Most undocumented migrants live in America's metropolitan areas

Posted at 8:01 AM, May 09, 2017

Texas' Governor Greg Abbot on Sunday signed a bill live on Facebook in an attempt to ban so-called sanctuary cities. The term covers cities or counties in the United States that decline to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement in one way or another.

Many of them have either written laws or informal policies that prohibit local law enforcement to check on people's migrant status. Those jurisdictions do not use municipal funds or resources to enforce national immigration laws.

According to a report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in the case of Texas, Travis County State Jail refused 14 and Travis City Jail 118 detainers in one go in February. The list of all instances in which jurisdictions declined ICE detainers has 206 in total, as stated in the report.

In general, the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump wants to overhaul America’s migration policies and crack down on undocumented migrants. According to Pew Research Center, there are an estimated 11.1 million unauthorized migrants in the U.S. of which some 6.75 million took refuge in big metropolitan areas.

As it is notoriously hard to document those who by definition are undocumented, these necessarily are estimates, in this case based on available 2014 data. Some of these metro areas, shown in the Statista infographic below, have sanctuary cities at their center. Other sanctuary areas are not cities but counties or whole states.

ICE reports more than 160 jurisdictions that have not cooperated with them in the past.

Infographic: Most Migrants Live in America's Metropolitan Areas | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista