By Pat Kessler


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The fallout hasn’t stopped from President Donald Trump targeting a group of Congresswomen, including one from Minnesota.

READ MORE: ‘Send Her Back!’: President Trump Slams Rep. Ilhan Omar At Rally

The president’s racist tweets have sharply focused the debate on who is legally in the United States and in Minnesota.

The president’s tweets telling four Congresswomen of color — including Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar — to “go back where they came from,” sparked a nationwide furor, and concern in the immigrant community.

Minnesota’s 448,000 legal immigrants are critical to the state’s aging, native-born workforce. They contribute $4.8 billion to Minnesota’s economy every year.

The immigrant unemployment rate in Minnesota is 4.2% — just a few ticks above the native-born unemployment rate in June 2019 of 3.9%.

But immigration levels are sharply down since President Trump took office. His threats to conduct deportation raids on undocumented immigrants, including in Minnesota, is generating fear and raising questions about legal and illegal immigration.

Here are the numbers:

  • As many as 95,000 unauthorized immigrants live in Minnesota.
  • 50% are Mexican.
  • 21% of them have been in the U.S. for year years or less.
  • And 3.8% of them are children who attend Minnesota public schools.

Despite the president’s promise to deport “millions” of people, Immigration and Control Enforcement says only a handful have been detained. And there’s only one known arrest in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the chaotic few days tied up Congress, which voted along party lines to condemn the president’s remarks. The House and Senate have 68 members who are immigrants or children of immigrants:

  • 57 are Democrats.
  • 10 are Republicans.
  • 1 is an Independent.

For the record, three of the four Congresswomen women of color targeted by the president were born in the U.S. Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia, and says she became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Omar has been a naturalized citizen longer than First Lady Melania Trump, who says she became a citizen in 2006.

Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

Profile Of Unauthorized Population In Minnesota

Minnesota Authorized Immigrants

U.S. Immigrant Population By State and County

Alternative Employment Measures: MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development

Minnesota Compass: Foreign-Born Population 2000-2016

Pew Research Center: Lawmakers Who Are Immigrants or Children of Immigrants

Unauthorized Immigrant Populations By State

MN State Demographic Center: Immigration and Language

Star Tribune: Ahead of ICE Raids, Immigrant Groups Spring Into Action

BBC: Who Are ‘The Squad’ of Congresswoman?”

Migration Policy Institute: Unauthorized Immigrant Population Profiles

New American Economy: Impact of Immigrants in 435 US Congressional Districts

ProCon.org: Demographics of Immigrants in the US Illegally

Pat Kessler