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Facts About Immigrants Accumulating

Beginning April 1, North Texas Jobs with Justice will accumulate facts about immigrant working conditions in North Texas. We will research evidence and hear testimony from those closest to the situation, including the immigrants themselves. Below is a summary of some of the material easily available on the World Wide Web.

from :

Metro Area Factsheet: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas CMSA

Summary Metro Area Data (and Source)
Population (2003 CB est.): 5,652,077
Population (2000 Census): 5,221,801
Foreign-born Population (2000 Census): 784,642
Share Foreign Born (2000): 15.0%
Immigrant Stock (1997 CPS): 1,190,000
Share Immigrant Stock (2000 est.): 22.6%
Immigrant Settlement 1991-98 (INS): 105,340
Population Projection 2025 (FAIR): 9,947,000

The population of the Dallas-Fort Worth Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) was estimated by the Census Bureau at 5,652,077 residents as of July 2003. That was an increase of 2.1 percent from a year earlier and an increase of 8.2 percent since the 2000 Census. That rate of increase since the 2000 Census, if continued, means that the population would double in size in about 27 years.

Net international migration data understate the impact of immigration, because the children born to immigrants after their arrival are recorded as domestic population change -- not part of the immigrant settlement data. According to the 2003 Census Bureau estimate, the Dallas-Fort Worth CMSA's population had increased since July 2000 because of net domestic migration (an annual average of about 15,745 more native-born residents arriving than leaving), natural change (an annual average of about 60,735 more births than deaths) and net international migration (about 46,220 more foreign-born residents arriving than leaving). Therefore, immigration was the second largest component of population change, and it accounted directly for more than one-third (35.4%) of the metro area's population increase over that period.
The Dallas-Fort Worth CMSA is composed of the Dallas PMSA (67.4% of the area's population in 2000) and the Fort Worth-Arlington PMSA (32.6%).

According to the 2000 Census, the population of the Dallas-Fort Worth Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) was 5,223,799. That was an increase of 29.3 percent over the 4,037,282 residents in the 1990 Census. During the previous decade, the population of the CMSA increased by 32.5 percent from 3,046,908 residents in 1980.

The 2000 Census recorded 784,642 foreign-born residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. That was a 15 percent share of the overall population, which was higher than for the state (13.9%). The 2000 data showed an increase of 143.8 percent in the immigrant population since 1990, which compared with a 19.4 percent increase in the native-born population (which includes children born to immigrants) over the same period. That meant that immigration accounted directly for 39.1 percent of the overall population increase of the metro area.
In 2000, the Census recorded that more than half (54.9%) of the metro area's foreign-born population had entered since 1990. This was higher than the rate for the state overall (46.1%). About one-quarter (26.1%) of the foreign-born residents had become naturalized U.S. citizens. That was a lower rate than for the state overall (31.5%).
Another indicator of the impact of the foreign-born population may be seen in data on residents who speak a language other than English at home. In the metro area in 2000, the share of other-than-English speakers at home (age 5 and older) was 24.2 percent. More than half (50.9%) of those persons admitted to speaking English less than very well.
In 1990, there were 345,500 foreign-born residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth consolidated metro area. That constituted a foreign-born population share of 9.6 percent.

In 2000, the Census Bureau estimated the Dallas-Fort Worth CMSA immigrant stock (immigrants plus their children) at 1,190,000. This was an increase of 22.6 percent from the 1997 estimate, and it constituted a 22.6 percent share of the metro area's population. The CMSA's immigrant stock population constituted 24.8 percent of the state's total immigrant stock residents.
The Census Bureau estimates the size of the immigrant stock in the Dallas-Fort Worth CMSA (immigrants plus their children born either abroad or in the United States) at 971,000 in 1997. This represents a 20.2 percent share of the area's overall population. That is about the national average (20.5%) for the immigrant stock share.

