A new report – “Settling In: A Profile of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population in the United States”– provides a sobering glimpse into the scale and persistence of illegal immigration in this country.
Examining the period of 2012-2016, the Migration Policy Institute found:
- 62 percent of illegal aliens lived in the U.S. for up to 10 years. Roughly one in five (21 percent) have resided here for 20 years or more. Using MPI’s estimate of 11.3 million illegal aliens, that translates into 7,006,000 illegals living here for at least a decade.
- 71 percent of illegal aliens in California lived in the U.S. for a decade or more, as did 70 percent of those in Arizona and 69 percent in New Mexico.
- Long-term illegal aliens are not just denizens of border states. 68 percent of illegal aliens in Colorado and 67 percent of those in Illinois have lived there for 10 years or longer.
- 34 percent of the illegal aliens owned homes, with at least 45 percent classified as homeowners in Michigan, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. An astounding 67 percent of the illegal aliens in Fort Bend County, Texas (outside Houston) owned homes.
- Even after a decade or more in this country, 47 percent of long-term migrants 25 years old and older had less than a high school education.
The findings point to several conclusions not noted by MPI:
Inevitable results. The foregoing is the legacy of decades of erratic border control and weak or nonexistent interior enforcement. Though the Trump administration has bolstered efforts in both areas, the U.S. still lacks a secure entry-exit tracking system.
Hire them and they will stay. Without mandatory E-Verify employment screening, America remains a jobs magnet for low-wage illegal workers. And the presence of so much cheap labor drives down the wages that U.S. employers are willing to pay American employees.
Living off America’s largess. Free and open availability of public schools, hospital services and a host of government assistance programs enables illegal aliens to put down roots, and even buy houses.
Local control and the subversion of immigration law. The spread of sanctuary city policies attracts and embeds illegal aliens. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in urban areas where local officials and media outlets are hostile to the mission of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Wait, there’s more
The 11.3 million illegal aliens enumerated by MPI appears to be a low-ball estimate. If, as the report states, more than 7 million have been in the U.S. for a decade or more, the ongoing influx of illegals points to many more residing in this country now, and far into the future.