Illegal immigration to the United States, also known as undocumented immigration, is the process of migrating into the United State in violation of federal immigration laws. This can include foreign nationals who have entered the United States illegally, as well as those who entered legally but remained after the expiration of their entry visa or parole documents.Illegal immigration has been a matter of strong debate in the United States since the 1980s, and has been a major focus of President Donald Trump, as illustrated by his campaign to build a wall along the Mexico border.
The visa policy of the United States deals with the requirements which a foreign national wishing to enter the United States must meet to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel to, enter, and remain in the United States. Visitors to the United States must obtain a visa from one of the United States diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries or Visa Waiver Program countries. The same rules apply to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands while different rules apply to Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.
Advance parole is an immigration document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to enable an alien to be paroled into the United States. It is not a U.S. visa or a re-entry permit; it is only issued to people without permanent residency. Advance parole is a permit for a non-U.S. national, who does not have a valid immigrant visa, to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. Such persons include those who have applied to adjust their status to that of permanent resident or to change their non-immigrant status. Advance parole must be approved before the applicant leaves the United States, or any residency application be denied unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated by the alien.
Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.
Research shows that illegal immigrants increase the size of the U.S. economy/contribute to economic growth, enhance the welfare of natives, contribute more in tax revenue than they collect, reduce American firms' incentives to offshore jobs and import foreign-produced goods, and benefit consumers by reducing the prices of goods and services.Economists estimate that legalization of the illegal immigrant population would increase the immigrants' earnings and consumption considerably, and increase U.S. gross domestic product. There is scholarly consensus that illegal immigrants commit less crime than natives. Sanctuary cities—which adopt policies designed to avoid prosecuting people solely for being in the country illegally—have no statistically meaningful impact on crime, and may reduce the crime rate. Research suggests that immigration enforcement has no impact on crime rates.
The economy of the United States is a highly developed mixed economy. It is the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and the second-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It also has the world's seventh-highest per capita GDP (nominal) and the eleventh-highest per capita GDP (PPP) in 2016. The US has a highly diversified, world-leading industrial sector. It is also a high-technology innovator with the second-largest industrial output in the world. The U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions and is the world's foremost reserve currency, backed by its science and technology, its military, the full faith of the U.S. government to reimburse its debts, its central role in a range of international institutions since World War II, and the petrodollar system. Several countries use it as their official currency, and in many others, it is the de facto currency. Its largest trading partners are China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany, South Korea, United Kingdom, France, India, and Taiwan.
Economic growth is the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP.
Offshoring is the relocation of a business process from one country to another—typically an operational process, such as manufacturing, or supporting processes, such as accounting. Typically this refers to a company business, although state governments may also employ offshoring. More recently, technical and administrative services have been offshored.
The illegal immigrant population of the United States peaked by 2007, when it was at 12.2 million and 4% of the total U.S. population.Estimates in 2016 put the number of unauthorized immigrants at 10.7 million, representing 3.3% of the total U.S. population. Since the Great Recession, more undocumented immigrants have left the United States than entered it, and illegal border crossings are at the lowest in decades. Since 2007, visa overstays have accounted for a larger share of the growth in the undocumented immigrant population than illegal border crossings, which have declined considerably from 2000 to 2018. In 2012, 52% of unauthorized immigrants were from Mexico, 15% from Central America, 12% from Asia, 6% from South America, 5% from the Caribbean, and another 5% from Europe and Canada. As of 2016, approximately two-thirds of unauthorized adult immigrants had lived in the U.S. for at least a decade.
The actual size and the origin of the illegal immigrant population in the United States is uncertain and is difficult to ascertain because of difficulty in accurately counting individuals in this population. Figures from national surveys, administrative data and other sources of information vary widely.
The Great Recession was a period of general economic decline observed in world markets during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that it had the most severe economic and financial meltdown ever since the Great Depression and it is frequently seen as the second worst downturn of all time.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
The categories of foreign-born people in the United States are:
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 is a United States federal law that allows certain foreign-born, biological and adopted children of United States citizens to acquire United States citizenship automatically. These children did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship once conditions set forth in the law are met. For a child adopted overseas by U.S. citizen parents, the grant of citizenship comes upon entry to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, or when the adoption is finalized in the U.S., depending on the circumstances of the adoption. A foreign-born child of non-U.S. citizens, whether biological or adopted, will receive citizenship when at least one parent becomes a naturalized citizen. The law modified past rules for child citizenship.
