Examining the Economic Contributions of Undocumented Immigrants by Country of Origin

New American Economy
Date of Publication: 
March, 2021
Source Organization: 
New American Economy
  • In 2019, there were more than 4.2 million immigrants from Mexico who lack documentation. Together, they make up more than 40.8 percent of the 10.3 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. 
    • Rounding out the top 5 countries of origin of undocumented immigrants are: El Salvador (621,000, or 6.0 percent of all undocumented immigrants), India (587,000, or 5.7 percent), Guatemala (561,000, or 5.4 percent), and Honduras (416,000, or 4.0 percent).  
  • More than one half of all undocumented immigrants from Mexico live in just two states, California and Texas. 
  • The vast majority (96.7%) of Mexican undocumented workers are working and contributing to the economy and are vital to critical American industries including agriculture (11.5 percent of the workforce), construction (6.7 percent), and the tourism and hospitality sector (3.4 percent). 
  • Given their productivity and their numbers, Mexican undocumented immigrants are significant economic contributors to the American economy. In 2019 alone, they earned almost $92 billion in household income and contributed almost $9.8 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. 
  • Mexican undocumented immigrants held more than $82.2 billion in spending power, money that often goes back into local economies as they spend on housing, consumer goods, and services. 

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New American Economy (2021, March 8). Examining the Economic Contributions of Undocumented Immigrants by Country of Origin. New American Economy. https://immigrationforum.org/article/immigration-is-not-a-national-security-threat/