The N&O is reporting that North Carolina’s Hispanic population continues to grow rapidly. In fact, Hispanic population growth was 4 times that of the state average.
While the N&O claims that “advocates” estimate half of all Hispanics are illegal, demographers and scholars who study this issue report much higher numbers. Here in North Carolina, there are an estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million illegal aliens (as based on border apprehensions). Census Bureau numbers, which routinely undercount illegal aliens, estimate there are more than 600,000 Hispanics overall in North Carolina. This means that the illegal alien population is at least the same as, if not twice as high, as the legal population. Moreover, the Pew Hispanic Research Center estimates that 78 percent of the illegal alien population is Hispanic. Mexicans alone account for 56 percent of the total number of illegal aliens.
Fuzzy math aside, the state could begin to get a clearer picture of how many illegal aliens are in North Carolina if it simply started to ask public schools and hospitals to record immigration status.
What is also interesting is that Mecklenburg County’s Hispanic population continues to grow. This, as the N&O suggests, in spite of 287(g). This is to say, however, that the ACLU and other opponents of 287(g) are wrong that the program alienates law-abiding Hispanics. If anything, one could argue that Hispanics are moving to Mecklenburg because they feel safer there.
Finally, these numbers seem to give credence to the claim that North Carolina is becoming a magnet for illegal aliens. This is especially true now that our neighbors to the south — South Carolina and Georgia — have both passed comprehensive immigration reform.