Undocumented Immigrants are Mostly Longterm Residents

The Pew Hispanic Center has an important new report on undocumented immigrants, which leads with this summary:

Nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years and nearly half—4.7 million—are parents of minor children, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Such data should put a different spin on much of the political debate about these immigrants. Nearly two thirds are longterm residents of 10 years or more. And add in those who have been here 5-10 years and you have an overwhelming majority of these mostly hard working immigrants being fairly longterm residents. And many others among the undocumented are minor children who have only known the United States as their country. Many of these youth mostly know just US ways, customs, the English language, and such.

Moreover, without these mostly Latino and Asian Americans, immigrants and their children, this country would likely be dying demographically, like many European countries.

Thus, it is amazing just how backward, ignorant, and extreme much of the political discussion of this probably necessary immigration is in this very troubled and increasingly xenophobic country. Generating such ignorance seems to be a major (necessary?) product of our capitalistic media and often arch-conservative political and public discussions.