Immigration Publications

Following is a list of our publications pertaining to immigration, categorized as:

Immigration and the Economy

Measures of Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles County -- June 2011

This report for the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California looks at the progress of Los Angeles County immigrant residents whom entered the United States during the 1980s. The report looks at the education, poverty, home ownership, family income, and various other categories of progress for the cohort between the 1990 and 2006-2008 period.

Learning from Legalization: The Experience of IRCA-Era Mexicans in Los Angeles County -- June 2011

This study for the for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California tracks the progress of Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles County who legalized unter the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

Economic Progress via Legalization: Lessons from the Last Legalization Program -- November 2009

Produced for the American Immigration Council - Immigration Policy Center, this report examines data that strongly suggest unauthorized immigrants who gained legal status in the 1980s through the legalization provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) experienced clear improvement in their socioeconomic situation.

Untying the Knot -- A three-part series on immigration and unemployment. Produced for the American Immigration Council in 2009

Employing Foreign Educated Immigrants - December 2007

Rob Paral and Associates contributed to this report, which discusses the extent to which highly educated immigrants are unable to fully utilize their skills in the U.S. economy.

Economic Contributions of Illinois Immigrants - 2006

The native labor force in Illinois is actually shrinking in size, and native workers are rapidly aging. The Illinois labor market, meanwhile, is shifting into extremes of high- and low-skill positions. Immigrants are offsetting the shrinkage and aging of the Illinois workforce, even as they have skills that match the changing labor needs of the state.

The Growth and Reach of Immigration - 2006

New data from the 2005 American Community Survey, released by the Census Bureau on August 15, 2006, underscore the extent to which immigrant continues to fuel the expansion of the U.S. labor force. The foreign-born population of the United States increased by 4.9 million between 2000 and 2005; raising the total foreign-born population to 35.7 million, or 12.4 percent of the 288.4 million people in the country. 

Out of Sync: New Temporary Worker Proposals Unlikely to Meet U.S. Labor Needs - February 2006

The temporary worker program now taking shape in Congress is unlikely to provide the U.S. economy with the numbers or kinds of workers that U.S. industries need.

Rob Paral contributed data and analysis to this report.

Economic Growth and Immigration: Bridging the Demographic Divide - Fall 2005

Rob Paral is a contributing author to this report from the American Immigration Law Foundation. According to AILF:

"This report examines the relationship between immigration and sustained U.S. economic growth. As the U.S. labor force ages and becomes better educated, the economy is continuing to create a substantial number of jobs for individuals with low levels of formal education and that favor younger workers. These trends are creating a critical demographic gap between U.S. labor supply and demand that immigration can help fill."

Economic Progress of Mexican-Americans in Metro Chicago - Spring 2005

The Mexican-origin population is growing rapidly in metro Chicago. This study analyzes the economic progress of U.S.-born and foreign-born Mexicans. Written with Tim Ready for the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame University.

Immigrants as Essential Workers - Spring 2005

There is heated debate on the impact of immigrant workers on the U.S. economy. This study measures the extent to which immigrants compete with natives for low-skill jobs, and finds that employment and, by implication, economic activity would contract if immigrant workers were not available, even with full employment of natives.

Maintaining a Competitive Edge: The Role of the Foreign Born and U.S. Immigration Policies in Science and Engineering - August 2004

Foreign-born scientists and engineers (S&Es) have long played a prominent role in U.S. technological and scientific advancement and are a critical part of the science and engineering (S&E) labor force in corporations, universities, and research centers nationwide. However, long-standing structural flaws in the U.S. visa system and the unintended consequences of security procedures instituted since September 11, 2001, may be causing an increasing number of S&Es to forgo coming to the United States, thereby depriving the nation of a critical supply of human talent. Yet attracting this talent is a key factor in maintaining the nations economic competitiveness and preeminence in science.

Health Worker Shortages and the Potential of Immigration Policy

Published by the American Immigration Law Foundation, this report addresses 1) the extent of immigrant employment in the health care sector, 2) national shortages of physicians and registered nurses, and 3) counterproductive trends in U.S. immigration policy that have restricted the entry of foreign-trained medical professionals.

Mexican Immigrant Workers and the U.S. Economy: An Increasingly Vital Role - 2002

Written for the American Immigration Law Foundation, this report describes American employers growing reliance on immigrant workers.

Policy Implications of Immigrant Workers and Entrepreneurs in Illinois - 2002

Prepared for the Illinois Immigrant Policy Project.

A Profile of Immigrants in the Illinois Workforce - 2001

by James Lewis and Rob Paral

Analyzes the role of immigrants in the Illinois workforce, with particular emphasis on European, Asian and Mexican populations.

