After four decades of rapid illegal immigration growth in Los Angeles, the city is now approaching a more stable future according to a study conducted by a USC professor.
Dowell Myers, a professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, conducted a study that shows the number of new arrivals in Los Angeles is about half of what it was in 1990.
The ratio of immigrants well-acclimated in Los Angeles to immigrants new to the area is about six times greater than it was in 1990 and three times greater than it was in 2000, making it easier for newcomers to have assistance, Myers said.
“This means that there are fewer newcomers and the immigrants who have lived here longer have put down their roots and have been more economically productive,” Myers said. “Also, an advantage for the newcomers is that there are more old timers to help them find jobs, housing and adjust to everyday life.”
A consensus survey helped determine where people are from and whether they are new to Los Angeles or have arrived in the last five years, Myers said.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the amount of immigrants entering Los Angeles averaged 800,000 per year from 2000 to 2004, which dropped to about 500,000 per year from 2005 to 2008.
“The children of immigrants have been growing and the big revolution that happened in the last few years is that the majority of the people in California are born in California,” Myers said. “Now we have a home grown generation that is positive for the state.”
In the Los Angeles area, the number of Mexican immigrants is decreasing, Myers said, but the numbers are still higher when compared to other cities.
Myers said he believes that the immigrants will help pull the nation out of recession in the next few years.
“For things to get moving again, you need more spending and more consumers,” Myers said. “It all has to be restarted. Immigrants are a strong force that will be pushing forth because they have more spending. While older people have bought their houses and are spending less and less, immigrants will spend more, making it a positive boon for all businesses in California.”