There’s almost nothing we are seeing more coverage of in the news than immigration.

Particularly those who come here illegally.

Where they’re coming from, where they’re going and of course the controversy over whether to allow them into the country or not.

There’s no doubt that New Jersey has a huge population of immigrants, but how many of them are undocumented or here illegally?

An interesting study was done by the nonpartisan think tank Migrant Policy Institute and published on

It’s no surprise to anybody that New Jersey is sixth in the country in terms of the population of illegal immigrants, as we as a sanctuary state have opened our arms to the undocumented population.

But if you’re curious about which counties illegal immigrants settle in, there are the nine that have the highest percentage, according to the study.

Although other interesting statistics are mentioned in the study, including how long the immigrants have lived here, age demographics and so forth.

I was curious about what areas most tend to settle in.

For example, do immigrants from the same country congregate together as my grandparents did when they came here?

Not surprisingly, those from other countries will settle closest to the largest metropolitan areas to find work and public resources.

So, it makes sense that the counties most heavily populated with illegal immigrants are all a train or bus right away from New York City.

There is no official count of how many people there are illegally in this country. It is not a question asked by the U.S. Census. These numbers are only estimates that MPI extrapolated from various data sets, including the Census count of foreign-born residents and data from the Department of Homeland Security, which keeps track of legal status of immigrants.

Below are the top nine counties, the number of illegal immigrants who have settled there and the countries from which they have come, in descending order.

1. Hudson County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 75,000
Top Countries of Birth: India, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador

2. (Tie) Essex County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 52,000
Top Countries of Birth: Ecuador, Brazil, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Honduras,

2. (Tie) Middlesex County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 52,000
Top Countries of Birth: India, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras, China/Hong Kong

3. Union County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 47,000
Top Countries of Birth: El Salvador, Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras

4. Bergen County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 44,000
Top Countries of Birth: Korean, India, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador

5. Passaic County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 37,000
Top Countries of Birth: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Peru

6. Mercer County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 24,000
Top Countries of Birth: Guatemala

7. (Tie) Monmouth County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 17,000
Top Countries of Birth: Mexico

7. (Tie) Morris County, NJ

Unauthorized Population: 17,000
Top Countries of Birth: (Unspecified)

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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