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February 16, 2017

Pew Center research puts a number on Philly's undocumented immigrants

More undocumented immigrants live in Philadelphia than in any of the largest Northeast American cities, except New York City, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center.

An estimated 50,000 undocumented immigrants reside in Philadelphia, a figure that accounts for about 1 in 4 foreign-born residents. About 200,000 immigrants live in Philly, accounting for about 13 percent of its total population.

Pew released its research on Wednesday, the day before thousands of immigrants across the country skipped work, school and other obligations as part of Thursday's "A Day Without Immigrants" protest.

The protests are a response to President Donald Trump, who instituted a controversial travel ban that was blocked by the court system. He also has pledged to build a wall along the Mexican border and increase deportation of undocumented immigrants.

At 525,000, New York's undocumented immigrant population dwarfs that of Philadelphia. But Philly's total is higher than those of Boston, Washington and Baltimore.

Yet, undocumented immigrants only comprise about 3.2 percent of Philly's total population, which ranked just fourth among the five largest Northeast cities.

Pew defined undocumented immigrants as "all foreign-born noncitizens residing in the country who are not lawful immigrants." 

It defined the lawful immigrant population as naturalized citizens, refugees, people granted asylum, people granted lawful permanent residents and people admitted into the country under temporary statuses for longer-term residence and work.

Pew used numbers from 2014, the most recent available. 

Read the full Pew report here.