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Report: Almost 18 percent of Illinois workers are immigrants

Monday, Nov 13, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Greg Hinz

As immigration matters continue to roil Washington, a new report underlines the economic implications to Illinois if Congress and President Donald Trump make the wrong moves.

According to the study from the American Immigration Council, a left-leaning Washington advocacy group, 1 in 8 state residents, roughly 1.8 million people, are immigrants.

Even more significant, about 1 in 6 workers in the state—17.9 percent—is an immigrant.

The heaviest concentration of immigrant workers is in manufacturing, where 229,000 of the state’s 1.2 million immigrant workers are employed. Health care and social assistance industries come next at 157,000, according to the council, which says it drew its facts from the federal census and other data.

* Dot points

One in seven Illinois residents is an immigrant, while one in eight is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.

    In 2015, 1.8 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 14.2 percent of the population.

    Illinois was home to 870,770 women, 863,196 men, and 92,190 children who were immigrants.

    The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (38.2 percent of immigrants), India (8.1 percent), Poland (7 percent), the Philippines (5 percent), and China (4.3 percent).

    In 2016, 1.6 million people in Illinois (12.6 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

Nearly half of all immigrants in Illinois are naturalized U.S. citizens.

    880,242 immigrants (48.2 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 326,135 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.

    Nearly three-quarters (73.2 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

Immigrants in Illinois are concentrated at both ends of the educational spectrum.

    Almost one in three adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while one in four had less than a high school diploma.

More than a quarter-million U.S. citizens in Illinois live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

    450,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 24 percent of the immigrant population and 3.5 percent of the total state population in 2014.

    817,066 people in Illinois, including 343,532 born in the United States, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.

    During the same period, 1 in 10 children in the state was a U.S. citizen living with at least one undocumented family member (395,179 children in total).

More than 35,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in Illinois.

    As of 2016, 73 percent of DACA-eligible immigrants in Illinois, or 45,663 people, had applied for DACA.

    An additional 18,000 residents of the state satisfied all but the educational requirements for DACA, and another 9,000 would be eligible as they grew older.

One in six workers in Illinois is an immigrant, together making up an important part of the state’s labor force in a range of industries.

    1.2 million immigrant workers comprised 17.9 percent of the labor force in 2015.

Immigrants in Illinois have contributed billions of dollars in taxes.

    Immigrant-led households in the state paid $9.8 billion in federal taxes and $5.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.

    Undocumented immigrants in Illinois paid an estimated $758.9 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to over $917.4 million if they could receive legal status.

    DACA recipients in Illinois paid an estimated $131 million in state and local taxes in 2016.

As consumers, immigrants add tens of billions of dollars to Illinois’ economy.

    Illinois residents in immigrant-led households had $40.1 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

Immigrant entrepreneurs in Illinois generate billions of dollars in business revenue.

    119,404 immigrant business owners accounted for 21.3 percent of all self-employed Illinois residents in 2015 and generated more than $2.5 billion in business income.

    In 2015, immigrants accounted for 20.3 percent of business owners in the Chicago/Naperville/Joliet metropolitan area (which stretches from Wisconsin to Indiana through Illinois) and 6.5 percent of business owners in the St. Louis metro area (which straddles Illinois and Missouri).


  1. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    And our own governor is the grandson of an immigrant

  2. - From Sweden - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    One person who is not a part of that statistic would be Rauner’s grandfather.

  3. - Perrid - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    Ah, so that’s where all the manufacturing jobs went /s. I kid, though there probably are a lot of people who will only take that away from this.

  4. - illini - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    So which one of these immigrants will become the next Shad Khan?

  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    Immigration will unquestionably change the power structure of Illinois, but it will also be needed for the economy. The dying off of the baby boomers, as well as the flight of Illinois born, will be back filled by immigrants. Get used to the idea. “Change is gonna come”… will the change be handled?
    Fear or “Let’s go with the flow”

  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    immigrants drive the economy.

  7. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    A left leaning advocacy’s group claims there are only 450,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois. Hard to believe that number is that low.

    The left leaning advocacy group is leaving out one important number-What is the amount of state aid that goes towards undocumented immigrants?

  8. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    ==Hard to believe that number is that low.==

    You got another number in mind? 3+% doesn’t sound like it would be all that far off.

  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    Undocumented immigration occurs when the Department of Revenue is unable to enforce tax law. The Department of Revenue need more money and tools to effect fair and equal treatment under the law.

