A new report issued by the Migration Policy Institute shows an estimated 205,000 unauthorized immigrants are living in San Diego County. That’s an increase of about 24,000 since the organization released its previous report in January. The new data makes San Diego County the seventh largest region in the United States to house unauthorized immigrants.
Researchers suggest the increase is nothing to be concerned with and that more recent data was gathered using surveys, indicating the count isn’t exact.
While 77 percent of the unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico, one of the fastest growing groups comes from Asia, at nearly 14 percent.
Marc Rosenblum, co-author of the report, says the immigrant population is becoming more and more diverse.
“What we see with unauthorized immigration is that people go to be reunited with their families. They go where they have social networks,” he said. “It’s not just a border phenomenon, it’s not just a Mexico phenomenon.”
The U.S. has seen an increase in the unauthorized population from Korea, India and China.
“When you’re trying to measure something that is clandestine to a certain degree, it’s very difficult to measure accurately,” said Paul Ganster, director of the Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at San Diego State University.
“It’s just very difficult to measure anything that is in the shadows.”
In many situations, immigrants come from overseas for work and overstay their visas.
“I think these unfortunate stereotypes about the southern border and about migration from Mexico and Central America really obscure the reality and the discussions of facts,” he said.
Source: Sanchez, Tatiana, “County has 3rd largest unauthorized immigrant population,” The San Diego Union Tribune, August 26th, 2015