Demographics of Immigration

Immigration a Demographic Lifeline in Midwestern Metros -- April 2017

Immigration helps revitalize Midwestern metropolitan areas. For the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Growing the Heartland: How Immigrants Offset Population Decline and an Aging Workforce in Midwest Metropolitan Areas -- June 2014

Immigration offsets and counteracts trends in aging and population decline in metro areas across the Midwest... For the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

A Profile of Limited English Speaking Older Adults in Metro Chicago -- August 2012

A detailed analysis of who the limited-English elderly are in the Chicago region... For the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly.

Key Facts on Illinois Immigrants -- 2011

Demographic information on immigrants in Illinois.

Mexican Immigration in the Midwest: Meanings and Implications -- February 2009

This report, the first of its kind, describes major demographic and socioeconomic features of Mexican immigration across the eightstate Midwest region. It uses both recent data and other statistics that delineate historic transformations to the regional economy over 100 years. The report reveals a wide range of information on Midwestern socioeconomic features of Mexican immigration across the eightstate Midwest region. It uses both recent data and other statistics that delineate historic transformations to the regional economy over 100 years. The report reveals a wide range of information on Midwestern Mexican immigrants that has never been published before.

Immigrant Workers in Georgia - 2007

This analysis demonstrates that recent research on the effect of immigration on Georgia is inaccurate, and that the number of unskilled workers in the state in actually in decline.

Immigrants Who Leave: Emigration and Its Implication for Local Communities - 2006

Emigration is problematic for state and local policymakers because it can destabilize communities. This destabilization may increase in Congress creates a temporary worker program. This paper examines emigration among Mexican immigrants and finds that about 8 percent of Mexican immigrants leave Illinois after five years. Among Mexican-born children however, more than one-third leave the state within five years.

Marching Toward the American Dream: Illinois Immigrant Citizens Settle in Chicago Suburbs - 2006

A fundamental demographic transformation is occurring in Illinois. Between 2000 and 2005, the Illinois immigrant population grew by 177,000 people, a number greater than the population of Aurora, Illinois's second largest city.

Immigrant Women in the United States - Summer 2006

Rob Paral and Associates provided extensive data analysis services for this report by Susan Pearce. Immigrant women today are more likely than in the past to be single, to have few children, and to join the labor force. The highest rates of employment are found among women from Jamaica and the Philippines. Foreign-born women are much less likely to have graduated from high school than native-born women, but nearly as likely to have completed college and slightly more likely to have a doctorate or professional degree.

A lifeline to Renewal: the Demographic Impact of Immigration at State and Local Levels - Summer 2005

By Rob Paral: This report analyzes population change at the county level and shows that immigrant numbers should be taken in the context of native population growth or decline to better understand the impact of immigration.

Metro Chicago Immigrant Factbook - 2003

A detailed analysis of the metropolitan Chicago immigrant population. Published by the Institute for Metropolitan Affairs of Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Poster of Immigrant Populations in Metro Chicago - 2003

Suburban Immigrant Communities: Assessments of Key Characteristics and Needs - August 2000

This report was commissioned by the Fund for Immigrants and Refugees, and it provided demographic data and maps as well as findings from focus groups and interviews on the experiences, needs and contributions of immigrant living in the Chicago-area suburbs.

Immigrant Voting and Civic Participation

Stepping Up: The Impact of the Newest Immigrant, Asian and Latino Voters

Prepared for the Center for Community Change and the American Immigration Council

Approximations of Immigrants Eligible to Naturalize in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Diego Counties

Prepared for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Benchmarks of Immigrant Civic Engagement

Prepared for The Carnegie Corporation of New York, this report describes the state of immigrant integration at the national and local levels as measured by naturalization, voting registration and voter turnout.


The New American Electorate: The Growing Political Power of Immigrants and Their Children - October 2008

This analysis explores the growing electoral power of New American voters: immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens and the U.S.-born children of immigrants. These voters will likely play a pivotal role in national, state, and local elections in the years to comeparticularly in battleground states such as Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Detailed supplemental tables are provided below for every Congressional district on the number of voting-age citizens who are naturalized immigrants, Latinos, and Asians

Estimates of Immigrant Civic Potential – June 2008

Prepared for the Carnegie Corporation of New York, this report estimates the size and scope of 1) immigrants eligible to naturalize, 2) naturalized immigrants and 3) children of immigrants who are becoming eligible to vote.

Key Information on Immigrant Civic Potential – February 2008

Prepared for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this report provides information on immigrants eligible to naturalize, immigrants who are naturalized, and children of immigrants. Data are provided for 26 communities served by the foundation.

The Untapped Power of New Immigrant Voters - July 2006

This report finds that there are 14.25 million potential voters among legal immigrants who are currently eligible to naturalize and the 16 - 24 year old U.S. born children of immigrants. This includes 12.4 million potential new voters who can be eligible to participate in the 2008 elections. Rob Paral and Michael Norkewicz produced the data estimates in the report.

