After decades of mass immigration, California is no longer able to absorb a constant flow of immigrants and still maintain a decent quality of life for its residents. Currently, about one in ten Americans is foreign-born, with over a third of the foreign-born population arriving in the past 10 years.1
Since California receives about 21 percent of the nation’s flood of immigration, our state’s numbers look a little different, with an astounding one in four Californians being foreign-born.2 In addition, nearly all of our state’s growth is now due to immigration and higher-than-average fertility rates among new immigrants.
If current legal and illegal immigration trends continue, an estimated 60 million people will call California home by 2050.
Other Immigration Facts
Immigration Q & A
We at CAPS support limiting immigration and stabilizing population. We urge state and national legislators to:
- Provide much-needed protection at our borders and ports.
- Deploy ample interior enforcement so illegal aliens can be identified and returned to their home countries.
- Toughen sanctions for employers who hire illegal aliens.
- Support legislation that ensures active cooperation between federal and local law enforcement, facilitating the apprehension and deportation of illegal and criminal aliens.
- Stop encouraging illegal entry by saying “NO” to amnesties, which only result in more illegal immigration.
- Reduce legal immigration to traditional levels.
- Eliminate “chain” migration by limiting “family reunification” to spouses and minor children of legal immigrants.
- Stop terrorists via new regulations for student and tourist visa holders that make their location and movements known.
- Eliminate “birthright citizenship” for children of illegal aliens.
- Reduce foreign pressure to immigrate to the United States by funding family planning assistance in other countries.
- During the first fifty years after our country’s inception, the United States received about 710,000 immigrants.
- During the first century of our country’s existence (1776 to 1884), we received about two immigrants a day.
- Traditionally, modern immigration to the United States averaged below 200,000 newcomers per year. The exceptions are a brief period of mass immigration at the start of the 20th century and the decades of escalating arrivals since passage of the 1965 Immigration Act.
- In recent years, we have permitted over 1 million legal immigrants per year—over 4 million when you add illegal immigrants to that number.
- In the 1990s we admitted two immigrants every minute.
- Immigration and births to immigrants drive virtually all of California’s current population growth, conservatively estimated at 432,000 per year—about the size of such cities as Long Beach, Fresno, and Sacramento, and very similar to many smaller states.3
- The Hispanic population is forecast to experience especially strong growth, averaging over 1.9 percent annually and accounting for more than two–thirds of California’s total population growth between 2008 and 2014.4
- The immigrant share of total U.S. population is growing at a record-breaking rate, and in fiscal year 2007, nearly 1.4 million naturalization applications were filed, almost twice as many as during the previous year.5
- By the end of FY 2007, the number of applications in the USCIS naturalization backlog had reached 877,758, an 85% increase from the end of FY 2006.6
- Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans want a reduction in immigration numbers—both legal and illegal.
- There are an estimated 20 to 38 million illegal aliens currently residing in our country.
- California is home to at least 3 million of those illegal aliens.8
- All of the 9/11 hijackers were in the United States legally, having entered on temporary visas.
- Illegal aliens who enroll in the University of California system are charged in-state tuition.
- Each year the Border Patrol makes more than a million apprehensions of persons unlawfully crossing U.S. borders to work and to receive public assistance, often with the aid of fraudulent documents. Such entry is a misdemeanor, and if repeated becomes punishable as a felony.
- Illegal aliens from Central America have been allowed to remain in the United States so long that their homelands have grown dependent on the billions of dollars a year they send home in remittances.
- Over 300,000 people who have been ordered deported are still in the country because their deportation orders were not enforced.
- Census Bureau estimates say 115,000 people from terrorist-sponsoring Middle Eastern nations live in the United States illegally.
- Some illegal aliens from terrorist nations pay as much as $50,000 each to be smuggled into our country.
- Approximately one-third of all foreign-born U.S. residents are illegal aliens.
- Over half of all Mexicans living in the United States are here illegally.
- In the last decade, 80 to 85 percent of the flow of Mexican immigrants has been illegal.
- A strategy of attrition through enforcement could reduce the illegal population by as many as 1.5 million illegal aliens each year. Currently about 183,000 illegal aliens per year depart without the intervention of immigration officials, according to DHS statistics.
- An estimated 300,000 children are born to illegal immigrants each year in the United States; a figure that may in fact be far greater. Under the present legal vacuum, these children are considered to have an automatic claim of citizenship.
- Many if not most of the illegal immigrants are giving birth on the U.S. taxpayers’ dime, receiving emergency Medicaid or state-funded neonatal and delivery care that runs into the thousands of dollars-per-birth. One Texas hospital saw nearly half of all its births in 2007, about 2,400 children, come from illegal aliens. The hospital estimates a loss of $200 million annually in uncompensated care.
- Costs of caring for illegal aliens and their children have skyrocketed, even as social and medical services for American citizens continue to be cut back as budgets tighten. Schools, hospitals, emergency rooms and community programs continue to suffer funding cuts. Further, immigrants and their children are driving America’s dramatic population gain, which is placing increasing stress on resources available for our most at risk and in need citizens.
- Restore the 14th Amendment to its original intent; ending automatic birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens and those who take advantage of the burgeoning “birth tourism” industry—which caters to pregnant foreigners who seek to vacation in America with the intent of having their children here.
- Force Congress to act—possibly by having one or more major counties in America declare that they will no longer recognize birthright citizenship from parents who cannot demonstrate they are citizens themselves. This largely symbolic gesture would compel Congress to deal with it once and for all.