A study released by the Center for Immigration Studies in October 2001 indicated that there were 105,340 legal immigrants who indicated that they intended to settle in the Dallas-Fort Worth consolidated metropolitan area between FY'91-'98. This number did not include persons granted legal immigrant status as a result of the 1986 amnesty for illegal aliens. The ten countries that supplied the largest number of these new immigrants are as shown below (data are partial, missing for some jurisdictions).
Immigrant Admissions FY'91-'98: Top Ten Countries
Rank Country No. of Immigrants

1 Mexico 34,168
2 Vietnam 13,151
3 India 6,557
4 China * 5,494
5 Soviet Union 3,540
6 El Salvador 3,097
7 Philippines 2,327
8 Canada 2,161
9 Korea 2,105
10 Pakistan 2,090
* Includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Other countries that were major sources of new immigrants during this period were: Ethiopia (1,975), Iran (1,907), Nigeria (1,805), and Iraq (1,283).

from :

Profile of the Low-Wage Immigrant Workforce

Author(s): Randolph Capps, Michael E. Fix, Jeffrey S. Passel, Jason Ost, Dan Perez-Lopez
Other Availability: PDF | Order Online | Printer-Friendly Page
Posted: October 27, 2003
Citation URL:
Brief No. 4 in Series "Immigrant Families and Workers: Facts and Perspectives"
The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.
Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

* Immigrants compose an increasingly large share of the U.S. labor force and a growing share of low-wage workers. Immigrants are 11 percent of all U.S. residents, but 14 percent of all workers and 20 percent of low-wage workers.
* Immigrants' hourly wages are lower on average than those for natives, and nearly half earn less than 200 percent of the minimum wage-versus one-third of native workers.
* Immigrant workers are much more likely than natives to drop out of high school (30 versus 8 percent), and are far more likely to have less than a ninth-grade education (18 versus 1 percent).
* Three-fourths of all U.S. workers with less than a ninth-grade education are immigrants.
* Nearly two-thirds of low-wage immigrant workers do not speak English proficiently, and most of these workers have had little formal education.
* Two of every five low-wage immigrant workers are undocumented. Labor force participation is higher among undocumented men than among men who are legal immigrants or U.S. citizens.
* While the low-wage native labor force is mainly female (59 percent), men dominate the low-wage immigrant labor force (56 percent).
* Even though they are less likely to participate in the labor force, female immigrant workers are better educated and more likely to be in the United States legally than male immigrants.
* Foreign-born women earn substantially lower wages than either foreign-born men or native women.
* Although immigrants dominate a few low-wage occupations-farming and private household workers-immigrants in these occupations represent a small share of all low-wage foreign-born workers.
During the 1990s, one out of every two new workers was an immigrant.1 While many immigrants speak English well and enter the United States with strong academic credentials and skills, many others do not. Like other low-skilled workers, few of these immigrants enjoy the benefits of employer-provided training programs, most of which are geared to managers or highly skilled workers.2 Low-wage immigrant workers have also been outside the reach of government-sponsored job training programs that concentrate on getting welfare recipients into the labor market and have often underserved persons with limited English skills.3
The nation's workforce development and training policies are now being reconsidered as employers look for more ways to raise workers' skills.4 Further, the reauthorization of the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-the largest source of federal funding for job training, adult basic education, and English as a second language (ESL) instruction-would give states and providers more incentives to serve limited English proficient (LEP) populations and encourage programs to combine adult education, ESL, and job-training services if proposals now on the table are adopted.5 The results provided here shed light on the need for policies that move in these directions.

Our study examines the size of the low-wage immigrant labor force, as well as the educational attainment, English language ability, legal status, and gender of low-wage immigrant workers. The data come from the March 2002 Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS).6 We define "workers" as people ages 18 to 64 who: are in the civilian workforce; report positive wage and salary earnings for 2001; and have worked at least 25 weeks (i.e., at least some hours over the course of six months) or 700 hours (i.e., full-time equivalent for 20 weeks) during 2001. We define the workforce as broadly as possible but exclude students and other casual part-time workers. Using other definitions of the labor force does not substantially affect the overall results.
We define the low-wage labor force as workers earning less than 200 percent of their state's prevailing minimum wage. Data on workers earning less than the minimum wage are also included.7

The share of immigrant workers has risen rapidly due to high immigration levels over the past two decades. While immigrants represent roughly 11 percent of the total U.S. population, they make up 14 percent of the U.S. labor force and 20 percent of the nation's low-wage labor force. By our definition, there were 125.3 million workers in the United States in 2002, 17.9 million of whom were foreign-born. There were 43.1 million low-wage workers, 8.6 million of whom were foreign-born. Two million immigrant workers earned less than the minimum wage.
Immigrants are substantially overrepresented among workers who are paid the least and are most in need of training to improve their skills and earnings. Nearly half (48 percent) of all immigrant workers earned less than 200 percent of the minimum wage, compared with 32 percent of native workers. The average low-wage immigrant worker earned $14,400 in 2001.

