LegalMatch Data Confirms 2008 Federal Estimates for Unauthorized Immigrants
Following up on my previous article on immigrant removal, I wanted to know where some of our LegalMatch clients were coming from. I looked at the data for 2008 in order to compare it to current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistics on estimated unauthorized immigrant populations in the United States.
According to LegalMatch.com data, the following states are the top ten locations for immigrants seeking removal attorneys:
- CA: 16%
- TX: 12%
- FL: 7%
- NY: 6%
- AZ: 5%
- GA: 4%
- WA: 3%
- NJ: 3%
- NC: 3%
- CO: 3%
These numbers almost exactly match DHS data on the estimated US population of unauthorized immigrants. The first five states on both lists are the same. The percentages are also almost exactly the same, with a few exceptions.
Assuming a correlation between the number of people facing removal and the number of immigrants present in the state (i.e. higher removal numbers means a likelihood of higher numbers of people in general) this LegalMatch data is evidence that federal estimates are accurate.
Now that we can assume the veracity of these figures, some may wonder why some states, such as New Jersey or Georgia, have a significantly higher proportion of unauthorized immigrants (and thus, immigrants facing removal) then other states situated right next to them. Common sense already dictates that states like California or Florida would have high ratios due to simple geography. But why Colorado and not Utah? Why New Jersey and not Pennsylvania?
Further analysis of these states would be necessary, but my hunch says it’s a mixture of jobs, economic strength, the presence of large urban populations, and how many immigrants are already in the state. Colorado, for instance, may have fewer farms than Nebraska and Kansas, but it has a larger immigrant population as well as more dense urban cities. Georgia, although conservative, also has a dense urban core surrounding Atlanta. New Jersey neighbors the extremely diverse New York City. A variety of reasons may drive immigrant migration, and further examination of LegalMatch data may shed some light on these patterns.