The latter two constitute illegal or undocumented immigrants.
Non-citizen residence can be or become illegal in one of four ways: by unauthorized entry, by failure of the employer to pay worker documentation fees, by staying beyond the expiration date of a visa or other authorization, or by violating the terms of legal entry. [ not in citation given ] [ not in citation given ]
Fewer than seven years after ex-slaves had been granted citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment, immigration controls were enacted with the Page Act of 1875, banning Chinese women, and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, expanded to all Chinese immigrants.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress. The amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade (1973) regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore (2000) regarding the 2000 presidential election, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) regarding same-sex marriage. The amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official.
The Page Act of 1875 was the first restrictive federal immigration law in the United States, which effectively prohibited the entry of Chinese women, marking the end of open borders. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act would go on to ban immigration by Chinese men as well.
Various Supreme Court rulings have been made regarding the Constitutional rights of illegal immigrants over the years. In Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), the court ruled that under the Fourteenth Amendment, all people, regardless of "race, of color, or of nationality" or "aliens...alleged to be here illegally" have the right to due process and equal protection under the law.
A similar ruling of Wong Wing v. US (1896) stated that all persons within the territory of the United States are afforded equal protections under the Fifth Amendment & Sixth Amendment
A 1904 court decision defined any alien as lacking Constitutional rights when not within the United States.Theodore Roosevelt signed the Naturalization Act of 1906, requiring immigrants to learn English in order to become citizens. In the third year of World War I, the Immigration Act of 1917 defined aliens with a long list of undesirables, including most Asians. The U.S. had otherwise nearly open borders until the early 20th century, with only 1% rejected from 1890–1924, usually because they failed the mental or health exam.
The Immigration Act of 1924, signed just a week before Native Americans were granted citizenship, established visa requirements and enacted quotas for immigrants from specific countries, especially targeting Southern and Eastern Europeans,particularly Italians and Jews, and effectively prohibited virtually all Asians from immigrating to America. The quotas were eased in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, and a year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on national origin, an immigration and nationality act abolished the quota system while establishing other limits. A 1990 act increased the annual immigrant limit to 675,000 per year.
The debate over illegal immigration has continued amongst the fear of potential terrorist attacks in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the lack of an effective Mexico–United States barrier. President Donald Trump enacted a travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries which had been identified by Obama as countries of concern, which was struck down as unconstitutional and replaced by a "watered down, politically correct version".During his successful election campaign, Trump promised to make Mexico pay for a new border wall. The federal government entered a partial shutdown from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 in a standoff over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in funding for the wall.
This section needs to be updated.August 2017)(
In 2012, an estimated 14 million people live in families in which the head of household or the spouse is in the United States without authorization.Illegal immigrants arriving recently before 2012 tend to be better educated than those who have been in the country a decade or more. A quarter of all immigrants who have arrived in recently before 2012 have at least some college education. Nonetheless, illegal immigrants as a group tend to be less educated than other sections of the U.S. population: 49 percent haven't completed high school, compared with 9 percent of native-born Americans and 25 percent of legal immigrants. Illegal immigrants work in many sectors of the U.S. economy. Illegal immigrants have lower incomes than both legal immigrants and native-born Americans, but earnings do increase somewhat the longer an individual is in the country.
As of 2014 [update] , the following data table shows a spread of distribution of locations where illegal immigrants reside by state.
|State of residence||Estimated population in January||Percent of total|
From 2005 to 2009, the number of people entering the U.S. illegally declined by nearly 67%, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, from 850,000 yearly average in the early 2000s to 300,000.The most recent estimates put the number of unauthorized immigrants at 11 million in 2015, representing 3.4% of the total U.S. population. The population of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007, when it was at 12.2 million and 4% of the total U.S. population. As of 2014, unauthorized immigrant adults had lived in the U.S. for a median of 13.6 years, with approximately two-thirds having lived in the U.S. for at least a decade.
