Nearly one in five immigrants in the United States without documentation live in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, according to a new study.
The report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center estimates more than 2 million immigrants in the country without documentation lived in the two areas in 2014.
It provides a glimpse of where immigrants in the country illegally reside and regions that could be most affected by President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration, and underscores the challenges Trump could face in rounding up large numbers of deportees because many areas that are home to large numbers of immigrants lacking legal papers oppose his plans.
Pew says the country in all has about 11.1 million immigrants who do not have legal status — or 3.5 percent of the overall U.S. population.
Most live in 20 metropolitan areas, including Dallas, Tex.; Miami, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Washington, D.C.; Riverside, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; San Diego, Calif.; and Philadelphia, Pa., according to the study.
About 61 percent of immigrants in the country illegally live in 20 metropolitan areas, the report said.
The report comes as Trump tries to boost ties with local law enforcement agencies ahead of a crackdown on illegal immigration and boost to deportations.
Many large cities, including New York and Los Angeles, have pushed back and pledged to help protect immigrants from deportation.
Any actions by the new administration could be even more widely felt among immigrant communities in regions such as Phoenix, Houston, Dallas and Denver. In these areas, 37 percent of immigrants lack legal status, compared to 26 percent nationwide, the report said.
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In some areas, a larger share of immigrants lack legal papers than others, according to the report by the Washington-based center, which was based on 2014 Census Bureau data.
For example, about 17 percent of immigrants in the San Francisco area lack legal status compared with 35 percent in the region surrounding Las Vegas.