California’s unauthorized immigrant population declines but still highest in U.S.

November 16, 2023


California’s population of immigrants who are in the United States illegally or under temporary permission decreased by 150,000 between 2017 and 2021, according to a report published Thursday. [LA Times]

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center report counts more than 2 million people who have temporary permission to be in the United States among unauthorized immigrants. Those with temporary permission include individuals with pending asylum petitions, temporary protected status and involvement in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

As of 2021, California has 1.9 million unauthorized residents. The total remains the largest among U.S. states.

Between 2017 and 2021, unauthorized immigrant populations only increased in two states: Florida and Washington. The populations rose by 80,000 and 60,000 in Florida and Washington respectively.

Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois trail California among states with the largest unauthorized immigrant populations. Nationwide, 10.5 million immigrants lacked legal status in 2021, a decline from 1.2 million in 2007, but a slight increase from 10.2 million in 2019.

Between 2017 and 2021, the nation’s lawful immigrant population increase by about 25%, and the number of naturalized citizens rose substantially, accounting for half of immigrants in the United States.

The amount of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico decreased by 900,000 to 4.1 million in 2021. That is largely because many Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico while few have entered the United States, said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew. The decrease in Mexican immigrants partly explains the overall decrease in unauthorized immigrants in California, Passel added. 

Meanwhile, immigration to the United States. from Venezuela, India, Canada and most regions around the world increased.

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Let’s make legal immigration easier and less costly. That will help everyone.

Illegal immigration is declining the same way inflation is declining . Short of having a moving sidewalk between mexico and the us, the number could not go any higher than it was.

In 1986, President Reagan gave amnesty to @3 million illegal immigrants.

37 years ago, a few things have changed since then.

You don’t know history. In the 1980s there were thousands of Cubans illegally migrating to the US. Fidel Castro encouraged and released prisoners to travel to the US. In addition, Haitian refugees sought refuge in the US. Around 1981, there were 1.615 million migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border in 1986. The 1.615 million migrants does not include the close to 1 ml migrants from Cuba and Haiti.

I really don’t understand why my tax dollars are being spent on supporting people whose first act in the USA was illegal entry. If there is an humanitarian need the monetary support should come from voluntary private donations not from tax dollars.

Hmm…. Do we actually believe the illegal immigrant population declined over the past 5 years, or do we believe that the non-partisan Pew Research Institute got it completely wrong?

I generally believe the people who did thousands of hours of research and analysis, not people who heard some other people speaking Spanish at the grocery last week and watch the entertainment cable channel Fox.

What happened to the wall that was being built to keep illegal aliens out? How much of our tax money is being spent on them and for what?

The former president failed to deliver on promises, it’s that simple.

Most illegal immigrants pay taxes and contribute to the economy but also consume public services like education. A straight answer is complicated, it’s likely a net loss in terms of government revenue, but a benefit in terms of the economy, filling jobs that are difficult to fill, helping businesses.

What happened to Mexico paying for the wall?