On April 24, 2019, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a new fact sheet: How Many Unauthorized Immigrants Graduate from the U.S. High Schools Annually? The research was commissioned by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.
Among other findings, top lines include:
- MPI estimates that 98,000 undocumented students, ages 15 to 19, graduate from high school every year, a dramatic increase from the commonly used estimate of 65,000 students per year.
- MPI provides state-level estimates for the top 15 states, including California, which accounts for approximately 27,000 of the 98,000 graduating each year, Texas (17,000), Florida (5,000), New York (4,000), New Jersey (4,000), Illinois (4,000), Georgia (3,000), North Carolina (3,000), Virginia (2,000), Arizona (2,000), Maryland (2,000), Washington (2,000), Colorado (1,000), Nevada (1,000), and Massachusetts (1,000). Close to 20% (18,000) of all undocumented high school graduates live in other states.
- Both the expansion of in-state tuition through legislation or other action in over 20 states, as well as the DACA program, with its educational and work authorization provisions, represent important drivers in the increased high school graduation rates for immigrant youth.
- The estimates suggest that the near 100,000 per year number has the potential to grow even larger in the future if high school graduation rates for immigrant students increase.
The Presidents’ Alliance thanks the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Open Society Foundations for their financial support of this project.