Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration

CSII Publications

What's at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform, and Our Future Together

By Manuel Pastor and Enrico Marcelli
With Vanessa Carter and Jared Sanchez
May 2013

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What's At Stake for the State


The report with statewide and regional data
Press release
Images from the infographic
Get a hard copy of the infographic mailed to you.

Regional Fact Sheets

Bay Area
Central Valley
East Bay
Inland Empire
Silicon Valley
Orange County
Los Angeles
San Diego

What’s at Stake for the State" paints a multi-hued picture of the state's 2.6 million unauthorized Californians, providing data at the state and regional levels on their demographics, their potential income gains, and how to make the most of their authorization.

Building off a methodology originally pioneered by co-author, Enrico A.Marcelli (Demographer, Department of
Sociology,San Diego State University) to estimate the unauthorized, “What’s at Stake for the State” is the first report to estimate undocumented Californians at this breadth and level of detail. One in six California kids have at least one undocumented parent and 81% of those kids are citizens. Nearly half (49%) of undocumented Californians have lived here more than 10 years. And they are nearly 7% of California’s total population, 8% of all adults and 9% of the state's workforce.

The report also estimates the economic benefit of legalization and naturalization for undocumented Californians - by state and region. The authors estimate that annual aggregate income of the currently undocumented will increase by $4.6 to $7.9 billion. And, since undocumented workers tend to be lower-income, they will spend their paycheck rather than put it into savings – meaning a strong multipliereffect on local economies.

But to get at these gains will require a clear and quick roadmap to citizenship. Also, federal immigration reform needs to take immigrant integration seriously. And, the day after reform, we will need to invest in programs to raise education levels, increase English fluency and improve job skills as a way to maximize the potential of undocumented Californians and build a stronger state.


Media Mentions

Viewpoints: Why immigration overhaul matters to state

By Manuel Pastor
Special to The Bee
Tuesday, May. 7, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9A

Much at stake in immigration reform

By Tim Rutten
Daily News Los Angeles
May 10, 2013

California Has Most to Gain From Immigration Reform

By Albert Sabaté
ABC News Univsion
May 10, 2013

USC: One in Six Calif. Kids Has an Undocumented Parent

New America Media
May 10, 2013

Estudio indica que uno de cada 6 niños en California tiene un padre indocumentado

May 9, 2013

1 in 3 adults in parts of L.A. are in U.S. illegally, study finds

By Cindy Chang
Los Angeles TImes
May 8, 2013

Immigration reform has big stakes in California

By Dan Walters
The Sacramento Bee
May 8, 2013

Also in: Fresno Bee

USC Report: Immigration Reform Could Boost California Economy

By Amy Dominguez-Arms
Irvine Foundation
May 8, 2013

In Los Angeles, 1 in 10 residents is an illegal immigrant, study says

By Daniel Wood
The Christian Science Monitor
May 8, 2013

Also in: Alaska Dispatch

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

By Stefan Lopez
Latinos Post
May 8, 2013

Study: Valley could gain from immigration reform

The Business Journal
May 8, 2013

California has 2.6 million illegal immigrants, USC study finds

The Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert
Published: May 7, 2013

USC: immigration reform could generate $4.6B for CA, $383K for Silicon Valley

By Lauren Hepler
Silicon Valley Business Journal
Published: May 7, 2013

IMMIGRATION: 8% of Inland workforce is undocumented

By Janet Zimmerman
The Press-Enterprise
Published: May 7, 2013

USC Study: 2.3 million Californians are undocumented immigrants

By Leslie Bernstein Rojas
KPCC - Southern California Public Radio
May 7, 2013

Report: With 2.6 million unauthorized, California has a big stake in immigration debate

By Leslie Bernstein Rojas
KPCC - Southern California Public Radio
May 7, 2013

Study: One In Ten L.A. County Residents is An Illegal Immigrant

1230 WBZT - The Talk Station
May 7, 2013

Nearly 1 in 10 California Workers Here Illegally

By Dennis Romero
LA Weekly Blogs
May 7, 2013