10% of US population are immigrants? Is that a lot?

AP reports on a PEW study on immigration and Americans taking jobs or not:

The U.S. had 28 million immigrants _ legal and illegal _ age 16 and older in 2000, an increase of 61 percent from 1990. By 2004, there were 32 million.

Immigrants tend to be younger and have less education than American workers. The study, however, found “no apparent relationship between the growth of foreign workers with less education and the employment outcome of native workers with the same low level of education.”

The PEW study did not look at impact on wages. I wonder what predisposes us to first think of ‘too lazy’ versus ‘low wages’ or such as first thought? And given the lack of popular research, why policy seems uninformed? Lazy millionaires ?

A lot of examples of how immigrants gain work is taken from day labor or migrant labor. Then there is a claim that educated Americans do not take jobs as in high tech areas by another set of businesses. How can this be framed in some more accurate way?

Update: reader David links to some good information here for a look at comparisons to other countries and definitions of ‘immigrant’.

Update 2: reader Movie Guy links to a PEW reseach paper on changing US population ratios.