The N & O is running a piece that discusses the various — presidential, gubernatorial, etc. — candidates’ views on immigration.
A few initial observations:
While immigration is one of the top concerns for voters, our polling indicates that concern over immigration has become less important as the economy has worsened. This indicates, of course, that voters aren’t yet making the connection that immigration has a negative impact on jobs and the economy. More to the point, voters are most worried about the economy right now.
There are not 300,000 illegal immigrants in North Carolina, but at least twice this number. The N & O seems to be using old data from the Pew Hispanic Research Center here.
Let me explain:
Based on 2005 census data, the Pew Hispanic Research Center estimated there were between 300,000 and 400,000 illegal immigrants in North Carolina.
Hispanics are thought to account for 80 percent of illegal immigrants. FAIR estimates that as of 2005, there were 405,000 illegal immigrants in North Carolina.
According to the N.C. State Demographics office, from 1990 to 2000 the Hispanic population increased by 333 percent, or 33 percent per year (net migration). In the absence of specific data from the state demographer, we also presume a net migration rate of 1.5 percent for all other illegal immigrants.
Let us assume that Hispanic population growth has slowed as the overall Hispanic population has increased. We presume a drop off of about 25 percent. This means that Hispanic population growth is now at 25 percent per year (rather than 33 percent per year).
So, 80 percent of the illegal population of 400,000 is growing at 25 percent per year. 320,000 x .25 = 80,000 for 2006
480,000 x .25 = 120,000 for 2007.
This equals 600,000.
Of course, these calculations are just a very rough estimate. Moreover, I believe border apprehensions, as opposed to Census data, provide a more accurate predictor of the illegal alien population. Using this measure, there are probably well over 1 million illegal aliens in North Carolina.
In any case, the real problem here is that we simply don’t know how many illegal aliens are in North Carolina. In our 2008 Blueprint, we recommend measures the state could implement that would help us get a more accurate count.
Other statistics used by the N & O are also either misleading or irrelevant. For instance, they assert that 3 percent of people in North Carolina don’t speak English well. Consider, though, that from 2001 and 2006, Limited English Proficiency Enrollment (LEP) enrollment increased by 67 percent.
Finally, the article gives the impression that it is unconstitutional for localities to enact measures aimed at discouraging illegal immigration. If Hazelton’s initial attempt at immigration enforcement was imperfect (the case is on appeal), the Immigration Reform Law Institute has since drafted model legislation that cities and towns can implement.
See, here, for additional examples of ordinances passed by several localities across the country.
… stay tuned for more analysis of the candidates’ views on illegal immigration.