A study conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles revealed that one in ten adults in the county are illegal. Also, in some other regions this figure changed to one in three.
It is estimated that these people crossed the border illegally or living in the state with an expired visas, who most have children who are U.S. citizens by birth in the region. The study also revealed that half of these immigrants have spent more than a decade in the country and that 12% own a home.
Living in this type of situation makes it difficult to provide a certain lifestyle to children and sometimes even for oneself. A non-legal resident earns about $18,000 dollars annually versus $43,000 compare to a legal resident or U.S. citizen. According to USC, this sector of the population works mostly in factories, restaurants, construction and in cleaning services.
With an immigration reform just around the corner, authorities hope that the new rights that these individuals might have will improve their quality of life by acquiring property, and increase their financial resources.
One alarming fact that this study found was the language barrier, where the team that conducted this study said that 60% of illegal residents do not speak English properly, which even if obtaining legal U.S. citizenship, it would limit them from other opportunities.
The University of Southern California study estimates that out of all the illegal residents in Los Angeles County, 63% are Mexican, 22% are from Central America, and 8% are Asian. Nationwide it is known that of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S, one in four lives in California.
The study was conducted by Manuel Pastor (USC), who is director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, and also Enrico Marcelli from the University of San Diego.