NIOSH Blog on of immigrant worker safety and health
This blog published by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is worth visiting.
This blog published by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is worth visiting.
The Migration Policy Institute has issued a thoughtful analysis of how immigrants, both legal and illegal, obtain health insurance.
Locally and nationwide, roughly two-thirds of working-age immigrants who are legal residents are insured, and more than one-third of illegal immigrants also have insurance.
The report says, “We estimate that half of LPRs [legal permanent residents] overall currently have employer coverage and one-third (3.9 million) are uninsured, accounting for 9 percent of the overall uninsured population. Almost all uninsured LPRs (93 percent) are adults, so the cost of providing coverage to uninsured LPR children (who are twice as likely as US-born children to be uninsured) would be quite low.”
What about illegal immigrants? The report says, “There are an estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. They are ineligible for Medicaid and other means-tested federal benefits, though hospitals may be reimbursed through Medicaid for providing emergency services. Notwithstanding the recent political furor over the issue, none of the pending legislative proposals would provide coverage for unauthorized immigrants. However, verification systems to screen them out of subsidies and the proposed insurance exchanges may be expensive and may have unintended consequences for US citizens and legal immigrants.
“Unauthorized immigrants are disproportionately likely to have low incomes, and although most of them work, they are even more likely than LPRs (46 percent) to work at small firms that do not provide insurance. As a result, most unauthorized immigrants (6 million working-age adults and 660,000 children) are uninsured, accounting for 15 percent of the overall uninsured. Yet it is not widely recognized that 31 percent of unauthorized immigrants (some 3.2 million working-age adults and 460,000 children) already have employer coverage.”
The executive summary of the report, Immigrants and Health Care Reform What’s Really at Stake? By Randy Capps, Marc R. Rosenblum, and Michael Fix Migration Policy Institute October 2009
The health care reform legislation being drafted in Congress holds the promise of delivering coverage to millions of uninsured people in the United States through Medicaid expansion, private insurance subsidies, and mandated employer coverage. The scope and success of reform, however, will be affected substantially by lawmakers’ decisions regarding the eligibility of legal immigrants for health benefits, and their approaches to screening out unauthorized immigrants. Their decisions will help determine how close Congress comes to its goal of reducing the ranks of the nation’s 46 million uninsured.
Despite high workforce participation rates, many immigrants (regardless of their legal status) are uninsured. Yet some proposals under consideration in Congress would deny core benefits to many legal immigrants. These proposals would leave many legal immigrants outside a reformed health care system, with costly spillover consequences for taxpayers, health care consumers, and providers.
Lawmakers also intend to exclude unauthorized immigrants from any new benefits. While most agree that unauthorized immigrants should not benefit from government spending, lawmakers confront important questions about how to exclude them without creating a large and expensive screening bureaucracy and without imposing difficult verification burdens on US citizens and legal immigrants.
To guide our policy analysis, this report offers detailed new estimates, based on Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis and imputation of Census Bureau data, which provide a portrait of immigrants by legal status, current health insurance coverage, and variations in coverage across large immigrant states.
The report provides a roadmap of the key health reform issues, focusing in particular on two populations likely to remain at the center of policy debates: lawful permanent immigrants (LPRs) with less than five years of legal residency, and unauthorized immigrants. It addresses legal immigrants’’ eligibility for Medicaid and health insurance subsidies and their inclusion in individual mandates, and strategies for screening out unauthorized immigrants.
This analysis draws on data from the US Census Bureau’s 2008 US Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS-ASEC). The data we employ include unique assignments of legal status to noncitizens created by Jeffrey S. Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center. See Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States (Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center, 2009). http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/107.pdf. The assignments are necessary because the Census Bureau does not seek or report information about the legal status of noncitizens. MPI researchers conducted analysis of demographics, income, work patterns, and health insurance coverage using these data.
Snapshot of Immigrants and Their Health Care Coverage
Lawful Permanent Residents
Our estimates suggest there are roughly 12 million LPRs in the United States; 4.2 million are uninsured. These immigrants have ““played by the rules”” and waited their turn —— in some cases for many years —— to enter the United States, and they pay the same taxes and are subject to the same laws as US citizens. The 1996 welfare reform law instituted a five-year waiting period after obtaining a green card during which LPRs are ineligible for Medicaid.
