Illegal immigration in Georgia is among the highest in the nation. However, a recent Pew Research Center study shows illegal immigration
numbers in the state appear to be on the decline.
The total population of Georgia is slightly more than 10 million people. Of those residents, almost 400,000 are estimated to be undocumented immigrants.
The Pew Research Center found Georgia to be among 14 states that showed a decrease in the number of unauthorized immigrants between 2009 and 2014. In that study, Georgia ranked seventh in the nation for overall numbers of illegal immigrant residents. A decrease in the total immigration levels from Mexico in all parts of the country is attributed with that decline.
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The Migration Policy Institute reported that 56 percent of Georgia’s illegal immigrants are from Mexico. Immigrants from Guatemala, India, Honduras and Korea make up an additional 18 percent of the undocumented population.
About 37,000 undocumented children are enrolled in the Georgia schools. Almost 50 percent of the undocumented immigrants in Georgia do not speak English either at all or not fluently. Two-thirds of illegal immigrants are uninsured.
The Migration Policy Institute said most illegal immigrants in Georgia
appear to be employed (65 percent). The highest group of those workers is in the construction sector (24 percent). Other areas of employment for undocumented workers include recreation and food services, manufacturing, retail, and professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste management positions.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia lawmakers
are considering efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants. Some lawmakers are concerned about illegal immigrants who might be criminals as well as those who could fill professional positions.
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Senate Bill 6 from the 2015/2016 session
is called the Georgia Road Safety and Driver’s License Integrity Act. It is aimed at prohibiting, by law, undocumented immigrants from getting a driver’s license.
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