This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (copyright 2015--it will be out soon), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

US Births are Disproportionately to Undocumented Immigrants

The Pew Hispanic Research Center in Washington, DC, which is our main and best source for estimates of the undocumented population in the United States, has expanded the scope of its research to estimate the birth rate for this population:
An estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, Unauthorized immigrants comprise slightly more than 4% of the adult population of the U.S., but because they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8%) and the child population (7% of those younger than age 18) in this country.
Of course this feeds into the increasingly acrimonious immigration debate in the US. The same state senator in Arizona who crafted SB1070 in that state has been calling for a change to the Constitution to prohibit children of undocumented immigrants from automatically becoming US citizens. The state of Utah is considering new legislation that would set up guest worker programs between Utah and specific states in Mexico. If passed, such a law would also infringe on federal prerogatives, as the Courts have ruled is the case in the Arizona law. In the meantime, the Obama administration has simply continued the policies of the Bush administration, and Congress has done nothing yet to deal with immigration reform.

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