By Manuel Pastor and Enrico Marcelli
With Vanessa Carter and Jared Sanchez
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The report with statewide and regional data
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Regional Fact Sheets
“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.