Immigrants deeply embedded in labor market & social fabric of California: study

Immigrants who are living illegally in California make up 10 per cent of the state's workforce, a fresh report on contributions of non-citizens revealed.

A study by the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (USC's CSII) and the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) found that nearly 11.3 million unauthorized immigrant workers were in the U. S. as of March 2013, of which 2.6 million were living in the Golden State.

The study also estimated that illegal immigrants contribute an estimated $130 billion annually to California's gross domestic product (GDP). They make up 38 per cent of California's agriculture workforce and 14 per cent of the construction industry workforce of the state.

The researchers also studied illegal immigrants' contributions in the Los Angeles area. They estimated that there were nearly 4.4 million immigrants in the area as of March last year, of which 1.1 million are living illegally. Their contribution to the area's GDP was estimated at $57 billion.

CIPC's executive director Reshma Shamasunder said immigrants were making significant contributions to the state's GDP but the daily threat of deportation cast a shadow over them.

Commenting on the figures, Shamasunder said, "Every one of California's immigrants helps shape our state's economic and civic vitality. But the daily threat of deportation casts a shadow over California's undocumented residents - and their loved ones and communities."

USC Sociology Prof. Manuel Pastor stressed that the study showed immigrants were integrated into daily life of California to a great extent. Legal and illegal immigrants along with their children together make up over 40 per cent of California's population.

United States