HomeAsian Americans1.65 million, or 1 in 7 Asians in America are undocumented

1.65 million, or 1 in 7 Asians in America are undocumented

Undocumented Asian Americans graphic 2014

By Ed Diokno
Views from the Edge


Most of the media reports about Donald Trump’s pending plans to deport undocumented immigrants focus on those people who entered the U.S. over its southern border.

Little focus has been on immigrants from Asia, the largest source of immigrants in recent years, surpassing the number of immigrants coming from Latin American countries.

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) and and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) have published estimates of the Asian undocumented population in the United States for 2014. The total number of Asian undocumented ranges from the Institute’s1.46 million to the Center’s 1.65 million. The blog putting those numbers together was written by Karthick Ramakrishnan and Sono Shah for AAPI Data and released last week.


According to those agencies, Asian undocumented immigrants account for about 14 percent of the total undocumented population in the United States. Another way to look at it is about 1 out of every 7 Asian immigrants is undocumented.


It’s important to note that the figures cited by CMS and MPI are from 2014 data. In the closing years of the Obama administration, the disparity between unauthorized immigration from Asia and Latin America grew even wider. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the number of undocumented people has grown beyond the numbers shown in the accompanying graph.


RELATED: Trump’s plans for deporting undocumented immigrants


The figures released by AAPI Data are significantly higher than earlier estimates of 900,000 undocumented Asians.


In most states, Asians make up relatively small portions of their total undocumented population. Estimates show Hawaii, Alaska and New Hampshire as the only states which Asians make up more than 40 percent of the state undocumented population.


The percentage of California’s undocumented population is only. 12.75 percent but the state has most undocumented Asian immigrants with 385,000.


 Undocumented Asian Americans graphic2 2014Undocumented Asian Americans graphic3 2014Undocumented Asian Americans graphic4 2014


The U.S. undocumented population has fallen below 11 million for the first time since 2004, according to a CMS report released last month. The report says the total U.S. undocumented population continued to decline in 2014, and has fallen by more than a million since 2008;


“Despite the claims of an ever-rising, out-of-control US undocumented population,” said Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director, “the number of undocumented has fallen each year since 2008. In addition, the number and percentage of foreign-born persons with legal status has increased. These trends should be applauded by partisans on all sides of the immigration debate.”


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