A key barrier to participation in WIA and employer-provided training programs is lack of formal schooling, as most of these programs are geared towards enrollees with at least a ninth-grade education. Eighteen percent of the immigrant labor force has less than a ninth-grade education (Table 1). Another 12 percent of immigrant workers have completed the ninth grade but not high school. In all, 30 percent of immigrant workers (versus only 8 percent of native workers) have not finished high school.
Among low-wage immigrant workers, nearly half (45 percent) have less than a high school education and over a quarter (28 percent) have not completed the ninth grade.
Overall, 5.3 million immigrant workers do not have a high school diploma, accounting for 39 percent of all U.S. workers who have not completed high school. The 3.3 million immigrant workers who have not completed the ninth grade represent about 75 percent of all workers with so little education.8
Almost half (46 percent) of all foreign-born workers are "limited English proficient" (LEP), according to data from Census 2000.9 Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of LEP workers speak Spanish. Much smaller shares speak other languages, led by Chinese (4 percent), Vietnamese (4 percent), and Korean (2 percent). While time in the United States and work experience reduce the share of workers who are LEP, 29 percent of workers who have been in the country for 20 years or more can still be considered LEP. In general, limited English skills are closely associated with low-wage work, but nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of low-wage immigrant workers are LEP, compared with only 2 percent of low-wage natives. The vast majority of all LEP workers-84 percent-are foreign-born.

Not surprisingly, limited English proficiency and limited education go hand in hand. Nationwide, 28 percent of the overall U.S. labor force with less than a high-school education is LEP, though almost all of these LEP workers are foreign-born. Eighty-three percent of immigrant workers with less than a ninth-grade education, and 66 percent who complete the ninth grade but not high school, are LEP. That said, 23 percent of immigrant workers with a bachelor's degree or beyond are also LEP (figure 1), and 37 percent of low-wage workers with some college or a college degree are LEP.

Immigrants' legal status helps determine access to job-training and work-support programs. Indeed, eligibility for most government-sponsored programs is restricted to legal immigrants under federal law. Legal status is also associated with limited English language skills and low education levels: undocumented immigrants are more likely to lack English proficiency and a ninth-grade education.10
Of the 17.9 million foreign-born workers in the United States, some 12.7 million are here legally. Thirty-four percent of immigrant workers are naturalized citizens, 34 percent are legal immigrants (including refugees), and 29 percent are undocumented. Compared to the workforce in general, the low-wage labor force has a higher share of undocumented immigrants and a lower share of naturalized citizens. Of the 8.6 million low-wage immigrant workers, 3.4 million (40 percent) are undocumented. Less than a quarter (23 percent) are naturalized citizens.

A striking feature of the immigrant labor force is how few foreign-born women join it, compared with native women. Overall, women make up about half (48 percent) of the native workforce, but only 40 percent of the immigrant workforce. In the low-wage labor force, a clear majority (59 percent) of natives are female, compared with only 44 percent of low-wage foreign-born workers (figure 2).
Gender differences are even more pronounced among undocumented workers. Only 32 percent of all undocumented workers and 37 percent of low-wage undocumented workers are women. This differential reflects very high labor-force participation among undocumented men and relatively low labor participation among undocumented women.11 Female immigrants-especially undocumented women-participate at lower rates because they are far more likely to be married, and because they have more children on average than native-born women.12 In short, undocumented men come to the U.S. mainly to work, while many undocumented women come to be with their families.
Although they have lower labor-force participation, immigrant women who do take low-wage jobs are better educated than their male counterparts. More than three-fourths (76 percent) of female low-wage immigrant workers hold at least a high school diploma, compared with 66 percent of male low-wage immigrant workers. They are also more likely to be proficient in English than foreign-born male workers: 59 versus 50 percent.
Even though immigrant women are more likely to be in the United States legally, hold high school diplomas, and speak English, their earnings trail those of immigrant men. Thirteen percent of immigrant women earn less than the minimum wage, compared with 9 percent of foreign-born men and native women (table 2). Forty percent of immigrant women earn from 100 to 200 percent of the minimum wage, compared with 36 percent of foreign-born men and 31 percent of native women. Clearly, many legally present, comparatively well-educated immigrant women in the labor force could benefit from training and other avenues to higher earnings.

