Of the estimated 11.1 million undocumented immigrants living across the U.S., 6.8 million or 61 percent live in just 20 metro areas, according to an analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey by the Pew Research Center. And as CityLab points out, this is an extremely high concentration considering just 36 percent of the country’s total population lives in these areas. The highest population is, not surprisingly, right here in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area, with 1.15 unauthorized immigrants calling these cities home. We’re followed by the Los Angeles area with 1 million residents, but after that it drops drastically to 575,000 immigrants in Houston.
Undocumented immigrants make up 3.5 percent of the country’s total population and 26 percent of its foreign-born residents. The trends are also similar for “lawful” immigrants (naturalized citizens and noncitizens), as 65 percent also live in these top 20 metros, a sign that, documented or not, “immigrants tend to live where other immigrants live,” according to Pew. In New York, unauthorized persons make up about 19 percent of the city’s 3.3 million immigrants, much lower than the 37 percent in cities like Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver.
Nineteen of the top 20 metropolitan areas in the analysis have ranked among the top 20 for the past decade, which is especially pertinent as the Trump administration ramps up efforts to cut funding to sanctuary cities. But according to another recent analysis from the Center for American Progress, sanctuary cities have significantly lower crime rates, stronger economies, and lower unemployment than nonsanctuary counties.
Read the Pew Center’s full report here>>
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