The Orange County Register: Immigration and California
The Orange County Register has released the first two parts of a four part series which looks at Immigration and California. Director Emeritus Wayne Cornelius was referenced in Part 2 of the series as shown below.
California relies more on immigrant labor than any other state and almost any developed country. That’s the result of decades-long economic and demographic shifts as well as political choices.
More than 10 million undocumented immigrants have moved to the United States since Congress vowed a crackdown in 1986. A key reason: the government’s failure to lock them out of jobs.
Illegal immigrants surveyed by retired UC San Diego political scientist Wayne Cornelius and his students said that while most employers asked for identification, almost half of the employers knew they were unauthorized and another 11 percent probably knew.
“Current Migration Trends from Mexico: What Are the Impacts of the Economic Crisis and U.S. Enforcement Strategy?”, by Wayne Cornelius, UCSD Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, presented to congressional staff June 8, 2009. Copy provided by Cornelius to the Register. “Almost half”: 49.6 percent, according to the survey of illegal immigrants.
Immigrants have driven down wages in low-skilled trades. But they’ve made life easier for middle- and upper-income Californians.
Changing U.S. immigration policy means grappling with polarizing choices – like amnesty and a national ID card.