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Immigration Policy Debate

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The New Americans

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Destination America

5.12.06
Politics and Economy:
Latinos Now: A National Conversation
More on This Story:
Facts & Figures - Undocumented in the U.S.


Total Number of Unauthorized Migrants Living in the U.S.

Total Number of Unauthorized Migrants Living in the U.S.
SOURCE: PEW HISPANIC CENTER, 2005 & 2006
Rising Number of Illegal Immigrants

An estimated 11.5 to 12 million people are currently living illegally in the United States, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The number of undocumented immigrants has risen dramatically in recent years. About 40 percent of them have lived in America for less than five years, according to a 2005 study.




Country of Birth of Unauthorized Migrants

Total Number of Unauthorized Migrants Living in the U.S.
SOURCE: PEW HISPANIC CENTER, 2005
Most are Latinos

More than three-fourths of illegal immigrants came from Latin America, with the majority coming from Mexico. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico increased by about 1.5 million. About 49 percent of the undocumented population are men, 35 percent are women and 16 percent are children. An estimated 3.1 million children living in unauthorized families are U.S. citizens by birth.




Distribution of Unauthorized Workers by Occupation

Distribution of Unauthorized Workers by Occupation
SOURCE: PEW HISPANIC CENTER, 2005
Many Work in Services

Unauthorized workers are employed in a variety of occupations, but their distribution across occupations differs from that of native-born workers. For example, about one-third of unauthorized workers are employed in service occupations, compared to one-sixth of native workers.




Proportion of Workers and Occupation

Proportion of Workers and Occupation
SOURCE: PEW HISPANIC CENTER, 2005
Almost 5% of the Work Force are Unauthorized

Illegal immigrants make up an estimated 4.9 percent of the U.S. workforce and represent a large share of workers in the farming, cleaning, construction and food preparation industries. Within these categories, they make up a very large share of all workers in certain occupations. For example, illegal immigrants represent 36 percent of all insulation workers, 29 percent of all roofers and drywall installers and 27 percent of all butchers and other food processing workers.


For more information on trends and research about Latinos in America visit the Pew Hispanic Center


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