  10. - don the legend - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    …Hard to believe that number is that low…

    Really LP, it’s obviously not hard for you to believe a lot of things.

  11. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 4:53 pm:

    LP, what should the number be? Based on what? Same with alleged state aid.

    Are you doing immigrant bashing for Rauner now? You guys only like the imaginary ones from Sweden?

  12. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 5:05 pm:

    ===What is the amount of state aid that goes towards undocumented immigrants?===

    Net of taxes paid? Because that’s the only fiar way to ask that question. Even you LP must understand that undocumented immigrants pay taxes. Sales tax and property taxes sure, but some have income tax withheld and social security tax withheld even though they won’t file an income tax return and can’t ever receive a social security check.

    Yes, they are taking up spots in our schools and even some in our jails, and there is a cost to that. Some get subsidized health care too. But no one, anywhere, has shown me that they cost more than they contribute.

    And they contribute in so many ways. If a country isn’t growing in population it is dying. Immigration is the only way we’ll be assured that there will be someone there to change your bed pan at your retirement home. Think about that next time you guys meet up to rally for a wall or some other dumb anti-immigrant policy.

  13. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 5:14 pm:

    I was thinking the same thing, illini. What a great, humble man.

  14. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 5:26 pm:

    Trib has the number of undocumented at 511,000, down 10%.

    Might want to take the left wing advocacy group with a grain of salt

  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 6:16 pm:

    LP, tell us about all that “state aid” the undocumented are receiving. What programs are those and how do they go about receiving that?

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 9:41 pm:

    Is the US underpopulated?

  17. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 9:48 pm:

    For those who complain about the cost of their property taxes and the cost of the education part of their taxation, the cost of programs and staff salaries…………..English Language Learners is a program that did not exist when my parents
    came to the US. They learned (proficient)English through total immersion. Totally clueless about English as kindergartners, they learned by being in English speaking classrooms. Today, that would be considered cruel. However, it comes at a cost. Mind you, ELL is taylored to many languages, so if you’re thinking Spanish/ENglish, you would be wrong. For each specific language, even if there is only one student, staff in that language is employed. In any case, it is a cost that we have taken on in our schools for immigrants. When asked about costs, this is one amongst several that have grown to cover newcomers to our state.

  18. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 10:25 pm:

    Anon 9:48, some remedial English and writing would do you some good.

  19. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 10:45 pm:

    You are consistent Wordslinger. Your Alinskyite rulebook says, never ever address the substance of the argument but always, always mock who says it. Rinse and repeat

  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 13, 17 @ 11:07 pm:

    LOL, LP, I’m substance-free? Do you consider your lack of self-awareness a blessing or a curse?

    LP, if you don’t wish to be mocked, perhaps you shouldn’t have chosen the handle that you did. Doesn’t exactly communicate seriousness.

    Dont forget to get back to us on all that “state aid” you alleged undocumented workers receive. I’m sure it will be chock-fulla substance.

  21. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Nov 14, 17 @ 7:45 am:

    Illegal immigration is a boon for the 1%, a slight benefit for the middle class, and terrible for the working class, particularly the African-American underclass. Coretta Scott King once called the effect “devastating” in a letter to Orin Hatch.

    Before President Obama, it was both progressives and nativists who took the hard line against illegal immigration. In the New York Times Paul Krugman and Nick Kristof wrote against it (the latter calling it “compassion that hurts”) during the Kennedy-McCain bill pendency. (If you want “substance” on this, start with the work of Harvard economists George Borjas or the 2008 report of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on the effect of illegal immigration on African-American jobs and wages).

    And now we’re facing increased tech disruption of low skilled jobs, even farm jobs. Progressives won’t even allow debate on the subject. Mary Mitchell has written about the disconnect on how guarded African-American politicians are on the issue in contrast to how their constituents talk and feel about it. A few years ago there was a protest (I forget the man’s name) when he couldn’t find an African-American face on Chicago construction sights. Think about that: we have third world level unemployment for young adult African-American Chicagoans.

  22. - Odysseus - Tuesday, Nov 14, 17 @ 7:13 pm:

    “Illegal immigration is a boon for the 1%, a slight benefit for the middle class, and terrible for the working class, particularly the African-American underclass.”

    So work to reduce it. Shorten the duration of the immigration process, eliminate the caps, and put CEOs who hire visa violators in jail.

    Oh, wait, that wasn’t what you meant at all, was it?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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