Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood

Dec 01, 2011

Nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years and nearly half are parents of minor children, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2010 Current Population Survey, augmented with the Center’s analysis of the demographic characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population using a “residual estimation methodology”1 that the Center has employed for many years.

The characteristics of this population have become a source of renewed interest in the wake of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent endorsement of a proposal to create a path for unauthorized immigrants to gain legal status if they have lived in the country for a long period of time, have children in the U.S., pay taxes and belong to a church. Several of Gingrich’s opponents for the Republican presidential nomination have criticized the proposal as a form of amnesty that would encourage more immigrants to come to the U.S. illegally.

Read the full report, Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood, on the Pew Hispanic Center's Web site.

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