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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mission District Is Home to City's Highest Concentration of Illegal Immigrants

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 7:15 AM

click to enlarge Missionites: up to 15 percent of your neighbors are undocumented.
  • Missionites: up to 15 percent of your neighbors are undocumented.

The 94110 zip code-- which includes the Mission, Bernal Heights, and some of Noe Valley-- houses San Francisco's highest concentration of illegal immigrants, according to a recent study.

The Public Policy Institute of California released a study this month in which researchers estimated the number of illegal immigrants in the state by analyzing tax records and using complex mathematical models that no journalist could actually understand.

Specifically, they looked at the number of people with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) who filed federal income taxes. The IRS issues those identification numbers to people who don't have Social Security numbers so they can file their taxes.

Funny how the government stops caring about your visa status in tax season. But we digress.

The study estimates that San Francisco has 30,000 undocumented

immigrants comprising 3.7 percent of the city's population, yet they

are not evenly distributed. Rather, this demographic is concentrated in the 94110, where

10 to 15 percent of the residents are illegal immigrants. The Tenderloin, Bayview,

and Excelsior/Ingleside neighborhoods follow with 5 to

10 percent of residents being illegal immigrants.

The San Jose Mercury News created a handy interactive map

of the study's numbers to show the distribution of undocumented

immigrants throughout the state. San Francisco's 3.7 percentage is comparatively low. According to the Merc's analysis:

Illegal immigrants make up 12

percent of the population in wine-growing Napa County, one of the

highest rates after Monterey and San Benito counties, where they make up

13.5 percent of the population, and Imperial County, along the Mexican

border, where they make up 12.8 percent. Illegal immigrants represent

10.2 percent of the population in Santa Clara County and 8.4 percent in

Alameda County, according to the study.

California is still home to the greatest number of this undocumented immigrants in the country, where roughly 2.6 million of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants live. Yet the number has stabilized and maybe even started to decline locally, while the greatest numerical gains were in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina in recent years.

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Lauren Smiley


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