America’s Immigration Battle By the Numbers | Immigration Battle | FRONTLINE | PBS


Greater than 2 million undocumented immigrants have been deported since President Barack Obama took workplace, a quantity that lawmakers on each aspect of the aisle agree factors to a damaged immigration system. A variety of options has been proposed, all the things from growing deportations and strengthening the border, to increasing protections for hundreds of thousands within the nation illegally. For now, the push for complete reform is stalled in Congress. However when the controversy resurfaces, listed here are a number of figures that could possibly be key to the controversy.

There have been an estimated 11.3 million undocumented immigrants residing in the USA in 2014 — down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007 — a determine that is the same as about 3.5 % of the inhabitants.

Mexicans make roughly half of this inhabitants, however lately, the variety of undocumented immigrants arriving from Mexico has truly fallen off, whereas the variety of immigrants making the reverse journey has pulled about even, in line with an evaluation by the Pew Analysis Middle. In the meantime, the variety of immigrants from Central America has surged, from 354,000 in 1980 to 3.2 million in 2013.

In complete, roughly 350,000 new undocumented immigrants enter the nation every year, in line with Pew.

After immigration reform stalled in Congress in 2014, President Obama introduced a collection of government actions designed to guard as many as 5 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation. One measure was designed to supply deferrals for roughly 4 million undocumented mother and father of Americans or authorized everlasting residents who’ve lived within the U.S. for not less than 5 years. The plan additionally prolonged a program referred to as Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which permits younger individuals who got here to the U.S. earlier than the age of 16 to use for deportation deferrals and work permits. The deferrals, although, wouldn’t create a path to citizenship.

In February, a federal choose accredited an injunction on the packages in response to a problem by Texas and 26 different states. The plan stays on maintain as the case makes its manner by way of the appeals course of.

In 2012, undocumented immigrants collectively contributed $11.84 billion to state and native taxes — roughly 8 % of state and native tax nationwide. That’s in line with analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Financial Coverage, or ITEP. Granting lawful everlasting residence to all 11.3 unauthorized immigrants within the nation would increase their state and native tax contributions to $14.04 billion, aligning their tax funds with what the ITEP calls “economically related” U.S. residents.

Deporting all 11.3 million within the U.S. illegally could be far costlier. Separate estimates by the American Motion Discussion board and the Middle for American Progress — two suppose tanks on reverse ends of the political spectrum — every put the worth tag for a mass deportation program as little as $103.9 billion and as excessive as $303.7 billion. In response to each organizations, it will take extra 20 years for a mass deportation program to take away all 11.3 million.

Mass deportation — as some political candidates have referred to as for — might additionally dent the financial system. The Bipartisan Coverage Middle calculates that deporting all present and future unauthorized immigrants would shrink the nation’s workforce by 6.4 %. A coverage that eliminated all unauthorized staff would additionally “harm the housing market, improve the deficit, and scale back GDP by about 5.7 % over the subsequent 20 years,” in line with the examine.

The Bipartisan Coverage Middle discovered that complete reform would as an alternative scale back federal deficits by $1.2 trillion over 20 years. It could additionally spur financial development by 4.8 % over the identical interval.

Within the absence of complete reform, the federal government’s immigration efforts have largely targeted on securing the border and deportations. Ranging from President Obama’s first full 12 months in workplace in 2009 by way of 2013, the U.S. has deported a median of 403,563 folks every year, in line with knowledge from the Division of Homeland Safety.

In 2011, the deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised a Home subcommittee that it prices a median of $12,500 to arrest, detain and deport every individual faraway from the U.S. That interprets to roughly $5 billion in spending every year on deportations.

The U.S. and Mexico share a 1,900-mile-long border. In 2009, the Authorities Accountability Workplace calculated that it will price a median of $3.9 million to safe a single mile of the southern border. At the very least $2.4 billion has been allotted to finish about 670 miles of auto and pedestrian fencing. Walling off the remaining 1,300 miles might price a further $5.1 billion, based mostly on the GAO’s estimates.

The form of any future immigration reform laws will have clear political implications. There are 53 million Hispanics within the U.S. and within the 2012 election, this group made up 10 % of the overall vote. By 2030, Hispanics are anticipated to make up 40 % of the expansion within the eligible voters, in line with Pew.

As a voting bloc, Hispanics have overwhelmingly sided with Democrats in nationwide elections. In 2012, for instance, 71 % of Latino voters sided with President Barack Obama whereas solely 29 % voted for his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.


Sara Obeidat

Sara Obeidat, Affiliate Producer, FRONTLINE