Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends, Industries and Occupations
Written testimony submitted to U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Hearing on: Securing the Border: Defining the Current Population Living in the Shadows and Addressing Future Flows
Submitted by: Jeffrey S. Passel, Senior Demographer, Pew Research Center, Washington, DC
March 26, 2015 (excerpt)
...Among the 44 states (and District of Columbia) for which data about national origin are available,2 Mexicans make up the majority of all unauthorized immigrants in 26 of them. The four states where Mexicans make up more than eight-in-ten unauthorized immigrants are all in the West—New Mexico (89%), Arizona (84%), Idaho (83%) and Wyoming (82%).
States with low shares of Mexicans include some in the Northeast: New Hampshire (7%), Rhode Island (6%) and Massachusetts (3%). Hawaii’s share was 7%.
Even in states where Mexicans are not the majority of unauthorized immigrants, they are frequently the largest national origin group—36 states have more Mexicans than any other unauthorized immigrants. Mexicans are not the largest group in three New England states—New Hampshire, where India is the largest birth country; Massachusetts with El Salvador; and Rhode Island where Guatemala is the largest. In the area around the nation’s capital (the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia), unauthorized immigrants from El Salvador constitute the largest group. Hondurans outnumber Mexicans in Louisiana. In Alaska and Hawaii, unauthorized immigrants from the Philippines are the largest group, representing a majority of Alaska’s unauthorized immigrant population and almost half of Hawaii’s.
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