Immigration

National Data

From 2000-2014, the U.S. immigrant population increased by 36.3%, growing from 31.1 million in 2000 (or 11.1% of the U.S. Population) to 42.4 million in 2014 (13.3% of the U.S. population). 256257258

17.3% of U.S. immigrants entered the country prior to 1980, 20.5% entered between 1980 and 1989, 25.6% entered between 1990 and 1999, 28.5% entered between 2000 and 2009, and 8.1% entered in 2010 or later. 259260261 In addition, 47.1% of all immigrants were naturalized U.S. citizens. 262

Of immigrants who were 25 years of age and older, 29.9% had less than a high school diploma, 22.7% had a high school diploma (including equivalency), 18.9% had some college or an associate degree, 16.5% had a bachelor’s degree, and 12.0% had a graduate or professional degree. 263

The median household income for immigrants was $49,487, compared with $54,565 for native born persons. 264

50.7% of immigrant households were owner occupied (compared to 65.2% of native born persons) and 49.3% were renter occupied (compared to 34.8% of native born persons). 265

In 2014, there were 25.7 million foreign-born workers in the United States, which represented 16.5% of the total U.S. workforce. 275 Data suggest that many immigrant members of the U.S. workforce occupy jobs that are service-oriented, rather than those of a managerial or professional nature. 276

Of immigrant workers who were 16 years of age and older, 30.7% worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 24.1% worked in service occupations; 16.0% worked in sales and office occupations; 15.6% worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 13.7% worked in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations. 277

Relying on data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, a study by Dr. Robert W. Fairlie found that immigrants were more likely to own their own businesses than non-immigrants. Specifically, an estimated 20% of all immigrant-owned businesses started with at least $50,000 in startup capital. 278

In addition, immigrant business owners represent 13% of all business owners in the United States and generate roughly 12% of the total business income in the United States. 279

In 2012, there were 8.1 million undocumented workers in the U.S., making up 5.1% of the total U.S. labor force. 280 Nevada had both the highest concentration of unauthorized immigrants in the workforce (10.2%) and the highest concentration of unauthorized immigrants among the total state population (7.6%). 281

A 2008 Perryman Group study found that 8.1 million undocumented immigrants held permanent jobs in the U.S. and that by removing undocumented immigrants from the U.S., there would be a $551.6 billion loss in economic activity, $245 billion loss in gross state product, and a loss of 2.8 million jobs. 282

In 2012, undocumented immigrants paid roughly $11.8 billion in state and local taxes. 283

In November 2014, there were 10.8 million naturalized citizen registered voters, representing 7.6% of all registered voters. 295 Additionally, there were 6.6 million naturalized citizen voters, or roughly 7.1% of all voters. 296 Of all naturalized citizen voters, Latin Americans held the largest share at 43.0%, followed by Asians at 31.2%, Europeans at 16.5%, and Africans at 5.5%. 297

Also during the November 2014 elections, there were 12.9 million Latino registered voters in 2014 (9.0% of all registered voters). 298 Of these registered voters, 6.8 million Latinos (or 7.3% of all votes) voted on Election Day. 299

In 2014, 57.1% of Latino naturalized citizens and 49.3% of native-born Latino citizens were registered to vote. 300 Furthermore, 35.2% of naturalized Latino citizens and 24.2% of native-born Latinos voted reported that they voted. These data support a decade long trend of Latino naturalized citizens registering and voting in greater numbers than native-born Latinos citizens. 301

New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Consequently, these states provide considerable strategic opportunities for naturalization assistance, civic education and integration, and maximizing Latino political potential.302

With immigration being one of the key campaign issues for both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, Latino voters are expected to play an important role in all 2016 elections, but especially in the presidential election.