Immigrant workers represent an especially large share of the total U.S. labor force in two major occupation groups: private household services (42 percent are immigrants), and farming, forestry, and fishing (37 percent). Looking only at low-wage immigrant workers, the share is even higher (44 percent in each) (table 3). Workers in these two occupations are the least well paid and the most likely to be foreign-born of all major occupational groups tracked by the Census. Even so, only 6 percent of all immigrant workers and 10 percent of low-wage immigrant workers hold jobs in these occupations.
The other occupation groups with significant shares of low-wage immigrant workers include service occupations (except protective services); precision production, crafts and repair; machine operators and assemblers; and administrative support. In those occupational categories, wages are usually higher and worker-training opportunities more plentiful.

Immigrants make up one in nine U.S. residents, one in seven U.S. workers, and one in five low-wage workers. Immigrants are overrepresented among both low-wage and less educated U.S. workers. Since so many immigrants work and so many hold low-wage jobs, they could potentially benefit from post as well as pre-employment services.
Unfortunately, most publicly funded training programs assume that participants have ninth-grade levels of literacy, numeracy, and basic English skills, and most privately funded training programs are geared to skilled workers and managers. To fill the gap, Congress should consider revamping the Workforce Investment Act, and employers should tailor their job-training programs to serve LEP populations, build language assessment capacity, and combine job training with English language, basic education, and literacy instruction.
Female workers are of particular concern. Compared to native women, fewer immigrant women participate in the labor force. Immigrant women who work are better educated and more likely to enjoy legal status than foreign-born men, but earn less than either foreign-born men or native women. Thus, raising the incomes of immigrant families requires targeting education, training, and other post-employment services toward women who work-or want to-in these families.
While immigrants dominate a few low-wage occupations-farming and private household workers-the immigrants working in those occupations represent a relatively small share of all immigrant workers. Overall, there are far more foreign-born workers in such occupations as low-skilled manufacturing and services, so expanding training opportunities in these economic sectors should help large numbers of immigrant workers.


from :

The AFL-CIO published accident and workplace fatality statistics in 2003. Associated Press reporter Anabelle Garay summarized them in her article "Study finds immigrant, Latino worker deaths increase in Texas."

She said, "More Hispanics died on the job in Texas than any other state in 2003, and the number of immigrants killed in work-related accidents increased sharply over a decade...."

"Hispanic worker fatalities reported in Texas rose from 136 in 1992 to 163 in 2003, surpassing California, which saw a decrease, according to the study."

"Texas counted 69 foreign-born workers who died from work-related injuries in 1992. By 2003, the number of immigrant workers fatalities reached 121, a 75 percent increase. Texas trailed only California."

"One of the main factors contributing to employees being fatally injured at work is the lack of adequate training on dangerous conditions, employees' rights and safety, union officials say."

"Hispanics are less likely to report hazards at the workplace because they fear being labeled a troublemaker, worry about their job security or aren't informed about their rights...."


from AFL-CIO :

Statement by AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney on President Bush's Principles for Immigration Reform
January 08, 2004

"Immigration reform is a long ignored crisis that demands urgent action. But President Bush's announcement today of his principles for immigration reform is a hollow promise for hardworking, undocumented workers, people seeking to immigrate to the U.S. and U.S. workers alike. It creates a permanent underclass of workers who are unable to fully participate in democracy. The plan deepens the potential for abuse and exploitation of these workers, while undermining wages and labor protections for all workers."

from :

Census reports 1.1 million persons of Hispanic origin in North Central Texas. This is an increase of 600,000 over the previous decade.

from :

24-page Report prepared by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush, President of DFW International. Dated 6/30/05

"Forty percent of our residents are immigrants (foreign born and their children)."
"Immigrants from Mexico now account for nearly ¾ of the City's foreign-born population, and at the same time, the region is an important gateway for workers and famililes from East and Southeast Asia."

"In 26.3% of our homes today, English is not the language spoken, and minorities account for 50% of the region's public school enrollment. Few of the foreign-born are citizesn, and nearly half are undocumented and uninsured. Engliksh classes for adults are at capacity around the region, and our literacy level stands in the bottom third of the nation, and continues to drop."