A high proportion of LPRs fall into the low- to moderate-income groups targeted by health insurance reform. The vast majority has family incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), the cutoff for subsidies under some legislative proposals, so purchasing private insurance would be eased by subsidies. However, lawmakers are conflicted about whether to include all LPRs in health care reform, or to leave in place the 1996 welfare reform restrictions on Medicaid. The decision to retain the five-year waiting period for Medicaid eligibility or to apply it to new insurance subsidies would affect over 1 million LPRs —— thus limiting the potential for health reform to reduce the ranks of the uninsured.
Most LPRs work, meaning that proposed mandates requiring employers to provide health insurance would improve their coverage. Yet 38 percent of LPR workers are employed by small firms (fewer than 25 employees) that likely would be exempt from employer mandates, suggesting many might not get coverage. Just 32 percent of LPRs employed by small firms are insured, compared with 71 percent of the native born working in similar-sized firms.
We estimate that half of LPRs overall currently have employer coverage and one-third (3.9 million) are uninsured, accounting for 9 percent of the overall uninsured population. Almost all uninsured LPRs (93 percent) are adults, so the cost of providing coverage to uninsured LPR children (who are twice as likely as US-born children to be uninsured) would be quite low.
There are an estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. They are ineligible for Medicaid and other means-tested federal benefits, though hospitals may be reimbursed through Medicaid for providing emergency services. Notwithstanding the recent political furor over the issue, none of the pending legislative proposals would provide coverage for unauthorized immigrants. However, verification systems to screen them out of subsidies and the proposed insurance exchanges may be expensive and may have unintended consequences for US citizens and legal immigrants.
Unauthorized immigrants are disproportionately likely to have low incomes, and although most of them work, they are even more likely than LPRs (46 percent) to work at small firms that do not provide insurance. As a result, most unauthorized immigrants (6 million working-age adults and 660,000 children) are uninsured, accounting for 15 percent of the overall uninsured. Yet it is not widely recognized that 31 percent of unauthorized immigrants (some 3.2 million working-age adults and 460,000 children) already have employer coverage.
Disproportionate Impact on Large Immigrant States
States with large immigrant populations stand to benefit from health care subsidies extended to LPRs. The same states will, of course, bear a disproportionate burden if LPRs in the five- year waiting period remain ineligible for Medicaid and are excluded from insurance subsidies. States with large immigrant populations could see an expansion in the use of emergency rooms and public clinics if LPRs or unauthorized immigrants are dropped from employer- sponsored insurance or other private coverage on account of health care reform. Twenty- three percent of the uninsured in California are LPRs, and an additional 23 percent are unauthorized, according to our estimates. LPRs also represent more than 10 percent of the uninsured in New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois.
Implications for Health Care Reform
Health Insurance Coverage
Many LPRs cannot afford health insurance. We estimate that 3.1 million working-age adult LPRs have incomes below 150 percent of FPL and that 4.1 million have incomes between 150 and 400 percent of FPL. Almost half of these two groups (3.4 million LPRs) lack health insurance, including more than 1 million who would be excluded from subsidies if Congress were to impose a five-year waiting period. If recent LPRs were denied eligibility for Medicaid and subsidies but still subjected to individual health insurance mandates, they would face a significant financial burden.
Exclusion of recent LPRs —— as well as unauthorized immigrants —— from health insurance reform would leave large populations still dependent on emergency rooms, community health centers, and other public health facilities, and would discourage early detection and treatment of chronic conditions. Thus, some of the short-term cost savings from excluding some immigrants from health care reform would be lost through cost shifting to state and local providers. Ultimately taxpayers and health care consumers would have to pay for uncompensated care for uninsured immigrants as well as higher health care costs in the future. Moreover, because recent LPRs (and unauthorized immigrants) are relatively young and healthy, including them in health insurance risk pools could help contain costs.