Traditionally, the Democratic party has carried the Latino vote to victory, with prime examples including the 1976 election of President Jimmy Carter (82%), the 1996 re-election of President Bill Clinton (72%), and the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama (71%). By contrast, the highest percentages of Latino support for Republican presidential candidates were during the 2004 re-election of President George W. Bush (43%) and the 1984 re-election of President Ronald Reagan (37%). 303 304 305

According to new research from the Pew Hispanic Center, there were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2012. After peaking in 2007 with 12.2 million unauthorized immigrants, these numbers have been leveling off ever since, note]Pew Research Center, 2015, “Testimony of Jeffrey S. Passel- Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends, Industries and Occupations,” Hispanic Trends. [/footnote] New data suggests that many Mexican immigrants are actually returning home to Mexico, rather than remaining in the United States, as the result of the economic recession of 2007 and increasingly stringent U.S. immigration law enforcement. 322

While many factors contribute to unauthorized immigration, prolonged waiting periods to obtain legal status is a key factor. As of November 2015, the Bureau of Consular Affairs reported that there were 4.5 million people waiting in the family immigration backlogs. 323 A study from the National Foundation for American Policy found that family immigration quotas often resulted in long separations for Americans, lawful permanent residents, and close family members. 324 Furthermore, “U.S. citizen[s] petitioning for either a married (3rd preference) or unmarried (1st preference) son or daughter (21 years or older) can expect to wait 6 to 17 years, depending on the country or origin.” 325

From 2001 to 2011, the Department of Homeland Security increased immigrant removals by 110%.i During President Obama’s two presidential terms, from 2009-2014, immigrant removal increased by 5.8%, reflecting an average of 405,383 removals per year. 326 In total, the Obama administration has removed 2.4 million immigrants over the course of two terms. 327

The 287(g) program is one of several programs contributing to the rise in immigrant removals. Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), Congress added Section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This provision authorizes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies that permit state and local officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions. 328 At present, ICE has signed agreements with 32 law enforcement agencies in 16 states and as of September 2015, the 287(g) program has identified more than 402,079 immigrants for removal. 329

Between 2008 and 2014, ICE utilized a program called Secure Communities to help with immigration enforcement. In July of 2015, Secure Communities was replaced by the Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP. PEP allows the Department of Homeland Security to work in conjunction with state and local law officials to apprehend individuals who “pose a danger to public safety before those individuals are released into our communities.” 330 Examples of offenses targeted through PEP include organized gang participation, threats to national security, or the committing of a crime previously identified by DHS as posing a threat to public safety. 331

Some criticism of PEP is that even though the intention is to remove criminal aliens off the street, it is actually ensuring that more are being released back into communities and leaving local law enforcement to deal with the aftermath. As Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies remarked at a 2015 press conference, “… one-fourth of the criminal aliens released by sanctuary jurisdictions were arrested again,” with recidivism occurring after being released by the federal or local governments or upon returning to the U.S. illegally after having been deported. 332

Another program used by the federal government is E-Verify. E-Verify uses data from both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to determine employment eligibility. This Internet-based program is designed to verify eligibility by comparing employee information (e.g., name, date of birth, social security number, citizenship status, alien registration number) to records in the SSA and DHS databases. 333 All federal contractors and subcontractors (with certain exceptions) are required to use E-verify. Contractors and subcontractors who are found to have hired unauthorized workers face criminal and civil sanctions under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. 334

As of August 2015, twenty-two states passed legislation requiring public and/or private employers to use E-Verify: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. 335 As of 2015, 602,621 employers are participating in E-Verify. 336

Beyond the federal government, state legislatures have increased measures to discourage unauthorized immigration. From 2005 to 2014, the number of immigration related bills enacted in state legislatures increased by 805.1%. In 2014, 43 states and the District of Columbia enacted 216 immigration-related state bills and resolutions. 337

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act) is a legislative proposal that was first introduced into both houses of the U.S. Congress in 2001. Originally sponsored by Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and Chris Cannon (R-UT), the DREAM Act proposed immigration relief to undocumented immigrant students, as well as the opportunity to become permanent residents if they arrived in the United States as children (under the age of 16), were long-term U.S. residents (five years or more), displayed good moral character, and were either attending an institution of higher learning or enlisted in the military for a minimum of two years. 341

Congress has reintroduced the DREAM Act on several occasions, but has failed to secure the bipartisan support needed to pass the measure. In March 2009, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act. While the bill had enough support to pass in December 2010, Republicans (with the exception of three Senators) and five Democrats voted 55-41 in opposition of moving debate forward on the measure. The bill failed on December 18, 2010. 342

As of July 2015, 20 states allow undocumented immigrant students to partake in in-state tuition rates. Of these 20 states, 16 are because of state legislation and four are the result of state university system action. On the other hand, six states have excluded unauthorized immigrant students from receiving in-state tuition benefits. 343

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SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHICS OF U.S. IMMIGRANTS

