Monday, November 29, 2004

Immigrant Population at Record High in 2004

This From Center For Immigration Studies

Total Up 4 Million Since 2000, Half of Growth from Illegal Aliens

WASHINGTON (November 2004) — An analysis of data not yet published by the Census Bureau shows that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached a new record of more than 34 million in March of 2004, an increase of over 4 million just since 2000. The fact that immigration has remained so high indicates that immigration does not rise and fall in close step with the economy, as some have imagined. The report, entitled Economy Slowed, But Immigration Didn’t: The Foreign-born Population 2000-2004, is available online at the Center’s Web site:

Among the findings:

• The 34.24 million immigrants (legal and illegal) now living in the country is the highest number ever recorded in American history and a 4.3-million increase since 2000.

• Of the 4.3 million growth, almost half, or 2 million, is estimated to be from illegal immigration.

• In the data collected by the Census Bureau, there were roughly 9 million illegal aliens. Prior research indicates that 10 percent of illegal aliens are missed by the survey, suggesting a total illegal population of about 10 million in March of this year.

• The same data also show that in the years between 2000 and 2004, nearly 6.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) arrived from abroad. Arrivals are offset by deaths and return migration among immigrants already here, so the total increased by 4.3 million.

• The 6.1 million new immigrants who arrived in the four years since 2000 compares to 5.5 million new arrivals in the four years prior to 2000, during the economic expansion.

• The pace of immigration is so surprising because unemployment among immigrants increased from 4.4 to 6.1 percent, and the number of unemployed immigrants grew by 43 percent.

• States with the largest increase in their immigrant population were Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.

'The idea that immigration is a self regulating process that rises and falls in close step with the economy is simply wrong,' said Steven Camarota, the report’s author and the Center’s Director of Research. 'Today, the primary sending countries are so much poorer than the United States, even being unemployed in America is still sometimes better than staying in one’s home country.'

Other findings in the report:

• Unlike current immigration, evidence from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries indicates that economic downturns in the United States did have a very significant impact on immigration levels.

• As a share of the nation’s total population, immigrants now account for nearly 12 percent, the highest percentage in over 80 years.

• Recent immigration has had no significant impact on the nation’s age structure. If the 6.1 million immigrants who arrived after 2000 had not come, the average age in America would be virtually unchanged at 36 years.

• The diversity of the immigrant population continues to decline, with the top country, Mexico, accounting for 31 percent of all immigrants in 2004, up from 28 percent in 2000, 22 percent in 1990, and 16 percent in 1980.

No Major Change in Policy After 9/11. It is important to realize that there has been no major change in the selection criteria used or numerical limits placed on legal immigration, even after September 11th. Moreover, immigration enforcement efforts have actually become more lax in recent years. While visa applicants from some parts of the world may have to wait a little longer for approval and a tiny number of illegal aliens from selected countries may have been detained, this does not constitute a major change in policy and has no meaningful impact on the number of people settling in the United States.

Disconnect from Economy. The primary sending countries today are much poorer relative to the United States than were the primary sending countries in the past. The much higher standard of living in the United States exists even during recessions. Moreover, people come to America for many reasons, including to join family, to avoid social or legal obligations, to take advantage of America’s social services, and to enjoy greater personal and political freedom. Thus even a prolonged economic downturn is unlikely to have a large impact on immigration levels. If we want lower immigration levels it would require enforcement of immigration laws and changes to the legal immigration system.

Data Source: The information for the report comes from the March Current Population Surveys (CPS) collected by the Census Bureau, also called the Annual Social and Economic Supplement. The March data include an extra-large sample of minorities and is considered one of the best sources of information on immigrants, referred to as the foreign- born by the Census Bureau. The foreign-born are defined as persons living here who were not U.S. citizens at birth. Because all children born in the United States to foreign born are by definition natives, the sole reason for the dramatic increase in the foreign-born population is new immigration.

Let's not worry about being politcally incorrect. Let's worry about OBEYING THE LAW. Illegal means you broke the law. Illegal Immigration must be stopped. All illegals must be deported. Then set up a guest worker program and employ those aliens that we need, but we must make sure all jobs are offered to citizens first. Aliens would only be allowed into the U.S. for one job and must not exceed one year. The employer would be responsible for seeing that the alien guest worker was sent home on completion of the job or at one year.
Let's change the law so that the children of illegal aliens do not become citizens at birth. The illegal, criminal, aliens sneak into the country, have several children who automatically become citizens so we can't deport mom and dad. Change the law. Send them all back to Mexico and let Vincente Fox worry about them.
Why is it that we tie the hands and gag the mouths of our elected officials when citizenship in the United States is in question? What is this annonymity don't ask don't tell law? Why are the Mexican gang members in prison in the United States employing illegals by getting them accross the border to run their dope? Then when they have paid off their debt they decide the money is good enough to stay in the drug business. If one of these illegals gets caught the gang gets them back in the States. Drug money has to be talking to government officials when they release these repeat illegal Mexican crimminals into society. How many times do they get to run back to Mexico when they cause a fatal accident (or collect insurance on one.) Free education for illegal people? why so we can speak Spanish? Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani went all the way to the Supreme court to try and keep the INS from asking a persons right to remain in this country. When he failed in that attempt he organized a private group to take the issue to task. Just days before those with expired visas struck the towers. Maybe he felt he owed the city something after the attacks but did not remain in office so that the past could be thrown into his face. How about Giuliani's support for the man considered for homeland security a man that had a questionable nanny? What is he thinking? Ask yourself what double standards are we conducting in our country when it is okay for a Mexican young man to have an open container, with a lifted set of tags,no insurance or license and hit my son's friend's car from the rear in front of our house because you were changing a cd in your van and did not see him. HHHMMMmmmmmm Son's friend received the ticket and insurance went up. It is enough I am done.
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