It is also noteworthy that since welfare reform’s enactment in 1996, lawmakers have sought to expand coverage for legal immigrants, most recently by extending Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility to all LPR children and pregnant women. New exclusions from subsidies in health reform legislation would reverse this policy trajectory, raising issues that Congress may have to revisit in the future.
Another critical policy issue is whether the benefits of health care reform would be reduced by expensive and ineffective verification requirements. Though meant to ensure that unauthorized immigrants cannot wrongly access benefits, a verification mandate, if poorly designed, could have the biggest impact on US citizens.
There are two basic screening models: one based on screening individual applicants before they apply for benefits, as in the Medicaid system. The other links payments to tax credits and screens legal status at the time benefits are paid, as in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program.
Individual pre-screening is a more expensive model, especially if screeners are required to check documents such as birth certificates or passports. Recent experience with Medicaid suggests fraudulent use by unauthorized immigrants is very rare, raising questions about the need for costly front-end document checks.
One concern is that verification approaches might screen out many US citizens and legal immigrants from programs for which they are eligible, or force them to face costly delays in obtaining coverage. The introduction of document checks by the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) led to thousands of vulnerable US citizens losing Medicaid or facing delays in their coverage.
In sum, despite the complexity of the issues and the heated political debate, health care reform offers policymakers an opportunity to get eligibility and verification right —— one that should not be missed.
Eligibility screening by private employers or insurance providers outside the health insurance exchanges. Some lawmakers have also proposed requiring that employers and/or insurance providers use the E-Verify system to screen their employees or customers for eligibility based on immigration status prior to providing health insurance. E-Verify is a national database that employers can use to check the work eligibility of immigrants against the DHS and SSA databases. It is currently voluntary for most employers, but a federal requirement that government contractors check the work authorization of new employees recently went into effect, and a handful of states require that all businesses verify work authorization of new hires. As of July 2009, about 140,000 out of 7.4 million US employers used E- Verify to check the lawful status of their new employees, so rapid scaling-up of the system could present challenges.
Eligibility screening for private insurance based on immigration status would represent a significant new restriction on private insurance markets. It would also represent a substantial expansion of the E-Verify system —— something Congress has considered and rejected in the context of immigration policy. To require employers or private insurers to screen the families of employees or customers would represent an even sharper departure from the status quo, one that could affect the coverage of many of the 3.4 million US-born citizen children with unauthorized parents. Such a screening requirement would impose new costs on employers and/or insurance providers, costs that would likely would be passed on to US citizens and legal immigrants in the form of higher insurance premiums. Employer or provider screening would also result in some citizens and legal immigrants wrongly being denied coverage due to system errors or employer mistakes. Screening by private providers also raises privacy concerns and could result in increased identity theft, a problem that already affects about 10 million Americans a year.
Henry Ceniceros of Business Insurance alerted me to an article in the New York Times about injury rates among housekeeping workers in the hotel industry. Hispanic women have the highest injury rate – over 10% of them are injured every year.
The Times article refers to a research study. Here is the abstract: OSHA log incidents from five unionized hotel companies for a three-year period were analyzed to estimate injury rates by job, company, and demographic characteristics. Room cleaning work, known to be physically hazardous, was of particular concern. A total of 2,865 injuries were reported during 55,327 worker-years of observation. The overall injury rate was 5.2 injuries per 100 worker-years. The rate was highest for housekeepers (7.9), Hispanic housekeepers (10.6), and about double in three companies versus two others. Acute trauma rates were highest in kitchen workers (4.0/100) and housekeepers (3.9/100); housekeepers also had the highest rate of musculoskeletal disorders (3.2/100). Age, being female or Hispanic, job title, and company were all independently associated with injury risk.
High injury rates among hotel housekeepers have been reported elsewhere – for example here.
The article in full:
Female Hotel Workers Injured More Than Men, Study Shows
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: November 10, 2009
A new study of workers at 50 hotels in the United States found that women were 50 percent more likely to be injured than men, and that Hispanic women had an injury rate two-thirds higher than their white female counterparts.
