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Issue 4:
Immigration

What is the social and economic impact of immigrants in America?

Where are immigrants and what jobs do they have?

Only 3.7% of the total U.S. population are undocumented immigrants. These states have the highest share of them by:

Population  Labor Force

Sources: #1 #2 #3

These jobs have the highest number of undocumented immigrants:

Building, Groundskeeping & Maintenance
Food Preparation and Serving
Farming  Construction  Production

There are approximately 8 million undocumented immigrant workers—about 5.2% of total civilian workforce.

Sources: #1

Many non-citizens come to America with an H1-B work visa, which allows U.S. companies to hire skilled foreigners.

In 2011, more than 50% of H1-B visas were for computer-related occupations.

Sources: #1

What are some ways immigrants affect the economy?

In 2010, undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $11.2 billion in taxes. Here’s how it breaks down:

Sources: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5

What government services do undocumented immigrants use?

Medicaid*  Welfare  Cash Assistance
Food Assistance Programs

Sources: #1

The five states with the highest number of students with undocumented parents are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada
and Texas.

Sources: #1

A recent history of immigration reform…

  • The 9/11 Commission made document security changes with the aim to “protect against terrorist entry,” including: tightening restrictions on asylum applications, expanding definition of terrorist organizations and activity, removing restrictions on building border fences.

    House
    passed
    Senate
    passed
  • Sought to address illegal immigration by strengthening enforcement of immigration laws and enacting border security measures, including: making immigration enforcement a state and local responsibility, proposing an electronic verification system for employers, promoting more technologically advanced border security.

    House
    passed
    Senate
    failed
  • Introduced new mechanisms for border, interior and workplace enforcement. Also included: offering more state and local funding for incarcerating undocumented immigrants, creating a new temporary guest worker program, establishing new standards for earned legalization and mandatory departure.

    House
    failed
    Senate
    passed
  • In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down several provisions as unconstitutional, but upheld the requirement that police check immigration status during law enforcement stops. The most controversial provisions included: calling for officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws, requiring immigrants to carry their papers at all times, allowing police warrantless arrest of individuals suspected of being undocumented.

    Status: Enacted in Arizona in 2010, but in June 2012, the Supreme Court struck down several of the provisions as unconstitutional.
  • Permits undocumented high school graduates to stay for college or military service and offer the opportunity for permanent residency if they: have good moral character, came as minors, lived in the US for 5 continuous years.

    Status: Initially introduced in 2001, reintroduced in 2009, passed the House in 2010, California and Illinois enacted similar state initiatives in 2011, a version of it passed by Barack Obama in 2012.
  • Undocumented young immigrants (under 30) who meet these criteria are eligible for deferred action for 2 years, allowing to to remain in the U.S. and apply for work authorization on a case-by-case basis: came to the U.S. before they were 16, has resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years, is currently in school or is a high school graduate, is a GED recipient or military veteran with a clean record.

    Status: Made effective immediately by the White House
Sources: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6