E.g., 09/16/2014
E.g., 09/16/2014

Bush Immigration Plan Likely to Hit Southwest States Hardest

Press Release
Thursday, January 8, 2004

Bush Immigration Plan Likely to Hit Southwest States Hardest

President Bush’s temporary worker program, outlined on Wednesday, could have a profound impact on the states and counties in the U.S. West and Southwest.

New maps by the Migration Policy Institute show the distribution of the five largest foreign-born groups in the United States by county, including from Mexico, the Philippines, India, China and Vietnam.

In light of the Bush proposal, the settlement patterns of Mexicans in the United States are of special importance. Mexicans account for more than half of the estimated 8 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and make up 3.3 percent of the total U.S. population. The percent is much higher in certain states, including California (12 percent), Texas (9 percent), Arizona (9 percent), Nevada (8 percent), and New Mexico (5 percent).

The story is much more complex at the county level, however, especially in those states and counties that border Mexico. Here, the foreign born from Mexico may comprise between 20 and 37 percent of the total county population. “Given the geographical concentration of Mexicans especially along the US border, those states and counties with large Mexican populations should pay careful attention to the details of President Bush’s proposal as it evolves,” says MPI Co-director Demetri Papademetriou.

Immigrants from the Philippines, India, China and Vietnam reveal different settlement patterns. “The maps clearly show that the foreign born are not evenly distributed across the United States, but are concentrated in certain regions, states, and even urban areas," says MPI Data Manager Elizabeth Grieco. "It is also interesting to consider the diversity among the groups and the implications of that diversity for President Bush’s plan.”

More information about Mexicans and the foreign born in general can be found on the Migration Information Source, MPI’s online immigration resource.

To access a map collection of the settlement patterns by county of the “Top Five” source countries for migrants to the United States, including Mexico, the Philippines, India, China, and Vietnam, click here.