Most of the United States’ 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants live in just 20 major metropolitan areas, with the largest populations in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on government data.The analysis shows that the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population is highly concentrated, more so than the U.S. population overall. In 2014, the 20 metro areas with most unauthorized immigrants were home to 6.8 million of them, or 61% of the estimated nationwide total. By contrast, only 36% of the total U.S. population lived in those metro areas.By far the biggest unauthorized immigrant populations were in the New York and Los Angeles metro areas (1.2 million and 1 million, respectively). No other metro area approached a million. Among the top 20 areas, the smallest unauthorized immigrant populations included Orlando (110,000) and Austin (100,000).
Meanwhile, the top 10 metropolitan areas alone account for nearly 50% of illegal immigrants and just three states, California, Texas and New York, make up roughly 37% of the total.
Of course, these numbers will become increasingly important over the coming months as the Trump administration continues to develop policy related to what will undoubtedly be a controversial topic for the next 4-8 years. In a recent interview on Fox News, President Trump intimated to Bill O'Reilly that all options, including the defunding of entire states, would be on the table for places that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
And, with $27 billion of federal funding at stake, we suspect that at least a few rogue cities will be forced to fall in line. Here is some data on which states/cities receive the most federal funding (see "Deplorable? Obama Sent $27 Billion Taxpayer Money To Fund Sanctuary Cities In 2016"):“I think it’s ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I’m very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there’s a lot of problems,” Trump said.
“If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know.”
Trump told O’Reilly that he didn’t want to defund a state or a city and would like to give them “the money they need to properly operate.”
But the president added that “if they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.”
Here are the top 10 takeaways from our findings:
- $26.741 billion in annual federal grants and direct payments flowed into America’s 106 sanctuary cities (FY2016).
- On average, the cost of lost federal funding for a family of four residing in one of the 106 sanctuary cities is $1,810 – or $454 per person. A total population of 46.2 million residents live in the 106 sanctuary cities according to census data.
- Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois governments received the highest amount of federal funding per resident and, therefore, have the most to lose by maintaining their sanctuary status.Washington, D.C. municipal government received the highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $3,228 per person; $12,912 per family of four; or $2.09 billion total. The City of Chicago, IL received the second highest amount of federal funding on a per capita basis: $1,942 per person; $7,768 per family of four; or $5.3 billion total.
- In cities with populations of 100,000 and above, the communities with the least per capita federal dollars ‘at risk’ are St. Paul, Minnesota ($47 per person, $14.2 million total); Downey, California ($36 per person, $4.2 million total) and Miami, Florida ($67 per person, $29.7 million total).
- $15.983 billion in federal funds flowed into just twelve major American cities where 1 in 5 illegal entrants reside (FY2016).
- Department of Justice grants to law enforcement – i.e. city police departments – totaled $543.97 million (FY2016). Typically, this funding was only a small percentage of the local law enforcement budgets.
- $4.23 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘direct payment’ type. These payments funded municipal services such as housing, education, community development, and schools.
- $21.5 billion in federal funding of the 106 sanctuary cities flowed via the ‘grant’ payment mechanism. These payments funded local police and fire departments, schools, housing, and city services.
- In Los Angeles, fully 1 in 5 city residents (22-percent) are illegal entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to only $126 per resident; $504 per family of four; or $502.5 million total.
- In Newark, New Jersey, 19-percent of city residents are undocumented entrants. However, the amount of federal funding amounts to $733 per resident; $2,932 per family of four; or $206.7 million.