The injury rate is higher for female hotel workers because many work as housekeepers, the most injury-prone job.
The study, which will be published in January in The American Journal of Industrial Medicine, said the injury rate was higher for female hotel employees because they worked disproportionately as housekeepers, which is the most injury-prone hotel job.
According to the study, housekeepers have a 7.9 percent injury rate each year, 50 percent higher than for all hotel workers and twice the rate for all workers in the United States.
Other academic studies have concluded that housekeepers have a high injury rate because they do repetitive tasks, lift heavy mattresses and work rapidly to clean a dozen or more rooms.
The study found that Hispanic housekeepers had the highest injury rate — 10.6 percent a year — compared with 6.3 percent for white housekeepers, 5.5 for black housekeepers and 7.3 percent for Asian housekeepers.
The study did not speculate why the injury rate was so much higher for Hispanic housekeepers, but several experts said the reasons could include their smaller stature or that managers gave them heavier workloads.
Hispanic and Asian men were 1.5 times more likely to be injured than white men, the study found. Men disproportionately hold hotel jobs as banquet servers, cooks and dishwashers.
“These alarming results raise many questions as to why injury rates are so high for women, and Hispanic and Asian workers in the hotel sector,” said, Dr. Susan Buchanan, lead author of the article and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.
The study, “Occupational Injury Disparities in the U.S. Hotel Industry,” was first presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Philadelphia. The study focused on 50 unionized properties and examined 2,865 injuries over a three-year span.
The study found the highest injury rate for housekeepers was at the Hyatt chain, at 10.4 percent, and lowest at the Hilton chain, at 5.47 percent, for housekeepers. Hyatt did not respond to inquiries about its injury rate.
“This study is stunning evidence of the unequal impact of injuries in the hotel industry, and it calls into question whether discriminatory workplace practices play a role,” said John W. Wilhelm, president of Unite Here, the union representing hotel workers.
ICE estimates that 17,500 people a year are trafficked into the U.S. for exploitation. Here the AP reports on a new public awareness initiative:
Immigration officials target 14 US cities in campaign against human trafficking
November 10, 2009
BOSTON (AP) — Fourteen cities are being targeted in a new campaign aimed at alerting people about human trafficking, federal immigration officials have announced.
The "Hidden in Plain Sight" initiative, sponsored by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, features billboards highlighting "the horrors and the prevalence of human trafficking," which the agency says is equivalent to "modern-day slavery."
The words "Hidden in Plain Sight" are displayed on the advertisements with a toll-free number people can call to report situations where they believe people are being sexually exploited or forced to work against their will.
Cities in the new campaign are Atlanta; Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; New York; St. Paul, Minn.; San Antonio; San Francisco and Tampa, Fla.
Bruce Foucart, an ICE special agent in charge of New England, said officials hope the billboards persuade residents to report suspected cases to ICE or local law enforcement.
"It's difficult to identify victims and it's difficult for them to tell their stories," said Foucart.
About 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked each year around the world and about 17,500 of them end up in the United States, according to ICE. Immigration officials say the victims are lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs but are trafficked into the commercial sex trade, domestic servitude or forced labor.
Foucart said victims who cooperate with law enforcement are offered temporary status and can later apply to stay in the U.S. permanently.
Jozefina Lantz, director of New Americans services at Lutheran Social Services in Worcester, Mass., welcomed the new campaign and said the public is generally unaware that human trafficking is occurring near their homes.
"Often the victims get mistaken for undocumented immigrants," said Lantz. "It's not the same because these people were abducted from their homes and forced into trafficking."
Lantz said her group has recently helped trafficking victims from Africa and South America.
The Migration Information Institute has published “Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States.” Here are selections from the report:
What share do the foreign born compose of the total US civilian labor force? Of the 156.2 million workers engaged in the US civilian labor force in 2008, immigrants accounted for 15.7 percent (24.5 million). Between 1970 and 2008, the percentage of foreign-born workers in the US civilian labor force nearly tripled, from 5.3 to 15.7 percent. Over the same period, the percent of foreign born in the total population grew from 4.8 to 12.5 percent.
