Colorado had about 180,000 unauthorized immigrant residents as of 2012, according to the Pew Research Center’
s assessment of Hispanic Trends in the United States. That is a significant decrease over the population a few years earlier, which was estimated to reach as high as 240,000 in 2007.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated
Colorado’s 2014 population at 5.3 million people. That makes the population of illegal immigrants about 3.4 percent of the state’s total population.
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Almost 80 percent of the state’s undocumented immigrants come from Mexico, according to the Migration Policy Institute
. Many others come from Central America and Asia. The estimated populations from those three places make up about 151,000 people – or 92 percent of the total number of illegal immigrants in the state.
The Pew Research Center calls Colorado a “relatively new” immigrant destination. About 45 percent of the undocumented immigrants in the state have lived there less than 10 years. The state has some policies that are friendly toward illegal immigrants.
Colorado also has a program that allows undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. The Associated Press has reported
the program is struggling to find funding for the staff required to run the program.
Colorado has a high percentage of children in K-12 schools with parents who are illegal immigrants. About 17,000 children of undocumented immigrants are enrolled in Colorado K-12 schools. That makes up more than 10 percent of the total elementary school student population in the state.
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