According to information released by the Pew Institute, and reported in the DC Examiner, both Virginia and Maryland have some of the largest illegal immigration populations in the nation. DC has a fairly low population but a very large work force.
The entire article is worth a read.
Virginia and Maryland house among the highest populations of illegal immigrants in the country, according to a study released Tuesday.
Virginia ranked 10th in the nation with about 300,000 illegal immigrants, while Maryland placed 11th with 250,000, according to the study from the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization that chronicles the Hispanic population’s effect on the nation. California had the largest population, with 2.7 million illegal immigrants.
While the District of Columbia ranked 41st in population, it came in seventh for the share of illegal immigrants in its work force, the Pew study said.
The population of illegal immigrants in the area has grown significantly over the past few decades, said Pew senior demographer Jeffrey Passel, one of the authors of “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States.”
“We’ve been the destination of immigrants for decades, both legal and illegal,” he said.
A major finding of the report was that a growing share of the children of unauthorized immigrant parents — 73 percent — were born in the United States and are U.S. citizens. The study did not break down the birthrates by state.
The number of U.S.-born children with illegal immigrant parents has expanded rapidly in recent years, to 4 million in 2008 from 2.7million in 2003. By contrast, the number of children who are unauthorized immigrants themselves — 1.5 million in 2008 — has remained relatively constant since 2003, the report said.
The trend indicates that more unauthorized immigrants are settling in and developing increased ties to the United States, said Randy Capps, demographer and senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank that evaluates the migration of people worldwide.
While the boom of undocumented immigrants seen in the 1990s has tapered in recent years, Passel said it’s difficult to parse the cause of the slowdown, noting there are 13 statistics the center uses to track data from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s.
“There’s a pretty strong relationship between undocumented inflow and the state of the economy, specifically unemployment,” he said.
He said the combination of the poor economy and stepped-up immigration enforcement efforts were two of the factors that have contributed to the leveling off of the population growth.
It would be of interest to know how the information was gathered about status. What are the 13 indicators used in tracking? How reliable is the information? Will we see a more of shift in population because of the economy? How do DC hiring practices affect Maryland and Virginia as far as population?
UPDATE from the Washington Post that adds a little more information:
We usually see the young male day laborers on street corners. But only a fourth of undocumented immigrants are men who are here by themselves without spouses or children. This is a population that is largely made up of young families.”
Passel added that this “complicates greatly the difficulty of coming up with policies to deal with this population. . . . While we may be able to fit people into boxes of ‘undocumented,’ ‘legal,’ ‘legal temporary,’ and ‘U.S. citizens,’ it’s not so easy to fit families into that same set of little boxes.”
The study’s findings also point to the continued geographic dispersal of illegal immigrants since 1990 across southeastern states with little prior history of immigration.
Although longtime magnets such as Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas retained their appeal — and California continues to house the largest number of unauthorized immigrants — growth there has slowed compared with such states as Georgia and North Carolina. Similarly, in Virginia, which ranks 10th in number of illegal immigrants, the unauthorized population quintupled since 1990 to 300,000 and accounts for 4 percent of residents and 5.1 percent of workers.