- The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was a direct result of the end of the Civil War and the nation’s moral imperative of making former slaves and their descendents full-fledged citizens with equal protection under the law. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery; the 14th Amendment meant to begin the process of correcting the terrible injustice of slavery by extending citizenship to those who suffered under it.
- The 14th Amendment was also a direct response to the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision of 1858, in which the highest court in the nation ruled that slaves, former slaves and their descendents could never be citizens of the United States. The 14th Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868.
- The 14th Amendment states: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. This became known as the ‘birthright citizenship’ clause of the amendment.
- The key element of that clause is the line “…and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” as the interpretation of whether illegal immigrant parents are indeed subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. is the cornerstone of what determines whether their children born here receive birthright citizenship.
- Since the specific purpose for which the 14th Amendment was drafted—to wrap the former slaves and their children with the protective blanket of citizenship—it is reasonable to assume that its authors in 1868 did not envision this right applying to millions of foreign nationals illegally entering the nation.
- There are three primary approaches that Americans can take in order to restore the original intent of the 14th Amendment:
- A new constitutional amendment that specifically identifies the requirements to qualify for birthright citizenship.
- Narrowly crafted legislation from Congress that clarifies that birthright citizenship is not automatically extended to the children of illegal immigrants and re-establishes the requirements—with a “grandfather clause” that confirms citizenship that was already granted prior to the legislation’s passage.
- A city or state to restrict birthright citizenship to the children of citizens, thereby provoking a challenge that would eventually put the issue squarely in front of the Supreme Court; possibly by forcing Congress to act.
- Last year, 140,000 employment-based visas were issued.
- Corporations have been known to replace American professional workers with foreign-born professionals willing to accept lower salaries and poorer working conditions.
- The H-1B Visa program brings “temporary” high-tech foreign workers (usually computer scientists and programmers) to the U.S. to fill an alleged "shortage" of American Information Technology (IT) workers. The high-tech industry vociferously lobbies Congress for increases in the number of H-1B workers as it produces fewer jobs and displaces American workers.
- The unemployment rate is rising and reached 12% in California in 2011.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 14 million Americans are currently unemployed.
- Amnesties, whether presented as “guest worker programs” or other legislation, reward lawbreaking.
- Historically, each time the U.S. government enacted an amnesty, illegal immigration numbers increased sharply thereafter.
- The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegal aliens. The purpose of IRCA was to lower illegal immigration. Instead, illegal immigration increased fivefold, from around 140,000 per year in the 1980s to 700,000 per year today.
- Granting amnesty would allow access to taxpayer-funded services such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and MediCal, for millions of illegal aliens.
- One study found that the net cost to the federal government of granting amnesty to 3.8 million illegal aliens would average $5,000 per household, for a total cost of $19 billion.
- Congress is currently considering offering amnesty to the estimated 12-20 million illegal aliens living in the United States.
- Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants would open the door to many more newcomers, as each person granted citizenship could bring over his/her family—legally. Simply bringing the parents of each new citizen here would mean allowing another 24-40 million people to settle in the United States.
- Currently, one-tenth of the flow of legal immigrants to the United States are parents of naturalized recent immigrants.
- All parents of naturalized immigrants would be eligible for citizenship—and therefore also be eligible for Medicaid and Social Security benefits, for a total cost to the U.S. government of $18,000 per person.
- Current interpretation under the 14th Amendment, every child born on U.S. soil is a U.S. citizen—even if that child is the offspring of illegal aliens.
- Called “Anchor Babies,” U.S.-born children provide access for their entire families to social services and government support. They “anchor” the family in the United States.
- A 2005 Fox News poll found that 91 percent of Americans think the illegal immigration situation in the United States today is a “very” serious (63 percent) or “somewhat” serious (28 percent) problem.
- In May 2006, nearly 2 million immigrants and illegal aliens across the nation took to the streets to protest U.S. laws and borders, some calling for a “reconquista” or “reclamation” of the U.S. Southwest by Mexico.
- Many advocates of “reconquista” believe it will happen through sheer demographic force—through legal and illegal immigration, and through higher fertility rates among certain groups. Promoting one race over another is considered racism.
- Protesters at these demonstrations held signs with slogans such as “This is our continent, not yours!” and “We are indigenous, the only owners of this continent!”
- U.S. Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus News
- Immigration Report Cards on California's Delegation to the U.S. Congress
- U.S. Homeland Security Office
- U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- U.S. Census Bureau
- DHS Border and Transportation Security
1,8DHS Office of Immigration Statistics. “Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2008.” published Feb. 2009. http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_2008.pdf
2U.S. Census Bureau. “Percent of People Who Are Foreign Born: 2007.” http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=57&gps=264_1468_1020_590&f=00&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2003/ACSTables.html%23tb1
3Legislative Analyst’s Office Analysis of the 2008-09 Budget Bill: Perspectives and Issues. “Perspectives on the Economy and Demographics Summary.” http://www.lao.ca.gov/analysis_2008/2008_pandi/pi_anl08002.aspx
4,7Legislative Analyst’s Office. “California's Fiscal Outlook: LAO Projections 2008-09 Through 2013-14.” Nov. 20, 2008. http://www.lao.ca.gov/2008/fiscal_outlook/fiscal_outlook_112008.aspx
5Migration Policy Institute. "Behind the Naturalization Backlog: Causes, Context, and Concerns." Feb. 2008. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/FS21_NaturalizationBacklog_022608.pdf
6NALEO Educational Fund. “Lengthy Application Delays Will Force Newcomers to Defer American Dream.” Dec. 4, 2007. http://www.naleo.org/downloads/NALEOFactSheet_onFrontlog_Backlog12-07.pdf
Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The Employment Situation: January 2009.” http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm