A massive new wave of immigrants that began in the 1980s has pushed New Jersey’s population to 21.6 percent foreign born, according to a study released Thursday.
The report found that the last seven years have been the highest period of immigration in history, both in New Jersey and nationally, with 1.5 million legal and illegal immigrants arriving in the country each year.
The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank that lobbies for lower immigration levels. While other demographers did not agree with the report’s more ominous tones, there was no quibbling with the overall numbers.
“No nation has ever attempted to incorporate nearly 38 million newcomers into its society,” the report’s conclusion states, referring to the total number of foreign-born people living in the US. “Whatever one thinks of contemporary immigration, it is critically important to understand that its effect on America represents a choice” by the government to allow such high levels of immigration.
The children of immigrants now comprise 31 percent of all school age children in New Jersey. The study puts the number of illegal immigrants living in the state at 429,000.
[Editors Note: “Immigrants in the United States, 2007: A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population,” by Steven A. Camarota, November 2007 can be read here.]