Separating myths from realities about undocumented migrants


Think you know about undocumented migrants, think again….

On Feb 22, 2024 California Lutheran University’s Dr. Jamshid Damooei hosted a conference themed “Separating Myths from Realities,” on the issue of undocumented migrants in the golden state.

Some facts with Dr. Damooei shared through his research are startling and insightful in understanding this issue. A few highlights include:

  • The interconnectedness of undocumented workers with the rest of the population. One way to look at this is to look at the number of foreign-born persons per 1000 people. In Los Angeles County, it is 340.3, while in Ventura County it is 218.1. Overall, in the state of CA, over 27% people living in the state are foreign-born.
  • Los Angeles county has 126.9 undocumented children aged 15 years and older, living with their US citizen and noncitizen relatives
  • More than 30% of undocumented immigrants have lived in CA for more than 20 years
  • A majority of undocumented migrants are in the working age of 25-44 years.
  • Nearly 14% of CA residents live with undocumented family members
  • About 15% of undocumented immigrants have a bachelors degree or a professional degree, making them a very valuable resource
  • A majority of undocumented workers work in retail and only 15.5% of them work in agriculture
  • Undocumented workers contribute close to half a trillion dollars (500 billion) in economic output

The research goes into much depth and can be found here.


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