There are currently approximately 11 million undocumented illegal immigrants living in the United States. States like California, Texas, and Nevada have some of the highest populations of illegal immigrants in the entire country, while other states are relatively untouched by a population of undocumented aliens. In Massachusetts, the number of immigrants living illegally in the state is on the decline. If you are an immigrant living in Boston and have questions about your immigration status, an immigration attorney can help you.
Fewer Undocumented Immigrants Living in Massachusetts
A November 2014 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, the results of which were published in The Republic, shows that the number of undocumented aliens living in the state of Massachusetts is getting smaller. From 2009 to 2012, Massachusetts and New York were the only Northeast states where the number of illegal immigrants living within the states actually decreased; all other Northeast states witnessed increases in immigrant populations. In 2009, the state of Massachusetts had 180,000 illegal immigrants – in 2012, this number dropped by 30,000, to only 150,000 immigrants.
Immigrant Policies Remain Unfriendly in Massachusetts
Perhaps one of the reasons for the decline in immigrant population in Massachusetts is the fact that legislation in the state hasn’t been all-too-friendly to undocumented aliens. In June of 2014, a committee of lawmakers rejected legislation that would have allowed illegal immigrants in the state to apply for drivers’ licenses – a measure that would have yielded $15 million in state revenue, plus an addition 7.5 million in renewal fees every year.
And that’s not all: in 2010, the state passed a series of measures to crack down on illegal immigration, including laws that would require employers to confirm that all of their workers were in the U.S. legally, that barred undocumented immigrants from qualifying for in-state tuition, and that set up a hot-line where people could phone in businesses that they believed were illegally employing undocumented immigrants.
The Future for Undocumented Immigrants in Massachusetts
Despite the fact that the state itself may have taken measures in the past to bar undocumented immigrants from certain privileges and rights, Obama’s recent executive order on immigration may ease the burden placed on immigrants and their families. For the moment at least, more than four million immigrants throughout the country will be able to legally remain – and work – within the country.
If You Need Help With Your Immigration Status, Contact a Boston Immigration Attorney
If you are living in Boston as an immigrant and have questions about how to apply for a visa or residency, how to fight deportation, or anything else related to your immigration status, it is within your best interest to consult with a Boston immigration attorney. Attorney Josh Goldstein can help you to understand your rights and options, and can offer you the advocacy and protection that you and your family need.