Narrowing the discussion to only Mexican nationals, a 2015 study performed by demographers of the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of New Hampshire found that immigration from Mexico; both legal and illegal, peaked in 2003 and that from the period between 2003 and 2007 to the period of 2008 to 2012, immigration from Mexico decreased 57%. The dean of the College of Public Policy of the University of Texas at San Antonio, Rogelio Saenz, states that lower birth rates and the growing economy in Mexico slowed emigration, creating more jobs for Mexicans. Saenz also states that Mexican immigrants are no longer coming to find jobs but to flee from violence, noting that the majority of those escaping crime "are far more likely to be naturalized U.S. citizens".
According to a 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research paper, "The number of undocumented immigrants has declined in absolute terms, while the overall population of low-skilled, foreign-born workers has remained stable. ... because major source countries for U.S. immigration are now seeing and will continue to see weak growth of the labor supply relative to the United States, future immigration rates of young, low-skilled workers appear unlikely to rebound, whether or not U.S. immigration policies tighten further."
The Pew Hispanic Center determined that according to an analysis of Census Bureau data about 8 percent of children born in the United States in 2008—about 340,000—were offspring of illegal immigrants. (The report classifies a child as offspring of illegal immigrants if either parent is unauthorized.) In total, 4 million U.S.-born children of illegal immigrant parents resided in this country in 2009 (alongside 1.1 million foreign-born children of illegal immigrant parents).These infants are, according to the longstanding administrative interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, American citizens from birth. Congress has never legislated, nor the Supreme Court specifically ruled on whether babies born to visiting foreign nationals are eligible for automatic US Citizenship. These children are sometimes referred to as anchor babies because of the belief that the mother gave birth in the United States as a way to anchor their family in the US.
Over the period 2011-2016, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 178,825 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.The provisions of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which specifies safe repatriation of unaccompanied children (other than those trafficked for sex or forced labor) from countries which do not have a common border with the United States, such as the nations of Central America other than Mexico, made expeditious deportation of the large number of children from Central America who came to the United States in 2014 difficult and expensive, prompting a call by President Barack Obama for an emergency appropriation of $4 billion and resulting in discussions by the Department of Justice and Congress of how to interpret or revise the law in order to expedite handling large numbers of children under the act.
A 2016 study found that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows unauthorized immigrants who migrated to the United States before their 16th birthday and prior to June 2007 to temporarily stay, did not significantly impact the number of apprehensions of unaccompanied minors from Central America.Rather, "the 2008 Williams Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, along with violence in the originating countries and economic conditions in both the countries of origin and the United States, emerge as some of the key determinants of the recent surge in unaccompanied minors apprehended along the southwest US-Mexico border." According to a 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office, the primary drivers of the surge "were crime and lack of economic opportunity at home. Other reasons included education concerns, desire to rejoin family and aggressive recruiting by smugglers." A 2017 Center for Global Development study stated that violence was the primary driver behind the surge in unaccompanied Central American minors to the United States: an additional 10 homicides in Central America made 6 unaccompanied children flee to the US.
In April 2018 the then-attorney general of the Trump administration, Jeff Sessions, announced a zero tolerance policy regarding asylum seekers crossing the US southern border without a visa. Asylum seekers and their families who turned themselves in to Border Control agents were charged with criminal entry. If the asylum seekers had children, the children were removed from their parent's custody and placed in detention centers. As of June 2018 [update] , "thousands of children [have been] detained in makeshift shelters." There was widespread condemnation of this policy including that of notable evangelical Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the countries of origin for the largest numbers of illegal immigrants are as follows (latest of 2017):
|Country of origin||Raw number||Percent of total|
According to the Migration Policy Institute, Mexicans represented 53% of the undocumented population.
The Urban Institute also estimates "between 65,000 and 75,000 Canadians currently live illegally in the United States."
In 2017, illegal border crossing arrests hit a 46-year low, and were down 25% from the previous year.NPR stated that immigrants may be less likely to attempt to enter the U.S. illegally because of President Trump's stance on illegal immigration. The majority of undocumented immigrants come from Mexico. Studies have shown that 40 million foreign born residents live in the US. 11.7 million of that population is undocumented. During the 1950s, there were 45,000 documented immigrants from Central America. In the 1960s, this number more than doubled to 100,000. In the decade after, it increased to 134,000.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimated that 6–7 million immigrants came to the United States via illegal entry (the rest entering via legal visas allowing a limited stay, but then not leaving when their visa period ended).There are an estimated half million illegal entries into the United States each year. Illegal border crossings have declined considerably from 2000, when 71,000–220,000 migrants were apprehended each month, to 2018 when 20,000–40,000 migrants were apprehended.