What kinds of jobs do employed immigrants have?
Of the 23.1 million civilian employed foreign born age 16 and older in 2008, 28.1 percent worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 23.4 percent worked in service occupations; 18.0 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 1.9 percent worked in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; 16.1 percent worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 12.5 percent worked in construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations.
Among the 123.2 million civilian employed native born age 16 and older, 36.2 percent worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 16.0 percent worked in service occupations; 26.9 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 0.5 percent worked in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; 11.8 percent worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 8.7 percent worked in construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations.
How many immigrants are in the United States today?
According to the US Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey, there were 37,960,935 foreign born in the United States, 12.5 percent of the total US population.
"Foreign born" and "immigrants" are used interchangeably and refer to persons with no US citizenship at birth. This population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, persons on certain temporary visas, and the unauthorized.
The share of foreign born in the US reached a record low of 4.7 percent in 1970 (9.6 million individuals). However, since 1970, the percentage has risen rapidly, mainly due to large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia.
In 1980, according to the US Census Bureau, the foreign born represented 6.2 percent (14.1 million individuals) of the total US population. By 1990, their share had risen to 7.9 percent (19.8 million individuals) and, by the 2000 census, they made up 11.1 percent (31.1 million individuals) of the total US population.
Which countries had the largest share of immigrants in 2008 compared with those in 1960?
Mexican-born immigrants accounted for 30.1 percent of all foreign born residing in the United States in 2008, by far the largest immigrant group in the United States.
The Philippines accounted for 4.4 percent of all foreign born, followed by India and China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan) with 4.3 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
These four countries — together with Vietnam (3.0 percent), El Salvador (2.9 percent), Korea (2.7 percent), Cuba (2.6 percent), Canada (2.2 percent), and the Dominican Republic (2.0 percent) — made up 57.7 percent of all foreign born residing in the United States in 2008.
How many immigrants are naturalized US citizens?
Just over two in five (43.0 percent) immigrants in the United States in 2008 were naturalized US citizens. The remaining 57.0 percent of immigrants included lawful permanent residents, unauthorized immigrants, and legal residents on temporary visas, such as students and temporary workers.
How many immigrants are of Hispanic origin?
In 2008, 46.9 percent of the 38.0 million foreign born reported Hispanic or Latino origins.
How many Hispanics are immigrants?
Of the 46.9 million people in 2008 who identified themselves as having Hispanic or Latino ancestry, nearly two-thirds (62.0 percent) were native-born US citizens. The remaining 38.0 percent of Hispanics were immigrants.
What percentage of the foreign born are limited English proficient (LEP)?
In 2008, 52.1 percent of the 37.7 million foreign born age 5 and older were LEP.
Which languages does the US population* speak?
In 2008, 80.3 percent of the entire US population age 5 and older said they speak only English at home. The remaining 19.7 percent or 55.8 million people reported speaking a variety of foreign languages.** Of them, Spanish was by far the most commonly spoken language (61.9 percent), followed by Chinese (4.4 percent), Tagalog (2.7 percent), French (including Cajun, 2.4 percent), Vietnamese (2.1 percent), and German (2.0 percent).
How many Mexican immigrants are in the United States?
In 2008, there were 11.4 million foreign born from Mexico residing in the United States according to the 2008 American Community Survey. Mexican immigrants accounted for 30.1 percent of all immigrants in the United States in 2008.
How many Mexican-born workers were in the US labor force in 2008?
About 71.5 percent of the 10.6 million immigrants from Mexico age 16 and older were in the civilian labor force in 2008 compared to 68.7 percent of the 35.7 million immigrants age 16 and older from all countries and 64.9 percent of the 203.0 million native born age 16 and older.
How has the emigration rate from Mexico changed over time?
According to Mexico's National Survey of Occupations and Employment (ENOE), the emigration rate from Mexico appears to have slowed recently from 10.1 migrants per 1,000 Mexican residents in winter 2006-2007 to 7.9 per 1,000 Mexican residents in winter 2007-2008 to 6.2 per 1,000 Mexican residents in winter 2008-2009 (see Figure 1).
