Call Today!   (303) 872-6985

Misconceptions about Undocumented Immigrants


Changing Trends in Immigration

Our tumultuous political climate has once again brought immigration to its forefront. The heated issue, however, involves a myriad of misconceptions further complicating a very important, and very personal, discussion. The following data, largely gathered by the Pew Institute, provides relevant information challenging various notions that have colored the immigration debate for the last few decades:

  • There are far more documented immigrants than undocumented (74.5% to 25.5% respectively)
  • Most undocumented immigrants have been here for over a decade. 65.7% have lived here for 10 years or more, compared to 14.3% who have lived here less than five years.
  • Mexican immigrants make up the majority immigrant population, but their numbers are declining, especially amongst new arrivals.
  • Many unauthorized immigrants entered legally, but overstayed their visas. A 2006 Pew estimate calculates that as many as 45% of undocumented immigrants entered legally, but overstayed their visas.
  • 61% of undocumented immigrants live in metropolitan areas, but the majority live in the suburbs.
  • The majority of undocumented immigrants work in construction and service. Only 4% of undocumented immigrants work in agriculture.
  • One-third of undocumented immigrants live with at least one U.S. citizen child.

These realities, among many others still unconsidered by most, heavily impact groups within an already vulnerable population given our unstable immigration policies. Many may find themselves separated from their children. Others may find their industries lacking in available labor. Whatever the case may be, the group we are mainly referring to is a group that has become integrated into our society by living and working here for a decade or more, by having American children, contributing to all sectors of the economy, and needless to say, it is a group that would suffer great losses if removed from its home country, just like any other sector of our population.

For the full NPR article detailing this data, click here.

Photo Credit: Flickr via Compfight cc