In the USA, 61 million people are part of immigrant families, according to new research released yesterday that raises questions as to the extent of the way in which everything from social security to schools and congested cities are affected by immigration.
The figure represents a staggering rise over the course of the last 45 years, with just 13.5 million back in 1970, the Center for Immigration Studies says based on December figures provided by the Census Bureau. 45.3 million are legal immigrants and children who were born in the United States, while the rest are undocumented immigrants and their offspring. The center’s research director, Steven A Camarota, says the political debate, that is focusing entirely on undocumented immigrants so far, should turn to a conversation on how the country is being shaped by legal immigrants.
“The fundamental questions that have to be asked are not even being asked,” Camarota notes. “What is the desirable level of immigration? Most immigration is legal. We have 45 million legal immigrants and their kids living in the United States right now. That has enormous implications across public policy.”
Almost one in five residents of the United States are a part of immigrant families, a statistic that has been increasing rapidly. Immigrants as an overall share of the US population is reaching record levels set at the beginning of the 19th century and that mark may well be broken by 2023, Camarota claims.