From which areas/regions do Mexican migrants residing in the United States originate?
According to the only currently available estimate, in 2003, one-third of Mexican-born migrants residing in the United States originated from just three states: Jalisco (13.7 percent), Michoacán (10.7 percent), and Guanajuato (9.3 percent) (see Map 1). In 1990, these three states accounted for 34.7 percent of Mexican migrants to the United States (16.8 percent from Jalisco, 10.5 percent from Michoacán, and 7.4 percent from Guanajuato).
How many immigrants have health insurance?
According to recent MPI estimates, immigrants accounted for 29 percent of the 46.6 million working-age adults and children under 18 with no health insurance in 2008. Of these 13.4 million uninsured immigrants, about half (6.8 million) were unauthorized immigrants, almost a third (4.2 million) were lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and another 17 percent (2.3 million) were naturalized citizens.
Unauthorized working-age adults (ages 18 to 64) were about three times more likely to be uninsured (59 percent) than either naturalized citizens (20 percent) or native-born US citizens (16 percent).
What are the top five states in terms of the number of immigrants, share of immigrants in the total state population, absolute growth, and percent growth between 1990 and 2000 and between 2000 and 2008?
In 2008, the top five US states by the number of immigrants were California (9,859,027), New York (4,236,768), Texas (3,887,224), Florida (3,391,511), and Illinois (1,782,423).
When classified by the share of immigrants in the total state population, the top five states in 2008 were California (26.8 percent), New York (21.7 percent), New Jersey (19.8 percent), Nevada (18.9 percent), and Florida (18.5 percent).
What are the top 10 US counties in terms of number of immigrants, share of immigrants in the total county population, absolute growth, and percent growth between 2000 and 2008?
In 2008, the top 10 counties by the number of immigrants were Los Angeles County, California (3,470,000); Miami-Dade County, Florida (1,196,000); Cook County, Illinois (1,117,000); Queens County, New York (1,087,000); Harris County, Texas (988,000); Kings County, New York (938,000); Orange County, California (904,000); San Diego County, California (663,000); Maricopa County, Arizona (651,000); and Santa Clara County, California (650,000).
When classified by the share of immigrants in the total county population, the top 10 counties in 2008 were Miami-Dade County, Florida (49.9 percent); Queens County, New York (47.4 percent); Hudson County, New Jersey (40.2 percent); Santa Clara County, California (36.8 percent); Kings County, New York (36.7 percent); Los Angeles County, California (35.2 percent); San Francisco County, California (35.0 percent); San Mateo County, California (34.2 percent); Bronx County, New York (32.7 percent); and Imperial County, California (32.0 percent).
How many children in the United States have immigrant parents?
In 2008, there were about 16.3 million children age 17 and under with at least one immigrant parent. They accounted for 23.2 percent of the 70 million children age 17 and under in the United States.
The 13.9 million second-generation children — those who were born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent — accounted for 85.6 percent of all children with immigrant parents. The remaining 14.4 percent (2.3 million) are children born outside the United States to foreign-born parents.
What are the top five states when looking at the share of children with immigrant parents in the state's total child population?
In terms of share of children with immigrant parents, the top five states in 2008 were California (49.6 percent of all children in the state), Nevada (37.0 percent), New York (34.1 percent), Texas (32.8 percent), and New Jersey (32.3 percent).
How many foreigners (in all categories) obtained US lawful permanent residence in 2008?
In 2008, 1,107,126 foreign nationals became lawful permanent residents (LPRs) (also known as green-card holders) according to the Department of Homeland Security's Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2008. The total number represents a 5.2 percent increase from 2007 (1,052,415) and a 31.6 percent increase from 2000 (841,002).
Of the 1.1 million new green-card holders, 466,558 (42.1 percent) were new arrivals who entered the country in 2008, and 640,568 (57.9 percent) were status adjusters. The status adjusters arrived in the United States in any year before 2008, but their green card applications were approved during 2008.
In which categories did permanent immigrants enter in 2008?