A common means of border crossing is to hire people smugglers to help them across the border. Those operating on the U.S.-Mexico border are known informally as coyotajes (coyotes).Criminal gangs smuggling illegal immigrants from China are known as snakeheads, and charge as much as US$70,000 per person, which immigrants often promise to pay with money they hope to earn in the United States.
According to Pew, between 4 and 5.5 million foreigners entered the United States with a legal visa, accounting for between 33–50% of the total population.A tourist or traveler is considered a "visa overstay" once he or she remains in the United States after the time of admission has expired. The time of admission varies greatly from traveler to traveler depending on the visa class into which they were admitted. Visa overstays tend to be somewhat more educated and better off financially than those who entered the country illegally.
To help track visa overstayers the US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) program collects and retains biographic, travel, and biometric information, such as photographs and fingerprints, of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States. It also requires electronic readable passports containing this information.
Visa overstayers mostly enter with tourist or business visas.In 1994, more than half of illegal immigrants were Visa overstayers whereas in 2006, about 45% of illegal immigrants were Visa overstayers.
Those who leave the United States after overstaying their visa for more than 180 days but less than one year, leave and then attempt to apply for readmission will face a three-year ban which will not allow them to re-enter the U.S. for that period. Those who leave the United States after overstaying their visa for a period of one year or longer, leave and then attempt to apply for readmission will face a ten-year ban.
A smaller number of illegal immigrants entered the United States legally using the Border Crossing Card, a card that authorizes border crossings into the U.S. for a set amount of time. Border Crossing Card entry accounts for the vast majority of all registered non-immigrant entry into the United States—148 million out of 179 million total—but there is little hard data as to how much of the illegal immigrant population entered in this way. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the number at around 250,000–500,000.
Illegal immigrants within the workforce are extremely vulnerable due to their status. Being undocumented makes these individuals susceptible to exploitation by American employers as they are more willing to work through bad conditions and low income jobs — consequently making themselves vulnerable to abuse.Most undocumented migrants end up being hired by U.S. employers who exploit the low-wage market produced through immigration. Typical jobs include: janitorial services, clothing production, and household work.
Many undocumented Latin American immigrants are inclined to the labor market because of the constraints they have with their job opportunities. This consequently forms an informal sector within the labor market. As a result, this attachment formulates an ethnic identity for this sector.
Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996. This prevented federal, state, and local public benefits from flowing to undocumented immigrants. It also required federal and state agencies to disclose if someone was undocumented. Additionally, PRWORA prohibited states from giving professional licenses to those undocumented.Though PRWORA prevents public benefits from flowing to undocumented immigrants, there are exceptions. Undocumented immigrants are still entitled to medical assistance, immunizations, disaster relief, and k-12 education. Despite this, federal law still requires local and state governments to deny benefits to those undocumented. The implementation of PRWORA demonstrated the shift towards personal responsibility over "public dependency." There were about eight million undocumented workers in the United States in 2010. These workers were 5% of America's workforce.
For several years, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which means "People Without Borders" has organized an annual part-protest, part-mass migration march, from Honduras, through Mexico, to the United States border, where asylum in the United States is requested.In April 2018, the annual "Stations of the Cross Caravan" saw 1,000 Central Americans trying to reach the United States, prompting President Trump to deem it a threat to national security and announce plans to send the national guard to protect the US border. In October 2018, a second caravan of the year left the city of San Pedro Sula the day after US vice-president, Mike Pence, urged the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to persuade their citizens to stay home.
There are however numerous incentives which draw foreigners to the US. Most illegal immigrants who come to America come for better opportunities for employment, a greater degree of freedom, avoidance of political oppression, freedom from violence, famine, and family reunification.
International polls by the Gallup organization from 2013 to 2016 in 156 foreign countries found that about 147 million adults would, if they could, move to the US, making it the most-desired destination country for potential migrants worldwide, followed by Germany and Canada.
In general, illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America come for economic reasons, but also sometimes due to political oppression. [ better source needed ] From Asia, they come for economic reasons but some come involuntarily as indentured servants or sex slaves. [ better source needed ] From Sub-Saharan Africa, they come for economic activities and there is some chance of slave trade. [ better source needed ] From Eastern Europe, they come for economic activities and to rejoin family already in the United States. However, there are also some who come involuntarily who work in the sex industry. [ better source needed ]
Economic reasons are one motivation for people to illegally immigrate to the United States.United States employers hire illegal immigrants at wages substantially higher than they could earn in their native countries. A study of illegal immigrants from Mexico in the 1978 harvest season in Oregon showed that they earned six times what they could have earned in Mexico, and even after deducting the costs of the seasonal migration and the additional expense of living in the United States, their net U.S. earnings were three times their Mexican alternative. In the 1960s and early 70s, Mexico's high fertility rate caused a large increase in population. While Mexican population growth has slowed, the large numbers of people born in the 1960s and 70s are now of working age looking for jobs.
According to Judith Gans of the University of Arizona, United States employers are pushed to hire illegal immigrants for three main reasons:
Another reason for the large numbers of illegal immigrants present in the United States is the termination of the bracero program. This bi-national program between the U.S. and Mexico existed from 1942 to 1964 to supply qualified Mexican laborers as guest workers to harvest fruits and vegetables in the United States. During World War II, the program benefited the U.S. war effort by replacing citizens' labor in agriculture to serve as soldiers overseas. The program was designed to provide legal flows of qualified laborers to the U.S. Many Mexicans deemed unqualified for the program nonetheless immigrated illegally to the United States to work. In doing that they broke both U.S. and Mexican law.Many legal temporary workers became illegal when they chose to continue working in the U.S. after this program ended. The change in law was not accompanied by a change in economic incentives for Mexican workers and the American growers.
The United States immigration system provides channels for legal, permanent economic immigration, especially for high-skilled workers. For low-skilled workers, temporary or seasonal legal immigration is easier to acquire.The United States immigration system rests on three pillars: family reunification, provision of scarce labor (as in agricultural and specific high-skilled worker sectors), and protecting American workers from competition with foreign workers. The current system sets an overall limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants each year; this limit does not apply to spouses, unmarried minor children or parents of U.S. citizens. Outside of this number for permanent immigrants, 480,000 visas are allotted for those under the family-preference rules and 140,000 are allocated for employment-related preferences. The current system and low number of visas available make it difficult for low-skilled workers to legally and permanently enter the country to work, so illegal entry becomes the way immigrants respond to the lure of jobs with higher wages than what they would be able to find in their current country.
According to demographer Jeffery Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center, the flow of Mexicans to the U.S. has produced a "network effect"—furthering immigration as Mexicans moved to join relatives already in the U.S.
Lower costs of transportation, communication and information has facilitated illegal immigration. Mexican nationals, in particular, have a very low financial cost of immigration and can easily cross the border. Even if it requires more than one attempt, they have a very low probability of being detected and then deported once they have entered the country.
The US Department of Homeland Security and some advocacy groups have criticized a program of the government of the state of Yucatán and that of a federal Mexican agency directed to Mexicans migrating to and residing in the United States. They state that the assistance includes advice on how to get across the U.S. border illegally, where to find healthcare, enroll their children in public schools, and send money to Mexico. The Mexican federal government also issues identity cards to Mexicans living outside of Mexico.
Aliens can be classified as unlawfully present for one of three reasons: entering without authorization or inspection, staying beyond the authorized period after legal entry, or violating the terms of legal entry.
Section 1325 in Title 8 of the United States Code, "Improper entry of alien", provides for a fine, imprisonment, or both for any non-citizen who:
- enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration agents, or
- eludes examination or inspection by immigration agents, or
- attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact.
The maximum prison term is 6 months for the first offense with a misdemeanor and 2 years for any subsequent offense with a felony. In addition to the above criminal fines and penalties, civil fines may also be imposed.
Aliens entering the country legally and overstaying their visas for less than 180 days are (beyond deportation) subject only to the civil penalty of being restricted as to where they can apply for another US visa.Since 2007, visa overstays have accounted for a larger share of the growth in the undocumented immigrant population than illegal border crossings.
