A new report shows that nine in 10 undocumented immigrants are part of groups that most U.S. citizens believe should have a pathway to citizenship.
The FWD.us report finds that voters, regardless of political affiliation, would support legislation allowing immigrants who have been in the country for at least 10 years, have a child or spouse who is a citizen, or are seeking asylum to achieve citizenship.
Support is also strong in battleground states.
Polling conducted in Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin found about three-quarters of voters are in favor of providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship to most subsets of immigrants. The only groups to fall short of that threshold are asylum seekers (71%) and undocumented immigrants who hold Temporary Protected Status (68%).
The immigrant groups FWD.us polled on account for 93% of the estimated 10 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
The polling focused on those groups, as well as immigrants who are essential workers, because they would be granted a pathway to citizenship either through new legislation filed in the current Congress or if lawmakers were to update existing laws.
The FWD.us report includes interactive maps showing the number of people belonging to each group by state and by congressional district. The maps show that Florida is home to 740,000 undocumented immigrants, 91% of whom would have a pathway to citizenship if federal legislation moved forward.
The majority of undocumented immigrants living in Florida have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years (56%) or are considered essential workers (51%). The percentages do not add up to 100% because an individual can belong to more than one group.
Further down, 21% of Florida’s undocumented immigrants are “Dreamers” who came to the U.S. as children and are either in school or have already graduated with at least a high school diploma; 21% are a parent to a U.S. citizen; 19% are TPS recipients; 16% are married to a citizen; 14% are asylum seekers; 7% are farmworkers; and 2% are waiting for an adjustment or change of status.
Notably, undocumented immigrants account for more than half of all farmworkers in the state.
Farmworkers and Dreamers have the strongest support, with 71% of Americans in favor of providing them a pathway to citizenship. Also, about two-thirds of the U.S. public supports creating a pathway for TPS recipients.
According to FWD.us, those groups account for one in three undocumented immigrants in the country and 41% of those living in Florida.
The report also estimates that about 5.2 million undocumented immigrants are essential workers, including 1 million who are also Dreamers and 400,000 who have been granted TPS. Additionally, 4.2 million (81%) of those essential workers have been living in the U.S. for more than a decade and 2.3 million (44%) are married to a U.S. citizen or have at least one U.S. citizen child.
The FWD.us report also shows non-citizens pay billions in state and federal taxes and make significant contributions to the economy — and the impact would only grow if they became citizens.
In Florida, non-citizens pay an estimated $800 million in state and local taxes, $1.8 billion in federal taxes and spend $15.6 billion. As citizens, taxes paid would double, sending $1.7 billion to the state and $3.5 billion to the feds. Spending power would rise to $27.8 billion.