Delaware has a small but stable population of illegal immigrants.
Since 2005, the population of undocumented immigrants has remained fairly steady at an estimated 20,000 to 25,000, according to Pew Research Center studies
. Before that, the state saw large increases in its illegal immigrant population, which numbered less than 5,000 in 1990.
The total population of Delaware is less than a million people. Illegal immigrants account for about 2 percent of the total population of the state.
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The Migration Policy Institute recorded
a total of about 76,000 foreign-born residents of the state. That number includes those who have legally entered and legally live in the country and those who have become naturalized citizens. About 70 percent of the undocumented immigrants in the state are estimated to come from Mexico and Central America.
According to The News Journal
, the state is working toward allowing undocumented immigrants the opportunity to get driver’s licenses. The cards would require applicants to submit to fingerprinting and pass driving tests.
The Immigration Policy Center estimated
that about 8,000 Delaware residents would be eligible for relief from deportation through the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) plan, which would allow parents of legal U.S. citizens to apply for legal residency in the United States. The Immigration Policy Center estimated a positive change to Delaware’s Gross Domestic Product of between $330 million to $780 million during the next decade. The center estimated that undocumented immigration accounts for about $12 million in state and local taxes each year.
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