Those "unlawfully present" in the US for more than 180 consecutive days but less than a year, because of visa overstay or any other reason, are subject to the civil penalty of being barred from readmission to the US for three years; those overstaying for more than a year are barred from readmission to the US for ten years.
Arizona passed immigration enforcement law Arizona SB 1070 in April 2010, which was at the time the "toughest bill on illegal immigration" in the United States,and was challenged by the Department of Justice as encroaching on powers reserved by the United States Constitution to the Federal Government. On July 28, 2010, United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction affecting the most controversial parts of the law, including the section that required police officers to check a person's immigration status after a person had been involved in another act or situation which resulted in police activity. In 2016, Arizona reached a settlement with a number of immigrants rights organizations, including the National Immigration Law Center, overturning this aspect of the bill. The practice had led to racial profiling of Latinos and other minorities.
Illegal immigrants are generally not allowed to receive state or local public benefits, which includes professional licenses.However, in 2013 the California State Legislature passed laws allowing illegal immigrants to obtain professional licenses. On February 1, 2014. Sergio C. Garcia became the first illegal immigrant to be admitted to the State Bar of California since 2008, when applicants were first required to list citizenship status on bar applications.
Federal law enforcement agencies, specifically U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the United States Border Patrol (USBP), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA), and to some extent, the United States Armed Forces, state and local law enforcement agencies, and civilians and civilian groups guard the border.
Before 2007, immigration authorities alerted employers of mismatches between reported employees' Social Security cards and the actual names of the card holders. In September 2007, a federal judge halted this practice of alerting employers of card mismatches.
At times illegal hiring has not been prosecuted aggressively: between 1999 and 2003, according to The Washington Post , "work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.Major employers of illegal immigrants have included:
About 31,000 people who are not American citizens are held in immigration detention on any given day,including children, in over 200 detention centers, jails, and prisons nationwide. The United States government held more than 300,000 people in immigration detention in 2007 while deciding whether to deport them.
Deportations of immigrants, which are also referred to as removals, may be issued when immigrants are found to be in violation of US immigration laws. Deportations may be imposed on a person who is neither native-born nor a naturalized citizen of the United States.Deportation proceedings are also referred to as removal proceedings and are typically initiated by the Department of Homeland Security. The United States issues deportations for various reasons which include security, protection of resources, and protection of jobs.
Deportations from the United States increased by more than 60 percent from 2003 to 2008, with Mexicans accounting for nearly two-thirds of those deported.Under the Obama administration, deportations have increased to record levels beyond the level reached by the George W. Bush administration with a projected 400,000 deportations in 2010, 10 percent above the deportation rate of 2008 and 25 percent above 2007. Fiscal year 2011 saw 396,906 deportations, the largest number in the history of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; of those, about 55% had been convicted of crimes or misdemeanors, including:
By the end of 2012, as many people had been deported during the first four years of the Obama presidency as were deported during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush;the number of deportations under Obama totalled 2.5 million by the end of 2015.
Two major pieces of legislation passed in 1996 had a significant effect on illegal immigration and deportations in the United States; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). These were introduced following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, both of which were terrorist attacks that claimed American lives. These two acts changed the way criminal cases of lawful permanent residents were handled, resulting in increased deportations from the United States. [ citation needed ]Before the 1996 deportation laws, there were two steps that lawful permanent noncitizen residents who were convicted of crimes went through. The first step determined whether or not the person was deportable. The second step determined if that person should or shouldn't be deported. Before the 1996 deportation laws, the second step prevented many permanent residents from being deported by allowing for their cases to be reviewed in full before issuing deportations. External factors were taken into consideration such as the effect deportation would have on a person's family members and a person's connections with their country of origin. Under this system permanent residents were able to be relieved of deportation if their situation deemed it unnecessary. The 1996 laws however issued many deportations under the first step, without going through the second step, resulting in a great increase in deportations.
One significant change that resulted from the new laws was the definition of the term aggravated felony. Being convicted of a crime that is categorized as an aggravated felony results in mandatory detention and deportation. The new definition of aggravated felony includes crimes such as shoplifting, which would be a misdemeanor in many states. The new laws have categorized a much wider range of crimes as aggravated felonies. The effect of this has been a large increase in permanent residents facing mandatory deportation from the United States without the opportunity to plea for relief. The 1996 deportation laws have received a lot of criticism for their curtailing of residents' rights.
