Migrants in El Paso, Texas
From Arizona, to California and Florida, these 10 states need the most support to handle immigration due to their sharp increase in migrant influx. Reuters

President Joe Biden's recently announced sweeping executive order on migration has left many questions unanswered regarding the logistics, budget and legality of the initiative. But as the action remains hotly contested among politicians, experts are asking, what kind of support will migrants already in the country receive, if any?

A new analysis by The Brookings Institution explores recent data on where recent U.S. migrants live, specifically ones that have arrived since 2022, a date experts agree began an increased amount of arrivals. The institution uses the Current Population Survey (CPS) to estimate where recent index immigrants are living and how the location of recent arrivals has changed from the pre-pandemic era.

According to the institution, between 2016 and now, 2022 and 2023 were the years that saw the highest CPS, a number that is similar with Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimates that immigration inflows substantially increased in recent years.

Taking that consideration, Brookings looks at the number of states with a share of recent impact index immigrants greater than 0.5 percent of the adult population to determine which states need more support from the government to deal with the current migrant influx.

Between 2018 and 2023, 16 states rose between the 0.5 cutoff, but 10 states saw a substantial increase in the share of recent impact index immigrants, according to Brookings. Here's a list of them:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Utah

According to the study, these states may see some benefits, given that immigration tends to help the economy, rather than hurt it, as some narratives tend to communicate. However, as these territories begin welcoming newcomers, they will need fiscal support from the federal government.

The authors recommend a $2,603 subsidy per impact index immigrant for education and health services through the already-established Impact Aid program and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Doing so, the organization argues, will reduce bureaucratic costs and prioritize community-level needs.

But despite these recommendations, the federal government has adopted other avenues for aid. For example, in fiscal year 2023, $800 million was made available through Federal Emergency Management Agency programs to support shelter and other humanitarian needs provided by local governments, non-profits, and faith-based organizations.

This study comes at a shaky time for immigration policies. This week, the Biden Administration through an executive order barred migrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum once a daily threshold is met, unless individuals meet certain exemptions. The measure could be turned on and off and would be lifted when there's a daily average of fewer than 1,500 encounters between ports of entry.

The order follows two failed attempts at Congress to pass a bill that would have brought similar measures into fruition.

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