Of the 1.1 million new LPRs in 2008, 44.1 percent were immediate relatives of a US citizen, 20.5 percent came through a family-sponsored preference, and 15.0 percent entered through an employment-based preference. Another 15.0 percent adjusted from a refugee or asylee status, and 5.2 percent were diversity-lottery winners.
From which countries did permanent immigrants originate?
Disaggregated by country of birth, 17.2 percent of LPRs were from Mexico. The top five countries of birth — Mexico, China (7.3 percent), India (5.7 percent), the Philippines (4.9 percent), and Cuba (4.5 percent) — accounted for 39.5 percent of all persons who received LPR status in 2008.
How many unauthorized immigrants are in the United States?
According to Pew Hispanic Center estimates, there were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2008. The size of the unauthorized population appears to have declined since 2007. However, this finding is inconclusive because of the margin of error in the estimates, which are based on data from the US Census Bureau's Current Population Survey of 50,000 households each month.
The flow of unauthorized immigrants grew more slowly (by about 500,000 per year) between 2005 and 2008 than it did between 2000 and 2004, when the flow grew by about 800,000 per year. Reversing a long-term trend, the flow of unauthorized immigrants fell below the flow of lawful permanent residents between 2005 and 2008.
Unauthorized immigrants made up 30 percent of the nation's foreign-born population, about 4 percent of the entire US population, and 5.4 percent of US workers. Approximately 44 percent of the nation's unauthorized immigrants have arrived since 2000. About three-quarters (76 percent) of the 11.9 million unauthorized immigrant population were of Hispanic origin.
Where are unauthorized immigrants from?
The vast majority of unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico and Latin America: 59 percent from Mexico, 11 percent from Central America, 7 percent from South America, and 4 percent from the Caribbean. An additional 12 percent are from South and East Asia, while the rest come from other areas of the world.
How many children have unauthorized immigrant parents?
About 5.5 million children in 2008 had at least one parent who was an unauthorized immigrant, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Of this group, 73 percent (4.0 million) were US citizens by birth and 27 percent (1.5 million) were unauthorized immigrants themselves. The number of US-citizen children with unauthorized immigrant parents has grown 48 percent since 2003, when there were just 2.7 million such children. At the same time, the number of children who are unauthorized immigrants has remained at about 1.5 million since 2005.
In 2008, children of unauthorized immigrants, both those who are unauthorized immigrants themselves and US citizens, made up 6.8 percent of the students enrolled in US elementary and secondary schools according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
How has illegal immigration responded to the economic crisis in the United States?
Research in the United States and other countries indicates that along with temporary migrant workers, flows of unauthorized immigrants are most closely linked to the economy, and thus the ones most likely to fall in poor economic times.
US population survey data show that while the annual number of new arrivals from Mexico — the largest source of illegal immigration to the United States — was about 650,000 between March 2004 and March 2005, and 420,000 between March 2007 and March 2008, the estimated annual inflow dropped to just 175,000 between March 2008 and March 2009, which is the lowest total this decade. This finding is reinforced by US Border Patrol apprehensions data and Mexican government surveys.
A second central story is that even now — nearly two years into the recession — return migration remains the exception and not the rule. There has been virtually no change in return flows to Mexico despite the fact that unemployment rates for Mexican and Central American immigrants in the United States have nearly doubled from 6.4 percent in December 2007 to 11.5 percent in August 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How many apprehensions were there in 2008?
There were nearly 800,000 apprehensions in 2008. The overwhelming majority, 97 percent, were along the Southwest border. The total number of alien apprehensions reported by the Department of Homeland Security steadily increased during the 1990s, from 1,169,939 apprehensions in 1990 to 1,814,729 apprehensions in 2000. Since 2000, the number of apprehensions has declined steadily, numbering 960,756 in 2007 and 791,568 in 2008. The 2008 figure is the lowest since 1989 and the second lowest since 1982.
How many people were deported in 2008?
The United States deported almost 1.2 million aliens in 2008. The total number of aliens deported follows a similar trend to apprehensions, rising from 1,052,572 in 1990 to 1,864,343 in 2000 before declining to 1,170,149 in 2008.
