Friday, 10 August 2012

CIS: 40 Million Immigrants in U.S. in 2010

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The latest survey of immigrants to the United States shows their numbers increased massively under the last two presidents, reaching a record high in 2010. That’s just one of the trends noted in the study “Immigrants in the United States: A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population,” published by the Center for Immigration Studies. CIS gathered its data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Those data show that immigrants from the Third World are swamping the United States and its public institutions.

The Overall Numbers

According to CIS, “The number of immigrants (legal and illegal) in the country hit a new record of 40 million in 2010.”

About 14 million of those 40 million foreigners began arriving just as the open-borders Bush administration assumed power. “This would translate into 1.3 to 1.4 million new arrivals annually during the last decade,” CIS concluded, or about a 28 percent increase over the 31.1 million foreigners here in 2000. The Center continued,

Some prior research indicates that 5.2 percent of immigrants are missed in the ACS. So the actual level of new immigrants could be closer to 1.5 million a year during the decade just completed.

The 2000 census also included a year-of-arrival question and found that 13.2 million immigrants arrived during the preceding decade and were still in the county in 2000.

The states with the highest number of immigrants are California (10.2 million), New York (4.3 million), Texas (4.1 million), Florida (3.6 million), New Jersey (1.8 million), and Illinois (1.7 million).

The states with the highest concentration versus the population at large are California (27.2 percent), New York (22.2 percent), New Jersey (21 percent), Florida (19.4 percent), Nevada (18.8 percent), Hawaii (18.2 percent), and Texas (16.4 percent).

Southern states saw the highest growth rates.

Unsurprisingly, the top country sending immigrants here is Mexico. In 2010, 11.7 million immigrants were of Mexican origin, with the largest bulk of them, more than 7.6 million, arriving since 1990. Another 2.2 million were Chinese, while 1.8 million more came from India.

Only three European countries were among the top 20 that sent immigrants to the United States: Great Britain, Germany, and Poland.

“Of top sending countries,” CIS reported, “the largest percentage increase in the last decade was for those from Honduras (85 percent), India (74 percent), Guatemala (73 percent), Peru (54 percent), El Salvador (49 percent), Ecuador (48 percent), and China (43 percent).”

Disturbing Data

Aside from the raw numbers showing the borders of the United States are open for anyone who wants to enter, disturbing data show that immigrants are more likely than real Americans to be poverty stricken, use welfare, and lack health insurance.

“In 2010, 23 percent of immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) lived in poverty, compared to 13.5 percent of natives and their children. Immigrants and their children accounted for one-fourth of all persons in poverty,” said CIS, adding,

The children of immigrants account for one-third of all children in poverty.

Among the top sending countries, poverty is highest for immigrants and their young children from Mexico (35 percent), Honduras (34 percent), and Guatemala (31 percent); and lowest for those from Germany (7 percent), India (6 percent), and the Philippines (6 percent).

Immigrants are also more likely than natives to be “near poverty,” CIS noted. Near poverty is “defined as income less than 200 percent of the poverty threshold.” CIS explained,

Examining those with incomes under 200 percent of poverty is an important measure of socio-economic status because those under this income generally do not pay federal or state income tax and typically qualify for a host of means-tested programs. As is the case with poverty, near poverty is much more common among immigrants than natives.… 43.6 percent of immigrants, compared to 31.1 percent of natives, live in or near poverty. (Like the figures for poverty, the figures for natives exclude the U.S.-born minor children of immigrant fathers.) If the U.S.-born children of immigrants are included with their immigrant parents, the immigrant rate is 47.6 percent.

Given that immigrants are more likely than natives to be poor, it is no surprise that nearly 40 percent of immigrant households are nestled against the bosom of the welfare state. “In 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program (primarily food assistance and Medicaid) compared to 23 percent of native households,” CIS reported

Among the top sending countries, welfare use is highest for households headed by immigrants from Mexico (57 percent), Guatemala (55 percent), and the Dominican Republic (54 percent); and lowest for those from Canada (13 percent), Germany (10 percent), and the United Kingdom (6 percent).

As for health insurance, CIS noted, “29 percent of immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) lacked health insurance, compared to 13.8 percent of natives and their children,” and new immigrants and children “account for two-thirds of the increase in the uninsured since 2000.”

Here again, we find that non-European countries have the highest rates of providing immigrants who are not insured. “Among the top sending countries, the highest rates of uninsurance are for those from Guatemala (46 percent), Honduras (44 percent), El Salvador (44 percent), and Mexico (41 percent); and lowest for those from Canada (9 percent), Japan (8 percent), and Germany (5 percent),” said CIS.

Packing the Pubic Schools

According to CIS, along with the health-insurance problem immigrants pose, “one of the biggest impacts of immigration is on U.S. public schools":

In the last few years, a good deal of attention has been focused on the dramatic increase in enrollment experienced by many school districts across the country.

While it has been suggested that this increase is the result of the children of baby boomers reaching school age, the so called “baby boom echo”, it is clear from the ACS that immigration policy accounts for the dramatic increase in school enrollment.… There are 11.1 million school-age children from immigrant households. Some 20 percent of these students are immigrants themselves. The children of immigrants account for such a large percentage of the school-age population because a higher proportion of immigrant women are in their childbearing years and immigrants tend to have somewhat larger families than natives.

As well, these larger immigrant households are not only less likely than native households to send children to private schools but they also send greater numbers of children per household to public schools. Says CIS,

Children from immigrant households are a slightly larger share of public school students than they are of the school-age population.

The 10.5 million children from immigrant households in public schools are 21.5 percent of all students in public schools. ...

The average number of public school students per household is dramatically larger for immigrant households. In 2010, there were 646 public school students for every 1,000 immigrant households, compared to 375 students for 1,000 native households. This means that the average number of public school students per immigrant household is 72 percent larger than the number for native households.

And again, these immigrant children bring language problems to the schools. According to CIS,  “8.2 million (78.5 percent) of students from immigrant households speak a language other than English at home.” 

In addition, there are 2.8 million students from native households who speak a language other than English at home in public primary and secondary schools. In total, almost 23 percent of students in public school in the United States speak a language other than English at home.

Yet speaking another language than English at home does not mean that the immigrants' children “struggle with English,” CIS noted. “Most of these students were born in the United States.”

Why Speak English?

Even if the children aren’t struggling, many of the parents are. In two cases, more than 50 percent of the immigrants from a country do not speak English well or at all. CIS reported that 52.1 percent of Guatemalans and 50.2 percent of Hondurans who have emigrated to the United States have not mastered English. Mexicans, who share a border with the United States, aren’t far behind: 49.9 percent of Mexican immigrants cannot speak English or don’t speak it well.

And well more than 90 percent of Guatemalan (94.4), Honduran (94.7), Mexican (96.7), Salvadoran (95.1), Dominican (96.6), Cuban (95.3) and Ecuadoran (95.6) immigrant households speak a language other than English at home.

Overall, 86.7 percent of immigrant households speak a language other than English at home.

Photo of Mexican immigrants to the United States marching for more rights in San Jose, CA.

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