Undocumented immigrants in Connecticut declined in 2014

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The number of undocumented immigrants living in Connecticut declined by about 10,000 in 2014 to 120,000, according to an analysis recently released by the Pew Research Center.

The number of foreigners living in the state without proper documentation climbed from 20,000 in 1990 to a peak in of 130,000 2008 and had remained level through 2013.

The Connecticut numbers approximate the trend across the country. In 2014, an estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S., unchanged since 2009 and down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007, Pew said. It based its analysis largely on census data.

During the campaign President-elect Donald J. Trump said he would deport all 11 million but since the election has said he would focus on those with criminal backgrounds.

Unauthorized immigrants include those who enter the country without legal permission and those who overstay their visas.

About 10 percent of undocumented immigrants have been granted temporary protection from deportation under government programs.

They include those who have been granted Temporary Protected Status because of disease, natural disaster or conflict in their home countries as well as some people who have applied for asylum status but whose applications have not been processed.

They also include more than 728,000 young adults brought to the U.S. as children who successfully applied for President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump’s deportation action would need cooperation from local law enforcement, but Gov. Dannel Malloy already has indicated he would not assist federal authorities with broad deportations. The state would only hold for deportation only immigrants convicted of a violent felony or those subject to a court order.

Only seven states saw a statistically significant decline in the number of undocumented immigrants, largely because of a falling number of Mexican immigrants.

CT’s unauthorized immigrant workers
Occupation Percent
Service 34%
Construction 15%
Professional 14%
Unauthorized immigrant workers by industry in CT
Industry Percent
Agriculture 14%
Construction 12%
Leisure/hospitality 9%
Pew Research Center

Connecticut ranked 41st among the states for share of undocumented immigrants from Mexico at 18 percent. Pennsylvania ranked first with Mexicans making up 91 percent of its undocumented immigrants.

About 24 percent of the immigrants in Connecticut are undocumented, which is 31st among the states. Arkansas had the largest proportion of undocumented immigrants with 48 percent.

The majority of the country’s undocumented immigrant population came from Mexico, but they totaled just 5.8 million in 2014, a decline of about 500,000 since 2009.

Undocumented immigrants from other nations, in particular Asia and Central America, have increased since 2009 by 325,000 to 5.3 million in 2014. More immigrants now come from Asia than Latin America.

Meanwhile, the overall foreign-born population in the U.S. has gone up each year since 2009. The total immigrant population increased to 43.6 million in 2014 even as the undocumented-immigrant figures remained stable.

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