However, the number of removals (forced deportations) rose throughout the period from 30,039 in 1990 to 188,467 in 2000 and 358,886 in 2008. By contrast, voluntary returns first increased over the period, from 1,022,522 in 1990 to 1,675,876 in 2000, but they declined to 811,263 in 2008 (see Figure 3).
How much does the government spend on immigration control and enforcement?
Funding for the US Border Patrol, then part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the Department of Justice, increased 519 percent between 1986 and 2002, from $268 million to $1.6 billion. The Border Patrol budget was more than $3.5 billion in 2008 according to the Office of Management and Budget. The Border Patrol is responsible for enforcing 8,000 miles of US land and water boundaries between legal points of entry (designated points where immigration officials can regulate entry).
Following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the Border Patrol became part of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency within DHS.
CBP's responsibilities also include regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, enforcing US trade laws, and protecting US agricultural and economic interests from pests and diseases.
According to DHS annual budgets from various years, the total CBP budget (gross discretionary and mandatory, fees, and trust funds) was $5.9 billion in 2003. The agency's budget increased 32 percent to $7.7 billion in 2007 and another 20 percent to $9.3 billion in 2008. In 2009, it rose to $11.3 billion, and President Barack Obama has requested $11.4 billion for 2010.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the investigative branch of DHS and is responsible for enforcing immigration laws. In 2003, the total budget for ICE was $3.3 billion, which rose 44 percent to $4.7 billion in 2007 and another 8 percent to $5.1 billion in 2008 (gross discretionary and mandatory, fees, and trust funds). In 2009, it increased to $5.9 billion, and the president has requested $5.8 billion for 2010.
Two of ICE's four main offices have immigration responsibilities: the Office of Detentions and Removal Operations (DRO) and the Office of Investigations (OI).
DRO processes, detains, and removes criminal aliens, unauthorized immigrants, and nonimmigrants who have violated immigration laws (such as being legally resident but working without authorization). In 2008, DRO's budget was $2.2 billion (including discretionary and mandatory spending), about 56 percent of ICE's total budget. In 2009, it is expected to rise to $3.1 billion, or about 59 percent of ICE's total budget.
How many Border Patrol agents are there?
The number of Border Patrol agents has nearly doubled from approximately 9,000 in 2001 to 17,499 in 2008.
How many foreign born are naturalized citizens?
Of the 38 million foreign born in the United States in 2008, 16.3 million (43.0 percent) were naturalized citizens according to 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates.
How many immigrants naturalized in 2008?
According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalized 1,046,539 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in 2008.
From a historical perspective, the number of naturalizations increased dramatically in recent decades. On average, between 1970 and 1979, 141,000 LPRs naturalized each year. The average annual number of naturalizations rose to about 205,000 in the 1980s, 498,000 in the 1990s, and 629,000 on average each year for the 2000-2008 period.
There was a 58 percent increase in the number of naturalizations between 2007 and 2008 from 660,477 to 1,046,539. A few factors explain the increase.
One was the 2008 presidential elections, which immigrant advocacy groups used in their ongoing campaigns to promote naturalization. Another was the 80 percent increase in naturalization fees (from $330 to $595) scheduled for the end of July 2007 and announced in January 2007.
How many foreigners became US citizens through military naturalization?
Between September 2001 and March 2009, 47,481 foreign-born military personnel have naturalized on US soil, overseas, or on board Navy ships. Of those, 2,655 were naturalized in ceremonies in Iraq.
What are the countries of origin of newly naturalized citizens?
Of those who naturalized in 2008, 22.2 percent were born in Mexico (231,815), 6.3 percent in India (65,971), and 5.6 percent in the Philippines (58,792). Nationals of these three countries, together with those from China (40,017), Cuba (39,871), Vietnam (39,584), El Salvador (35,796), the Dominican Republic (35,252), Colombia (22,926), and Korea (22,759), accounted for 56.6 percent (592,782) of all naturalizations in 2008.