• Study Finds Parts Of L.A. Have As Many As 1 In 3 Residents Living There Illegally

    Hispanics make up roughly 90% of Los Angeles County's undocumented population. (Photo : flickr.com/Matthew T Rader)

    A new study by the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration has just finished up a study that bears some surprising facts. The most startling? Roughly one in ten people in Los Angeles County are illegal immigrants.

    The research was released Tuesday and was used to take a snapshot of the current immigration picture in the state of California. There were several eyebrow-raising statistics among the findings.

    By Stefan Lopez May 08, 2013 latinpost.com

    Roughly a quarter of the 11 million illegal immigrants in this country reside in California, and make up around 7% of the population. Furthermore, one in five children that live in Los Angeles county have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant.

    "The share of children with at least one undocumented parent really speaks to the interwoven generations," said Manuel Pastor, director of the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and a coauthor of the research along with Enrico Marcelli of San Diego State. "Another thing that's striking to me is the length of settlement of the undocumented population. Rather than the person who stands in front of Home Depot who just got here a year ago, it's actually a more settled population."

    For Los Angeles County, the vast majority of those immigrants were Hispanic, with about 8% being from Asian countries. Many of them have been living here for a decade or longer, despite having few opportunities for career advancement.

    "There's such uncertainty and instability. They don't have the opportunity to fully participate in anything and everything," El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero said. "They're living almost in purgatory. It's not sustainable."

    In El Monte, one in five residents are illegal immigrants, and there are some places in the Los Angeles area where as many as one in three do not have proper documentation. Central Alameda, for instance, has illegal immigrants accounting for 39% of its population.

    Immigration advocacy groups are pleased with Congress' recent push towards immigration reform (bills that have backing from the likes of John McCain and Marco Rubio), but also warn that we need to provide a stable infrastructure to allow immigrants to succeed within.

    "If we just do legalization but we don't do English language education, we'll really have to wait another generation," said Maria Blanco, vice president of civic engagement at the California Community Foundation, which helped fund the study.
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