Maria Enchautegui from the Urban Institute recently published some interesting statistics on the impact that immigration reform may have on families across the United States. Most news sources around the United States hold the number of people that will be affected by immigration reform at around eleven million. Enchautegui, however, explains that most media outlets forget the nearly nine million people who co-reside with those 11 million undocumented immigrants. U.S. born children with undocumented parents, for instance, make up some of the people who will be directly affected by an immigration reform bill, despite the fact that they hold citizenship. Hence, although estimates of undocumented workers are certainly relevant to the immigration reform debate, they in no way paint the whole picture.
Other numbers on unauthorized immigrants and the households they live in are staggering, and really show just how badly reform is needed. Over four million children ages 13 and younger reside with unauthorized immigrants in the United States, and over 70 percent of the undocumented immigrants that live in this country act as the heads of their household.
The fact that so many young people have such a big stake in immigration reform should be considered with the fact that there has been a slow growth in the population of undocumented immigrants over the past year. A decline in the U.S. population of undocumented workers paralleled the recession starting in about 2007, but as of early last year, there have been some indications that the number of undocumented immigrants is again rising.
So, what does all of this mean for the prospect of immigration reform? Although, traditionally, passing any fundamental legislation in an election year is difficult, next year may not follow the same mold as latino voters become a larger percentage of the electorate. With so many latino voters coming of voting age within the next few years, and with the fact that republicans will almost certainly work harder this election cycle to obtain a larger piece of the latino voter pie, the chances for immigration reform are unusually high. This is especially true given a recent poll that shows that, of the latinos who voted in the midterm elections, almost half said they may vote for a republican instead of a democrat, if republicans lead the way in Congress to pass an immigration reform bill.
To follow up on all immigration reform developments, and for all of your immigration law questions, contact a DuPage immigration law attorney today.
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