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Undocumented Immigrants More Impacted by Recession

La Opinin, Posted: Jan 15, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. economic crisis has impacted the flow of immigrants into the country, especially undocumented immigrants, according to a study released Wednesday by the Migration Policy Institute. When the economic situation in the United States changes drastically in a certain period of time, the first migration flow to respond to it is that of undocumented immigrants," said Demetrios Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute. The population of undocumented immigrants remained steady at 12 million during 2008. In November 2008, the country registered 37.7 million immigrants, just 100,000 more than the number registered in November 2007. In contrast, this number increased by 800,000 a year between 2000 and 2006.

The report also found that while some immigrants are returning to their countries of origin, this does not constitute a definitive trend. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the decision to return to one's country of origin has more to do with that country's economic, political and social development than with the economic conditions in the United States.

The study found that although undocumented workers share the characteristics of those who are most vulnerable during the recession -- they tend to have lower levels of experience and education -- they are also able to adapt more quickly to changes in the labor market by easily switching jobs.


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