A study released by the Pew Research Center shows that more than 2.5 million immigrants in the country illegally live in the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. All three have mayors who have vowed to President Trump's plans to expand deportations. The report also gives an idea of the challenges the federal government may face in arresting and deporting large numbers of deportees.
 
In other cities, the proportion of illegal immigrants is greater than in the metropolitan areas mentioned above. Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Phoenix, 37 percent of immigrants are illegal, as compared to 26 percent nationwide, the report said. Deportation has commenced in those area. For example, a woman who had been living in the country for two decades since the age of 14 was taken into custody on February 8 and deported to her native Mexico. Protests in Phoenix were met with law enforcement, and several arrests made at an office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
 
According to Pew, there are 11.1 million immigrants in the country illegally: 3.5 percent of the overall U.S. population. In some places in the country, a larger share of immigrants are illegal than in others. Basing itself on 2014 Census Bureau numbers, the Pew study showed that approximately 17 percent of immigrants in the San Francisco area lack legal status compared with 35 percent in the region surrounding Las Vegas.
 
So-called “sanctuary” cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York have pledged to resist the federal government by not acceding to requests for assistance from federal immigration officials to detain wanted illegal immigrants. The Pew study examined large metropolitan regions. Many of the local sanctuary policies cover specific cities within those regions. The report said that approximately 61 percent of immigrants in the country illegally live in 20 metropolitan areas, the report said.
 
The impact of large immigrant communities on the recent general election is obvious. In Los Angeles County, for instance, 72.03 percent of voters pulled the lever for Democrats Hillary Clinton and 60.88 percent for Senate candidate Kamala Harris. In Chicago, 83.7 percent of voters voted for Clinton. In New York City, 78.59 percent of voters supported Clinton.
 
Here follows a list of the 20 metropolitan areas contemplated by the Pew study:
 
New York-Newark-Jersey City
Los Angeles-Longbeach-Anaheim
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland TX
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach FL
Chicago-Napierville-Elgin IL IN WI
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell GA
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Az
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA
Boston-Cambridge-Newton MA-NH
San Diego-Carlsbad CA
Lasvegas-Henderson-Paradise NV
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NH-DE-MD
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Co
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL
Austin-Round Rock TX


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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