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  1. #1
    Member gcsanjose's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    Study finds half million illegal immigrants in Bay Area

    SAN FRANCISCO -- An estimated half-million illegal immigrants live in the Bay Area, according to a study that is one of the first to try to measure the number of local residents living in the U.S. illegally.

    The report by the Public Policy Institute of California used tax returns, previous national estimates and mathematical models to determine that 563,000 illegal immigrants live in the Bay Area, about 8 percent of the region's total population.

    Santa Clara County leads the Bay Area with 180,000 illegal immigrants, followed by Alameda County with 124,000 and Contra Costa County with 79,000, the study found.

    "Unauthorized immigrants are a part of our communities. They're not just in a few pockets," said demographer Laura Hill, who is a co-author of the report. "This isn't a situation that is isolated to one or a few counties. These folks are likely to be pretty well-integrated in the places where they are."

    Illegal immigrants make up 12 percent of the population in wine-growing Napa County, one of the highest rates after Monterey and San Benito counties, where they make up 13.5 percent of the population, and Imperial County, along the Mexican border, where they make up 12.8 percent. Illegal immigrants represent 10.2 percent of the population in Santa Clara County and 8.4 percent in Alameda County, according to the study.

    The researchers also surmise that the population appears to be dropping, at least in older urban areas, as immigrants try their luck in inland California and other states.

    Several other studies have found the state's illegal immigrant population, estimated at 2.6 million last year, to be steady or dropping even as it rises in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and other Southern states.

    The study relied heavily on the number of California residents filing taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, which is for taxpayers who do not have a Social Security number. Examining those tax records by ZIP codes found many of the applicants living in immigrant-heavy urban neighborhoods, such as in San Jose, San Francisco's Mission district, Oakland's Fruitvale district and the east and west ends of Contra Costa County, but also in rural areas such as the Salinas Valley where undocumented immigrants work in the fields. Even in the suburbs, however, many neighborhoods in the East Bay and Silicon Valley have populations where at least 5 percent of residents lack the proper documents to live in the United States.

    Neither immigrant advocates nor those working to reduce the number of illegal immigrants were surprised by the statistics, but they interpreted the significance of the numbers differently.

    "As in other parts of the state, people who live in the Bay Area interact with these immigrants every day. They are their neighbors, their co-workers, they may be part of their families," said Reshma Shamasunder, director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.

    Shamasunder said the decline of undocumented immigrants in the state and its coastal areas probably reflects larger trends as many California residents seek to move to places with a lower cost of living and more job opportunities.

    Others have been kicked out. The federal fingerprint-sharing Secure Communities program has led to the deportation of 4,300 Bay Area residents arrested by local police since the region's nine counties joined the dragnet last year, according to government statistics. That represents fewer than 1 percent of the region's total number of illegal immigrants, according to the new study, which is based on 2008 data.

    An East Bay advocate for reducing immigration doubted suggestions that the state's population of illegal immigrants is steady or declining. The Department of Homeland Security thinks California's illegal immigrant population dropped by about 250,000 in 2008 and 2009, but Yeh Ling-Ling of the Orinda-based Alliance for a Sustainable USA said that is barely a dent in a population that costs U.S. citizens jobs and money.

    "I personally do not believe that the illegal immigrant population is going down," she said.

    "Even if it has been down, the reduction is very insignificant. Even if they're not in California, they're in other parts of the country, and American taxpayers have to bear the costs."

    By the numbers

    Nearly 2.9 million California residents, or 7.8 percent of the state's total population, were living in the country illegally in 2008, according to a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Counties with highest number of illegal immigrants:
    Los Angeles 916,000
    Orange 289,000
    San Diego 198,000
    Santa Clara 180,000
    San Bernardino 150,000
    Riverside 146,000
    Alameda 124,000
    Contra Costa 79,000
    Ventura 74,000
    Sacramento 65,000
    Monterey/San Benito 62,000 *

    Counties with the highest percentage of residents who are in the country illegally:
    Monterey/San Benito 13.5 percent *
    Imperial 12.8 percent
    Napa 12 percent
    Santa Clara 10.2 percent
    Orange 9.6 percent
    Los Angeles 9.3 percent
    Ventura 9.3 percent
    Merced 9.1 percent
    Santa Barbara 9 percent
    Sonoma 8.8 percent
    Alameda 8.4 percent

    A full report on the county estimates can be viewed at The institute also released a "primer" on illegal immigration in the state at
    * Because San Benito County is so small, it was included with Monterey County in the figures.
    Source: Public Policy Institute of California

  2. #2
    Member gcsanjose's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    This is why I moved out of the sanctuary city of San Jose.

    True story when I was living in San Jose. I did not send my 2010 census form in, so they sent someone out to get my info. The nice older gentleman (a Vietnam Vet) went through his spiel then asked me if it was OK for him to ask me a few question. I replied "sure no problem". He then said "It's nice to come across someone that speaks English". All I could think was..tell me about it. You wouldn't know what country you're in most of SJ. Of course there are some areas where the rich folk get to live above the commoners.

  3. #3

    John Horgan: New study understates the illegal immigration i

    John Horgan: New study understates the illegal immigration impact

    It's the California conundrum that won't go away.

    Illegal immigration is a societal reality that is here to stay, and San Mateo County is most definitely not immune.

    Last week's comprehensive report on the subject by the Public Policy Institute of California, a Sacramento-based think tank, offered some revealing statistics.

    Statewide in 2010, the document noted, there were about 2.6 million illegal immigrants, or 7.9 percent of the total population. They were overwhelmingly Hispanic; most were from Mexico. In this county, the corresponding figures were 55,000 undocumented individuals, or 7.8 percent of the total.

    But the report did not attempt to estimate another important aspect of the phenomenon, arguably one of the most significant demographic shifts affecting the Golden State: children born into families in which at least one parent is an illegal immigrant.

    These youngsters, often dubbed "anchor babies" by foes of illegal immigration, are, at birth, automatically U.S. citizens and entitled to all the rights and privileges afforded to such legal residents, including financial assistance. Their protected status complicates attempts to deport either one or both parents in the event of a run-in with federal immigration authorities.

    How many such kids are there in California and in this county? Laura Hill, one of the authors of the Public Policy Institute analysis, said such data was not part of the study. However,
    the report does state, "Most children of illegal immigrants were born in the U.S."

    Even a very conservative estimate of the number of these children would mean that, at the state and county level, around 10 percent of the population could be comprised of unauthorized residents and their legal children. That is a stunning figure, no matter which side of the illegal immigration debate you care to argue. The financial and cultural implications for public education, public health and law enforcement are enormous and far-reaching.

    The Public Policy Institute research, about as informative and dispassionate as it could be considering the divisive subject matter, is one more indication of the depth and scope of the important issue. The study is available at It is sobering stuff and well worth reading. ... source=rss

  4. #4
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Wonder if the taxpayers of CA are real happy with this.
    "A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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