From 2000-2014, the U.S. immigrant population increased by 36.3%, growing from 31.1 million in 2000 (or 11.1% of the U.S. Population) to 42.4 million in 2014 (13.3% of the U.S. population). 99100101

17.3% of U.S. immigrants entered the country prior to 1980, 20.5% entered between 1980 and 1989, 25.6% entered between 1990 and 1999, 28.5% entered between 2000 and 2009, and 8.1% entered in 2010 or later. 102103104 In addition, 47.1% of all immigrants were naturalized U.S. citizens. 105

Of immigrants who were 25 years of age and older, 29.9% had less than a high school diploma, 22.7% had a high school diploma (including equivalency), 18.9% had some college or an associate degree, 16.5% had a bachelor’s degree, and 12.0% had a graduate or professional degree. 106

The median household income for immigrants was $49,487, compared with $54,565 for native born persons. 107

50.7% of immigrant households were owner occupied (compared to 65.2% of native born persons) and 49.3% were renter occupied (compared to 34.8% of native born persons). 108

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WORKFORCE & ECONOMIC IMPACT

In 2014, there were 25.7 million foreign-born workers in the United States, which represented 16.5% of the total U.S. workforce. 109 Data suggest that many immigrant members of the U.S. workforce occupy jobs that are service-oriented, rather than those of a managerial or professional nature. 110

Of immigrant workers who were 16 years of age and older, 30.7% worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 24.1% worked in service occupations; 16.0% worked in sales and office occupations; 15.6% worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 13.7% worked in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations. 111

Relying on data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, a study by Dr. Robert W. Fairlie found that immigrants were more likely to own their own businesses than non-immigrants. Specifically, an estimated 20% of all immigrant-owned businesses started with at least $50,000 in startup capital. 112

In addition, immigrant business owners represent 13% of all business owners in the United States and generate roughly 12% of the total business income in the United States. 113

In 2012, there were 8.1 million undocumented workers in the U.S., making up 5.1% of the total U.S. labor force. 114 Nevada had both the highest concentration of unauthorized immigrants in the workforce (10.2%) and the highest concentration of unauthorized immigrants among the total state population (7.6%). 115

A 2008 Perryman Group study found that 8.1 million undocumented immigrants held permanent jobs in the U.S. and that by removing undocumented immigrants from the U.S., there would be a $551.6 billion loss in economic activity, $245 billion loss in gross state product, and a loss of 2.8 million jobs. 116

In 2012, undocumented immigrants paid roughly $11.8 billion in state and local taxes. 117

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IMMIGRANTS & VOTING

In November 2014, there were 10.8 million naturalized citizen registered voters, representing 7.6% of all registered voters. 118 Additionally, there were 6.6 million naturalized citizen voters, or roughly 7.1% of all voters. 119 Of all naturalized citizen voters, Latin Americans held the largest share at 43.0%, followed by Asians at 31.2%, Europeans at 16.5%, and Africans at 5.5%. 120

Also during the November 2014 elections, there were 12.9 million Latino registered voters in 2014 (9.0% of all registered voters). 121 Of these registered voters, 6.8 million Latinos (or 7.3% of all votes) voted on Election Day. 122

In 2014, 57.1% of Latino naturalized citizens and 49.3% of native-born Latino citizens were registered to vote. 123 Furthermore, 35.2% of naturalized Latino citizens and 24.2% of native-born Latinos voted reported that they voted. These data support a decade long trend of Latino naturalized citizens registering and voting in greater numbers than native-born Latinos citizens. 124

New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Consequently, these states provide considerable strategic opportunities for naturalization assistance, civic education and integration, and maximizing Latino political potential.125

With immigration being one of the key campaign issues for both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, Latino voters are expected to play an important role in all 2016 elections, but especially in the presidential election.

