225,000 Chicago residents could benefit from immigration reform

Imm ReformThe executive orders issued by President Obama to protect some immigrants from the threat of deportation could benefit up to 225,000 people in Chicago, Migration Policy Institute (MPI) statistics reveal. The Washington think-tank yesterday released an analysis suggesting that Cook County is home to 322,000 undocumented immigrants, which equates to around one in 16 residents.

The United States has just two counties with more undocumented immigrants – Harris County in Texas and Los Angeles County in California, according to the MPI’s director of research for programs in the United States, Randy Capps. The new analysis has discovered that 155,000 undocumented immigrants living in Cook County would be eligible for Obama’s deferred action programs, which were announced two months ago back in November.

Last fall the MPI estimated that around 560,000 undocumented immigrants were living in Illinois, with its new analysis suggesting that almost three-fifths of these people are residing in Cook County. Around 70 per cent of the undocumented immigrants living in Cook County are believed to be from Mexico, with 3 per cent from Guatemala and India, 2 per cent from Ecuador and 4 per cent from Poland.

The great majority of undocumented immigrants still come from Mexico, making up 93 per cent of these individuals in Kane County, 78 per cent in Will, 63 per cent in DuPage and 80 per cent in Lake. Across the whole of the state of Illinois, an estimated 73 per cent of undocumented immigrants are Mexicans.