On the Streets with Protesting Immigrants
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
It's estimated that there are 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., but who are they and how do they make their living?
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Well here are some facts and figures from the Pew Hispanic Center, 78 percent of illegal immigrants are from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Less than a quarter of illegal immigrants are young, single men. Young working families are more typical.
NORRIS: As for their role in the American economy, illegal immigrants make up slightly less than five percent of the U.S. workforce, but bear a significant presence in some U.S. industries, particularly lower skill occupations.
SIEGEL: For instance, they make up 24 percent of all workers employed in farming, 17 percent in cleaning occupations, 14 percent of construction workers.
NORRIS: They comprise 29 percent of all roofers and drywall installers, 27 percent of all butchers and other food processing workers and 12 percent of workers in food preparation.
SIEGEL: The Pew Hispanic Center's Latino Labor Report found that Hispanics are the only group of workers in the U.S. economy whose wages have fallen for two consecutive years.
NORRIS: And a worker's legal status translates into dollars. The Pugh Center found that undocumented male workers who'd arrived in the U.S. during the past five years earned on average $480.00 a week. Legal immigrants with green card status average 700 a week. Immigrants who become U.S. citizens average $930.00 a week.