Power and Potential: The Growing Electoral Clout of New Citizens - October 2004

Prepared for the American Immigration Law Foundation and the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, this report examines the growth of new citizen voters: immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens and are exercising their voting rights. In the 1996-2000 period, new citizens accounted for more than half of the net growth in registered U.S. voters.

Immigrant Integration

Integration Potential of California's Immigrants and Their Children - April 2008

The number of immigrants in California are fairly well known, but largely unexamined is the need to ensure that newcomers are effectively integrated into the state's economy, society, and civic processes. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and its California Immigrant Integration Initiative commissioned this report as the first step in understanding that need by examining the size and the potential impact of three key populations: 1) naturalized adult immigrants, 2) legal immigrants eligible to naturalize, and 3) U.S.-citizen children of immigrants who are soon to become adults.

Assessing the Impact of the Immigrant Family Resource Program -- 2012

This report assesses aspects of the scope and impact of the Illinois Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP), which provides interpretation, information and assistance to immigrants about public benefits programs for which they may be eligible.

On-line maps of the program impact are here.

Undocumented Immigration

Illinois’ Undocumented Immigrant Population: A Summary of Recent Research by Rob Paral and Associates - February 2014

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights prepared this report using data generated by Rob Paral and Associates.

More data on Illinois Undocumented Immigrants is found here, including an interactive map.

The Costs of Mass Deportation

This report calculates a price tag of $200 billion to deport the estimated 10.8 million undocumented immigrants in the United States over five years. That amount does not include the annual recurring border and interior enforcement spending. It would cost taxpayers at least another $17 billion annually to maintain the status quo at the border and in the interior, or a total of nearly $85 billion over five years. The total five-year immigration enforcement cost under a mass deportation strategy would be approximately $285 billion.

Updated Estimates of Undocumented Immigrants in Congressional Districts - 2006

The size of the undocumented immigrant population in a congressional district and affect the district's local, state and federal politics as well as its economic development.

Undocumented Immigrants in Congressional Districts - Spring 2006

In December, 2005, U.S. Representatives were more likely to vote for immigration enforcement (H.R. 4437) when they had relatively few undocumented immigrants in their district, according to this analysis for the American Immigration Law Foundation.

Potential for Homeownership Among Undocumented Latinos - October 2004

Commissioned by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, this report estimates that 216,000 currently undocumented Latino householders have the income levels necessary to permit them to purchase a home. These householders are capable of generating $44 billion in mortgage originations.

Other Immigration-Related Topics

Immigrant Adult Learners in Illinois -- March 2009

Prepared for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, this report details the need for English language and adult basic education among immigrants in Illinois.

No Way In: U.S. Immigration Policy Leaves Few Legal Options for Mexican Workers - Summer 2005

Current immigration policies are completely out of sync with the U.S. economys demand for workers who fill less-skilled jobs, especially in the case of Mexican workers. While U.S. immigration policies present a wide array of avenues for immigrants to enter the United States, very few of these avenues are tailored to workers in less-skilled occupations. It should come as no surprise, then, that immigrants come to or remain in the United States without proper documentation in response to the strong economic demand for less-skilled labor.

Ties that Bind: Immigration Reform Should be Tailored to Families, Not Just Individuals - Summer 2005

Given the extent to which undocumented immigrants already living in the United States are part of U.S.-based families, comprehensive immigration reform must include more than just a new temporary worker program.

Legal Needs Study of Low-Income Illinois Families - 2005

Conducted by the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois. Rob Paral provided research and analysis services.

Immigrant Legal Needs - Fall 2004

Immigrants are a disproportionate share of the low-income population needing legal assistance, yet they have limited access to the already-small system of subsidized legal aid in Illinois. This study was commissioned by the Legal Needs Survey of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois.

Citizenship 2000: Illinois Immigrants and Naturalization Needs - 2001

Presents a variety of information related to the continuing demand for citizenship services by immigrants in Illinois.

Immigrants of the Heartland: How Immigration is Revitalizing America's Midwest - June 2000

This report examines how immigration is reaching into new corners of the Midwest to revitalize communities. Includes numerous maps and charts and findings from interviews with immigrants across the region.

Immigrants and Illinois Welfare: In Most Programs, Immigrant Caseload Declines Outpace Those of Natives - 1999

Written for the Illinois Department of Human Services, and published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, this report uses state welfare caseload data to show that immigrants have lost access to most major state safety net programs at a faster rate than the native born.

"Shrinking Welfare Caseloads of Illinois Immigrants" in Research Perspectives on Migration vol. 3, no. 1, published by the Migration Policy Institute and The Urban Institute

Article discusses welfare use by Illinois immigrants, highlighting trends in TANF, Medicaid and KidCare, and examines factors limiting immigrant access to medical services.