Immigrants in California

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The majority of voters in California are in favor of helping children who crossed the border. A smaller number, although still the majority, support executive action by President Barack Obama to deal with millions of undocumented immigrants.

These are the results of a statewide Field Poll released several days ago, which reveal the predominantly positive image that Californians have of the undocumented and immigrants in general.

Another study from the California Immigrant Policy Center released days later highlights the contributions that immigrants make to the state’s economy. Its statewide numbers show the significant contributions that foreigners make to our state.

For example, one out of four residents of California is an immigrant, and they produce 31% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product—$650 billion.

The undocumented, on the other hand, account for one out of 10 workers in California, and with their work, they contribute almost $130 billion per year to the state’s Gross Domestic Product.

Twenty years ago, Californians voted for Proposition 187, which punished the undocumented in a way and with rhetoric similar to what is happening today in other parts of the country. However, this has changed considerably.

Native Californians are having more daily, real contact with immigrants—documented or undocumented—which has led them to value their work and integrity. Undocumented immigrants are not the monster, criminal or threat that is being described in the anecdotes told by opportunistic politicians. On the contrary: they are human beings who are eager to work and get ahead honestly. Californians realized this.