Pew: Most Unauthorized Immigrants Have Lived In U.S. For More Than 10 Years


If "father and working man" Gabino Sanchez puts a face on illegal immigration, Pew Research Center provides some background about his cohort.

A report based on Census Bureau data and Pew Hispanic Center research finds that 63 percent of the estimated 10.2 million unauthorized adults in the United States have lived here for at least 10 years. The share of unauthorized immigrants who have been in the country for a long period is increasing, too:

The share that has been in the country at least 15 years has more than doubled since 2000, when about one-in-six (16%) unauthorized adult immigrants had lived here for that duration. By the same token, the share of unauthorized adult immigrants who have lived in the country for less than five years has fallen by half during this period—from 32% in 2000 to 15% in 2010.

The rising share of unauthorized immigrants who have been in the U.S. for a long duration reflects the fact that the sharpest growth in this population occurred during the late 1990s and early 2000s—and that the inflow has slowed down significantly in recent years, as the U.S. economy has sputtered and border enforcement has tightened. It also reflects the fact that relatively few long-duration unauthorized immigrants have returned to their countries of origin.

Pew also finds that almost half of the unauthorized adults in the U.S. have children who are minors—a much higher share than the 29 percent of native-born adults who have children. Pew attributes the disparity to the fact that much of the unauthorized immigrant population comprises relatively young, working-age people who are likely in their child-rearing years.

The report also notes that, based on Pew's polling, 72 percent of Americans favor a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants "if they pay fines, have jobs and pass background checks."

Read the entire report here.

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  1. How the hell did he get a cohort? I don’t even have one of those, and I was born in this fuckin country, to native-born parents.

    Just another example of immigrants taking things which belong to citizens.

  2. So, “unauthorized” is the new “undocumented”?

    So hard to keep up with the PC-speak euphemisms.

    1. It’s an improvement from this side of things. I don’t mind being authorized, but I don’t like the idea of being documented.

    2. You’re free to stick with IllegalImmigration or MassiveImmigration if you like.

      1. What you did there, etc.

    3. Yes, the latest from the CosmotarianSpeak Dictionary edition L7.

    4. I like “unauthorized” because it plainly refers to authority. I don’t need to be authorized to do shit. Fuck that.

    5. And “undocumented” is new-speak for illegal, as in someone who violates the US immigration laws.

      I don’t have a strong opinion about immigration and little regard for many laws, but laws sometimes affect me.

      So I recently got a $495 camera-ticket for making an illegal right-on-red at an empty intersection in the LA area. That was about $95 for the traffic infraction plus $400 for various court and processing fees. I kinda get that. I violated the law, there’s a penalty for that. And there’s a cost for enforcing the penalty.

      Apply this to immigration law violations. You jump the fence, swim, walk through the desert, of fly first-class to the US in violation of immigration laws. Keeping the traffic ticket meme in mind, you should get a ticket for the legal violation with administrative costs added on.

      What would that be? Maybe $400 for the violation itself, and another $5000 or so the admin costs?

      1. I don’t know. What was the fine for fugitive slaves, lunch-counter sitters, farmers who grew corn without a permit, and other people who have done absolutely nothing wrong?

        1. “What was the fine for fugitive slaves…”

          The Civil War. About a million Americans died in this clash in a population of about 30 million.

  3. I have always had the greatest respect for Pew, but on this I suspect that they are preparing a propaganda piece for amnesty. The net migration numbers out of Mexico and Central America do not match up with this “study”. The net migration between 2003-2007 was over a million a year which nearly tripled in just four years the net migration data for all of the 90’s. Even during the “great recession” annual net migration was double that of any year in the 90’s. The numbers just don’t add up.

  4. illegal immigrants


  5. Sounds like they owe us alot of back taxes or atleast a large fine.

    People, money can solve this problem and my cold little libertarian heart is open to saying “Your options are pay us thousands of dollars in fines and you get a shiny permanent resident card” or “your ass is headed back to mexico whether you like it or not”. To me, the US needs an permanent resident fee rather than anything else. $10000 sounds about right. The fine for someone staying here 10 years to me then would be 100K. If that hasn’t covered how much they’ve cost the US taxpayer, I’d be surprised.

    1. A ‘libertarian’ charging someone to stay here. Interesting. By which I mean ‘disgusting’.

      1. Think of it as rent?

      2. Our government already does. Call it and entry fee. As long as it’s competitive with the coyotes we kill multiple birds with one stone.

    2. I think the core problem with Reason’s libertarian dogma on immigration is that it/he/she never looks at this the other way around.

      What if I want to escape the US and move to Mexico? I can get a 99-year lease on a property in Mexico, but I can’t buy a property outright. The Mexican government doesn’t have a good track record on even honoring leases.

      To become a Mexican citizen I would need to show that I have some Mexican blood heritage or bride a government official to overlook this detail.

      1. Let’s be more like Mexico.

        1. ?

          Alas. The squirrel won’t let me post it upside-down. ‘?’

          1. Yoooooowwww. I it worked.

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