Four percent of the Illinois population is composed of illegal immigrants.
This figure is from Illinois’ Undocumented Immigrant Population: A Summary of Recent Research, a report by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which pegs the undocumented population in Illinois at 511,000. About 77 percent are from Mexico, but there are other countries of origin too, says author Fred Tsao.
“Roughly 10 percent are from Asian countries, such as the Philippines, India, China and Korea, and then you have a good smattering of undocumented immigrants who come from Europe, particularly from Eastern European countries such as Poland and the former Soviet Union,” he said.
- A majority, 54 percent, live in the Chicago suburbs, in places such as Aurora, Bensenville, Cicero, Elgin, Hanover Park, Melrose Park and Waukegan. Only 10 percent live Downstate, with concentrations in Champaign, Kankakee and Winnebago counties and in the Metro East area.
- Half speak English pretty well, 32 percent have “limited English proficiency” and 19 percent don’t speak English at all.
- 29 percent live in poverty.
- 87 percent live in families in which at least one other family member is a legal immigrant or a U.S. citizen; 74 percent live in families that include native-born Americans.