New data about immigrants in Los Angeles and California’s Central Valley finds they are increasingly well settled and have the potential to contribute more to the state.
California’s immigrant population (legal and undocumented) has grown exponentially over the past decade, and census data reveals most of them come here to stay.
A new study, spearheaded by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC, in collaboration with the California Immigrant Policy Center, shows that California’s immigrants are among the most settled in the entire country. On average, they’ve been here longer than 10 years, and they make up more than one-third of the state’s labor force.
“That process of settlement means that we’re moving more from immigration issues into issues of immigrant integration," said Manuel Pastor, co-director of the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. "So people are sinking roots into the state of California and being able to see incomes rise and home ownership rates rise over time.”
The USC study says California’s immigrants have greater political power than they realize. One out of five immigrants to the state are naturalized, voting citizens — and if green card holders became citizens, that number would rise to one in four.