Nearly one out of every 10 workers in California is here illegally. So says a new USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration report.
The research, released today, also says that more than 1 in 10 Golden State kids (1.2 million of them, or 13 percent) has at least one parent who's here illegally. Who are these people?
According to the study, titled “What's At Stake For The State,” they're people who are all around you, and they've been around you for a while:
Half of those in California illegally have been here more than 10 years and 1 in 6 actually owns a home.
Researchers argue that legalizing this 2.6 million-strong group, larger than the population of of Riverside, would have positive results for the economy, including a so-called “multiplier effect” where more spending begets more spending.
The benefit could be $4.6 to $7.9 billion statewide and $1 billion in L.A. county alone, the academics say. That's because legal residency status boosts workers' annual income and that income gets spent, they argue.
Enrico A. Marcelli, a demographer at San Diego State University and co-author of the report, says:
From the self-employed in Southern California, to the homeowners in the Inland Empire, to the better educated in the Bay Area – the undocumented are very diverse. They are deeply woven into the fabric of California's present and future – particularly because they are the parents of citizen children of the state.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.