2002: 35% of North Texas residents were immigrants
2005: 40% of North Texas residents were immigrants

2004 (USA) 11.9% foreign born
2000 (Texas) 13.9%
2004 Texas 15.2%

"72% of Dallas' immigrants are from Mexico. Nationwide, Mexican immigrants are 28% of the population, up from 16% in 1980 (census)
Indians account for the second largest number of foreign born: 4.3% of the total (DMN news)
Only 19% of the city's foreign-born are naturalized U.S. citizens

46% of our foreign-born population is undocumented.

"Between half and 2/3 of Hispanic 9th grade students across the North Texas region will not graduate. In many districts, 10th grade has 30% less Hispanic students than 9th grade"

In DISD, 62% of the students are Hispanic

33% of the students are 'limited English proficient'

68% of the Hispanic students in DISD do not graduate.

82% of the babies born in parkland Hospital are Hispanic, and 40% of their parents are undocumented (KERA)
43.8% of immigrants in Dallas do not have health insurance (CIS)

157,665 people are working in construction in North Texas, and about 70% are immigrants

Nationwide, 18% of all individuals in food service occupations are of Hispanic origin. It is doubtless much higher than this in the Metroplex (National Restaurant Association)

She includes a chart with country of origin of North Texas residents. 1 million are from Mexico, 4,500 from Guatemala, 10,000 from Honduras, 60,000 from El Salvador…

"One in six residents of North Texas was born in another country."

from :
Current Numbers

During the 1990s, an average of more than 1.3 million immigrants - legal and illegal - settled in the United States each year. Between January 2000 and March 2002, 3.3 million additional immigrants have arrived. In less than 50 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that immigration will cause the population of the United States to increase from its present 288 million to more than 400 million.
The foreign-born population of the United States is currently 33.1 million, equal to 11.5 percent of the U.S. population. Of this total, the Census Bureau estimates 8-9 million are illegal immigrants. Other estimates indicate a considerably higher number of illegal immigrants.
Approximately 1 million people receive permanent residency annually. In addition, the Census Bureau estimates a net increase of 500,000 illegal immigrants annually.
The present level of immigration is significantly higher than the average historical level of immigration. This flow may be attributed, in part, to the extraordinary broadening of U.S. immigration policy in 1965. Since 1970, more than 30 million legal and illegal immigrants have settled in the U.S., representing more than one-third of all people ever to come to America's shores.
At the peak of the Great Wave of immigration in 1910, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. was less than half of what it is today, though the percentage of the population was slightly higher. The annual arrival of 1.5 million legal and illegal immigrants, coupled with 750,000 annual births to immigrant women, is the determinate factor- or three-fourths- of all U.S. population growth

From :

The Rollback of Immigrant Workers' Civil Rights

By Ana Avendaño and Marielena Hincapié

The article documents the lack of democratic and legal rights for immigrant workers. It concludes:

"For a country that prides itself on equal protection under the law and the notion of "inalienable" rights, we have created a subclass of workers who have no meaningful way of protecting their civil rights. The system harms workers and undermines immigration law and enforcement. Congress should act to clarify that all workers, regardless of immigration status, are entitled to the same legal protections and remedies as citizens. At the same time, Congress must amend the immigration policy in such a way that it recognizes the valuable contributions that undocumented workers made to our society."

Excerpted from Awakening from the Dream, which celebrates the birth of the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights. For more information on other chapters of this book, to view the table of contents, to order the book and to find out more, visit the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights.


More information should be available from the National Immigrant Law Center

After Jobs with Justice made our decision and began petitioning for fairness, we learned that we had boarded a fast-moving train. The Dallas Area Interfaith, the leading umbrella organization of religious groups in North Texas, had already scheduled a press conference favoring fair legislation in Congress. Click here for an account. We joined that press conference with our own Jobs with Justice statement. The statements of religious leaders were inspiring, particularly that of Lutheran Bishop Kevin S. Kanouse. Jobs with Justic will conduct an inquiry into working conditions for immigrants beginning Apri l from 4-6 PM at Oak Cliff Methodist Church, Jefferson & Marsalis in Dallas.

For updates about the situation in Congress, check the Catholic web site:

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