Traditionally, the Democratic party has carried the Latino vote to victory, with prime examples including the 1976 election of President Jimmy Carter (82%), the 1996 re-election of President Bill Clinton (72%), and the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama (71%). By contrast, the highest percentages of Latino support for Republican presidential candidates were during the 2004 re-election of President George W. Bush (43%) and the 1984 re-election of President Ronald Reagan (37%). 126 127 128

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IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT MEASURES

According to new research from the Pew Hispanic Center, there were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2012. After peaking in 2007 with 12.2 million unauthorized immigrants, these numbers have been leveling off ever since, note]Pew Research Center, 2015, “Testimony of Jeffrey S. Passel- Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends, Industries and Occupations,” Hispanic Trends. [/footnote] New data suggests that many Mexican immigrants are actually returning home to Mexico, rather than remaining in the United States, as the result of the economic recession of 2007 and increasingly stringent U.S. immigration law enforcement. 129

While many factors contribute to unauthorized immigration, prolonged waiting periods to obtain legal status is a key factor. As of November 2015, the Bureau of Consular Affairs reported that there were 4.5 million people waiting in the family immigration backlogs. 130 A study from the National Foundation for American Policy found that family immigration quotas often resulted in long separations for Americans, lawful permanent residents, and close family members. 131 Furthermore, “U.S. citizen[s] petitioning for either a married (3rd preference) or unmarried (1st preference) son or daughter (21 years or older) can expect to wait 6 to 17 years, depending on the country or origin.” 132

From 2001 to 2011, the Department of Homeland Security increased immigrant removals by 110%.i During President Obama’s two presidential terms, from 2009-2014, immigrant removal increased by 5.8%, reflecting an average of 405,383 removals per year. 133 In total, the Obama administration has removed 2.4 million immigrants over the course of two terms. 134

The 287(g) program is one of several programs contributing to the rise in immigrant removals. Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), Congress added Section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This provision authorizes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies that permit state and local officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions. 135 At present, ICE has signed agreements with 32 law enforcement agencies in 16 states and as of September 2015, the 287(g) program has identified more than 402,079 immigrants for removal. 136

Between 2008 and 2014, ICE utilized a program called Secure Communities to help with immigration enforcement. In July of 2015, Secure Communities was replaced by the Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP. PEP allows the Department of Homeland Security to work in conjunction with state and local law officials to apprehend individuals who “pose a danger to public safety before those individuals are released into our communities.” 137 Examples of offenses targeted through PEP include organized gang participation, threats to national security, or the committing of a crime previously identified by DHS as posing a threat to public safety. 138

Some criticism of PEP is that even though the intention is to remove criminal aliens off the street, it is actually ensuring that more are being released back into communities and leaving local law enforcement to deal with the aftermath. As Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies remarked at a 2015 press conference, “… one-fourth of the criminal aliens released by sanctuary jurisdictions were arrested again,” with recidivism occurring after being released by the federal or local governments or upon returning to the U.S. illegally after having been deported. 139

Another program used by the federal government is E-Verify. E-Verify uses data from both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to determine employment eligibility. This Internet-based program is designed to verify eligibility by comparing employee information (e.g., name, date of birth, social security number, citizenship status, alien registration number) to records in the SSA and DHS databases. 140 All federal contractors and subcontractors (with certain exceptions) are required to use E-verify. Contractors and subcontractors who are found to have hired unauthorized workers face criminal and civil sanctions under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. 141

As of August 2015, twenty-two states passed legislation requiring public and/or private employers to use E-Verify: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. 142 As of 2015, 602,621 employers are participating in E-Verify. 143

Beyond the federal government, state legislatures have increased measures to discourage unauthorized immigration. From 2005 to 2014, the number of immigration related bills enacted in state legislatures increased by 805.1%. In 2014, 43 states and the District of Columbia enacted 216 immigration-related state bills and resolutions. 144

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DREAM ACT

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act) is a legislative proposal that was first introduced into both houses of the U.S. Congress in 2001. Originally sponsored by Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and Chris Cannon (R-UT), the DREAM Act proposed immigration relief to undocumented immigrant students, as well as the opportunity to become permanent residents if they arrived in the United States as children (under the age of 16), were long-term U.S. residents (five years or more), displayed good moral character, and were either attending an institution of higher learning or enlisted in the military for a minimum of two years. 145

Congress has reintroduced the DREAM Act on several occasions, but has failed to secure the bipartisan support needed to pass the measure. In March 2009, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act. While the bill had enough support to pass in December 2010, Republicans (with the exception of three Senators) and five Democrats voted 55-41 in opposition of moving debate forward on the measure. The bill failed on December 18, 2010. 146

As of July 2015, 20 states allow undocumented immigrant students to partake in in-state tuition rates. Of these 20 states, 16 are because of state legislation and four are the result of state university system action. On the other hand, six states have excluded unauthorized immigrant students from receiving in-state tuition benefits. 147

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