Report cover featuring artwork of a young family walking down a path in a neighborhood
Immigrant Inclusion & Racial Justice

May 2013

By Manuel Pastor and Enrico Marcelli

With Vanessa Carter and Jared Sanchez

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

Building off a methodology originally pioneered by co-author Enrico A. Marcelli (Demographer, Department of Sociology, San Diego State University), What’s at Stake for the State painted a multi-hued picture of the 2.6 million unauthorized people living in California—demographics, potential income gains, and how they could make the most of authorization.

The report also estimated the economic benefit of legalization and naturalization for undocumented Californians by state and region. The authors estimated that annual aggregate income of the currently undocumented would increase by $4.6 to $7.9 billion. And, since undocumented workers tend to be lower-income, they would spend their paycheck rather than put it into savings—meaning a strong multiplier effect on local economies.

Finally, the report posited that if and when Comprehensive Immigration Reform passes, investments would need to be made in programs to raise education levels, increase English fluency and improve job skills as a way to maximize the potential of undocumented Californians and build a stronger state.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

    a view of the Los Angeles skyline