Illegal immigrants include foreigners who have entered the United States without following the country’s immigration laws, and also those who migrated in legally but stayed back after their visas and parole documents expired.
Illegal immigration has always been strongly debated in the United States and has been majorly centered on by US President-Donald Trump administration. This was greatly reflected in his campaign about setting boundaries, especially on the Mexico border as they have been the major illegal immigrants over the years.
Here are five facts you should know about illegal immigrants working in the United States as there are millions of them accounting for a significant proportion of the States’ total population.
5 Facts You Should Know About Illegal Immigrants In the United States
1. Illegal immigrants working in the United States (U.S) has generally declined in recent years.
In 2017, two out of every three unauthorized immigrants were working in the United States for more than a decade in comparison to two out of every five unauthorized working immigrants in 2007.
Also, one out of every five unauthorized working immigrants has stayed for at most five years in 2017, compared to when it was three out of every ten in 2007. Generally, there is a decline in the percentage of illegal working immigrants as to the total population of the country.
In 2007, when it was at its peak, the percentage of illegal immigrants working in the United States was 4% (12.2 million) which reduced to 3.2% (10.6 million) of the total U.S population in 2017.
2. Illegal immigrants working in the United States help improve the U.S economy in ways that legal ones do not.
These workers add to the labor force, cheapen labor and ultimately cost of production which then results in lesser prices of goods and services, thus making them more affordable for consumers. They also pay taxes which increase the tax revenue and lower the incentives of American firms to outsource jobs.
They also contribute to the welfare of the natives reducing their cost of living as goods and services are now cheapened thus increasing their standard of living.
3. Mexicans are no longer the major immigrants to the United States.
The number of Mexicans in 2017 was 4.9 million compared to 5.5 million immigrants from other countries. This is majorly due to a large reduction in the illegal immigrants, especially Mexicans migrating to the country.
Illegal immigrants decreased by 2 million in 2017 from 6.9 million in 2007, however, the number of illegal immigrants from Asia and Central America increased to 5.5 million in comparison with 5.3 million in 2007.
Unlike in 2012, where more than half of the illegal immigrants were Mexicans (Central America was 15%-1.5 million, Asia 12%-1.3 million, South America 6%, Caribbean 5%, Europe and Canada 5%),Mexican illegal immigrants made up to less than half (47%) of all illegal immigrants in 2017 (Central America- 1.9 million, Asia-1.5 million); South American and European illegal immigrants also declined, while Caribbeans and Africans experienced no significant change in percentage.
Therefore, the proportion of Mexicans working in the United States is on the decline.
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4. There is an increasing percentage of immigrants working in the United States with overstayed visas and now termed illegal.
According to migration studies report estimates, 44% of illegal immigrants to the U.S in 2015 overstayed their visas compared to 41% in 2008. According to DHS, 629,000 out of 54.9 million arrivals were expected to leave in 2016 and they didn’t mostly because they found jobs and opportunities which made them stay longer.
The figure reduced to 545,000 in January 2017 which increased again to over 606,000 in August same year. In 2014, the number of immigrants working in the United States with overstayed visas was over 68,000, dropped to over 39,000 in 2015, increased to over 77,000 in 2016, same for 2017 and finally increased to over 107,000 in 2018.
5. The number of illegal immigrants has generally declined yearly.
Using the apprehensions figure to measure fluctuations in illegal immigration, the number of illegal immigration peaked in 2000 at 1.64 million and have declined ever since to a total of less than 400,000 in 2018 reflecting a 76% reduction.
Under the Obama administration, the yearly immigrants declined by 35% from approximately 700,000 in 2008 to approximately 400,000 in 2016. In Donald Trump’s administration, illegal immigrants declined by 43% to a little above 390,000 in 2018.
What Are The Major Occupations Of The Illegal Immigrants In the US?
It might also interest you to know the sectors these unauthorized immigrants to the United States work or what they exactly do.
Well, over half of them work in the agricultural sector as hired farmers, 15% deal with constructions, 9% in production and same for services, 6% work in the transport sector, while 5% are found in the overall workforce. They are very much found in industries; they do fast food jobs and are employed as domestic help.
Geographically, these undocumented workers are all over the country, but are mostly found in border States like California and Texas where they are 9% of both states; in Nevada, they account for over 10%.