The state of California has the largest number of immigrants of all states. Each year the state sees an influx of thousands of immigrants from different countries. Most of the immigrants come from Latin America to explore better opportunities or to escape political uprisings and violence.
California Immigration Numbers
According to the latest data, about 46% of the children born in the state of California has at least one parent who is an immigrant. And about 35% of working age adults between the age of 25-54 are foreign born. Another important fact regarding immigration released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in 2021, states that the foreign-born population in California doubles the rest of the country.
In 2021, 135,181 immigrants in California were granted permanent residence status. Los Angeles County welcomes the most immigrants in the state and the majority of California’s immigrants arrive from Mexico, over 3.9 million arrivals from 2017-2021.
California Supports Immigration
Californians for the most part have an overall positive view regarding immigration. In fact, when PPIC issued a survey regarding the perception of immigrants in the state, about 66 percent of the respondents stated:
“Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills.”
The other 32 percent had the opposite opinion stating that the immigrants are a burden and are only in the state due to the public services. The opinions have changed quite a bit over the last 25 years. In a similar PPIP survey conducted in 1998, only 46 percent viewed immigrants as a benefit while 42 percent said burden.
It should also be noted that California is a “blue” state, which has a mostly Democrat population. Democrats have always had more positive views toward the immigrant population, according to most studies.
Most Californians also have a healthy level of support for the path to citizenship and DACA protections for immigrants. About 80 percent of adults stated that they are in favor of providing undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship as long as they meet certain requirements. The policy view remains steady for most Democrats, 79 percent of Independents, and 59 percent of Republicans. The same held true for DACA protections with similar numbers when broken down by party.
Californians are also in favor of providing healthcare to undocumented immigrants at a level of 55 percent.
The favorable views and opinions of immigrants is noteworthy considering the economic climate that persists today. However, the constant influx of immigrants along with policies and trends is putting a tremendous strain on the state’s economy. According to some leaders, the only way to alleviate the stress is with real immigration reform to deal with the migration trends.