According to a new report undocumented immigrants are being pushed into the shadows of society and forced to live in fear.
The study looks at how restrictive immigration policies are affecting the lives of undocumented immigrants.
The study comes from the Center for American Progress, a think-tank in Washington D.C.
The center partnered with researchers at UCSD's Center of Comparative Immigration Studies, specifically looking at the lives of undocumented immigrants in Northern San Diego County.
David Keyes is one of the researchers at UCSD's Center of Comparative Immigration studies.
He and several others traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico and documented the lives of immigrants who once lived here illegally, in cities such as Vista, Oceanside and Escondido.
The study takes a look at what their experiences were with immigration policies in those cities.
Escondido police partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration.
Instead researchers found that undocumented immigrants are not exactly leaving and at the same time they are hesitant to cooperate with law enforcement out of fear of being deported
"If you're a police officer you're not going to get as much engagement from the immigrant community as you might otherwise because they're afraid that if they do come forward that might affect their own status or the status of someone they love,” said Keyes.
Keyes wants to make it clear that their objective is only in the name of academic research.
This study is part of a 7-year-old program where they travel to Mexico for field research, then publish their findings in a book.
This study will be published and released in summer of 2013.
Diana Guevara covers stories involving San Diego's Latino community. Send her your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.
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