- All foreign born ethnicities, including African-Americans, have lower crime rates than the average for US natives.
- 45% of Hispanic adults say the impact of unauthorized immigration on Hispanics already living in the U.S. is positive.
- Illegal immigration has risen in 7 states, but fallen in 14 states in 2014.
“Illegal” is exactly what it means. That person should not be here. They did not follow the proper procedures, obtain a visa, request amnesty, or pursue citizenship. There are certainly immigrants who do their best to skirt the system and do things their own way, outside of the law. There are illegal immigrants who are repeat offenders, get deported, and come back to the US to commit crime once again. Then there are the people who are here illegally who were brought here as children and are now adults. There are people who cannot apply for a visa because their country’s political structure won’t grant them identification materials. The bottom line is this: illegal immigration is a complex issue that doesn’t involve one blanket, cookie cutter answer. By understanding these demographics, we can all work together to come up with a viable solution.