Democratizing Data

Democratizing Data

Mass Deportations Would Impoverish US Families and Create Immense Social Costs

This paper provides a statistical portrait of the US undocumented population, with an emphasis on the social and economic condition of mixed-status households – that is, households that contain a US citizen and an undocumented resident. The study finds that mass deportations would plunge millions of US families into poverty, cost $118 billion to care for US-citizen children of deported parents, imperil the housing market and reduce GDP.

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New Data and Analysis Confirms Stable Growth in Immigration
This report reviews the latest information available about the growth of the foreign-born population and provides information about recently arrived temporary residents in the population. The report finds that foreign-born population growth, legal and undocumented, as well as new arrivals, have remained fairly stable over the past few years.

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Successful implementation of any broad-scale immigrant legalization program requires an adequately funded infrastructure of immigrant-serving organizations. As the initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted in 2012 has already stretched the capacity of immigrant-serving organizations to their limits or even beyond them, the possibility of full implementation of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) and the expanded DACA programs presents a formidable challenge for these organizations. In this paper, the Human Resources Working Group of the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI) draws on the lessons of the Immigrant Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), DACA, and other initiatives to provide a roadmap for immigrant service delivery agencies and their partners in planning for implementation of the expanded DACA and the DAPA programs, with an eye (ultimately) to broad legislative reform. In particular, this paper focuses on the funding and human resources that the immigrant service delivery field, writ large, would require to implement these programs.

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This paper offers a statistical portrait of the intended direct beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the DACA expansion (DACA-plus) programs. It finds that potential DAPA, DACA, and DACA-plus recipients are deeply embedded in US society, with high employment rates, extensive US family ties, long tenure, and substantial rates of English-language proficiency. The paper also notes various groups that would benefit indirectly from the full implementation of DAPA and DACA or, conversely, would suffer from the removal of potential beneficiaries of these programs. The authors find these populations have become embedded in US society and that an unknown, albeit not insubstantial percentage of both the DAPA- and DACA-eligible may already qualify for an immigration benefit or relief that would put them on a path to permanent residency and US citizenship.

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Undocumented immigration has been a significant political issue in recent years, and is likely to remain so throughout and beyond the presidential election year of 2016. One reason for the high and sustained level of interest in undocumented immigration is the widespread belief that the trend in the undocumented population is ever upward. This paper shows that this belief is mistaken and that, in fact, the undocumented population has been decreasing for more than a half a decade. Other findings of the paper that should inform the immigration debate are the growing naturalized citizen populations in almost every US state and the fact that, since 1980, the legally resident foreign-born population from Mexico has grown faster than the undocumented population from Mexico.

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Naturalization is a crucial step in the full integration of immigrants into US society. However, sufficient information has not been available on the naturalization-eligible that would allow the federal government, states, localities, and non-governmental service providers to develop targeted strategies on a local level to assist this population to naturalize and to overcome barriers to eligibility. This paper offers detailed estimates of the eligible-to-naturalize based on data collected in the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The data can be used to identify naturalization-eligible populations by geographic area, source country, and a variety of demographic criteria. The findings detailed in this Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) paper show that high percentages of the 8.6 million potentially eligible immigrants are well-situated to naturalize. However, others may have difficulty meeting the naturalization requirements without extensive support, including the 1.16 million who do not speak English; 3.0 million with less than a high school education; and the 1.8 million with incomes below the poverty level. This study can help focus resources where they are most needed to reach and support naturalization-eligible residents interested in naturalizing, as well as provide a factual basis for reforming naturalization policies.

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