Undocumented immigrants now make up almost 5 percent of the U.S. work force, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center study. The number of people living illegally in the country rose by at least 400,000 last year, reaching about 12 million. Most are coming from Mexico (56 percent) and Latin America (22 percent).
Where do illegals work? Undocumented workers hold 24 percent of all farming jobs, the study says. Such workers hold 17 percent of cleaning jobs, 14 percent of construction jobs and 12 percent of food service jobs.
Note: Congress is currently debating legislation to require employers to electronically verify new hires' identity and employment eligibility against a federal computer database. A pilot program is currently in place.