The USA Patriot Act was passed seven weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The purpose of the act was to give the government more power to act upon suspicion of terrorist activity. The new governmental powers granted by this act included a significant expansion of the conditions in which illegal immigrants could be deported based on suspicion of terrorist activity. The act gave the government the power to deport individuals based not only on plots or acts of terrorism, but on affiliations with certain organizations. The Secretary of State designated specific organizations foreign terrorist organizations before the USA Patriot Act was implemented. Organizations on this list were deemed dangerous because they were actively involved in terrorist activity. The Patriot Act created a type of organization called designated organizations. The Secretary of State and Attorney General were given the power to designate any organization that supported terrorist activity on any level. The act also allows for deportation based on involvement in undesignated organizations that were deemed suspicious.
Under the USA Patriot Act the Attorney General was granted the power to "certify" illegal immigrants that pose a threat to national security. Once an illegal immigrant is certified they must be taken into custody and face mandatory detention which will result in a criminal charge or release. The Patriot Act has been criticized for violating the Fifth Amendment right to due process. Under the Patriot Act, an illegal immigrant is not granted the opportunity for a hearing before given certification.
Complications in deportation efforts ensue when parents are illegal immigrants but their children are birthright citizens. Federal appellate courts have upheld the refusal by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to stay the deportation of illegal immigrants merely on the grounds that they have U.S.-citizen, minor children. [ not in citation given ]As of 2005, there were some 3.1 million United States citizen children living in families in which the head of the family or a spouse was unauthorized; at least 13,000 children had one or both parents deported in the years 2005–2007.
The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) was an American legislative proposal for a multi-phase process for illegal immigrants in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency. The bill was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001 and has since been reintroduced several times but did not pass. It was intended to stop the deportation of people who had arrived as children and had grown up in the U.S. The Act would give lawful permanent residency under certain conditions which include: good moral character, enrollment in a secondary or post-secondary education program, and having lived in the United States at least 5 years. Those in opposition of the DREAM Act believe that it encourages illegal immigration.
Although the DREAM Act has not been enacted by federal legislation, a number of its provisions were implemented by a memorandum issued by Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration. To be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), one must show that they were under 31 years of age as of June 15,2012 [update] ; that they came to the United States before their 16th birthday; that they have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present; that they were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time they applied for DACA; that they were not authorized to be in the United States on June 15, 2012; that they are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and that they have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
There have been two major periods of mass deportations in U.S. history. In the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s, through mass deportations and forced migration, an estimated 500,000 Mexicans and Mexican Americans were deported or coerced into emigrating, in what Mae Ngai, an immigration historian at the University of Chicago, has described as "a racial removal program".The majority of those removed were U.S. citizens. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., cosponsor of a U.S. House Bill that calls for a commission to study the "deportation and coerced emigration" of U.S. citizens and legal residents, has expressed concerns that history could repeat itself, and that should illegal immigration be made into a felony, this could prompt a "massive deportation of U.S. citizens".
In Operation Wetback in 1954, the United States and the Mexican governments cooperated to deport illegal immigrant Mexicans in the U.S. to Mexico. This cooperation was part of more harmonious Mexico-United States relations starting in World War II. Joint border policing operations were established in the 1940s when the Bracero Program (1942–1964) brought qualified Mexicans to the U.S. as guest workers. Many Mexicans who did not qualify for the program migrated illegally. According to Mexican law, Mexican workers needed authorization to accept employment in the U.S. As Mexico industrialized post-World War II in what was called the Mexican Miracle, Mexico wanted to preserve "one of its greatest natural resources, a cheap and flexible labor supply."In some cases along with their U.S. born children (who are citizens according to U.S. law), some illegal immigrants, fearful of potential violence as police swarmed through Mexican American barrios throughout the southeastern states, stopping "Mexican-looking" citizens on the street and asking for identification, fled to Mexico.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act that gave amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in the country.
A direct effect of the deportation laws of 1996 and the Patriot Act has been a dramatic increase in deportations. Prior to these acts deportations had remained at about an average of 20,000 per year. Between 1990 and 1995 deportations had increased to about an average of 40,000 a year. From 1996 to 2005 the yearly average had increased to over 180,000. In the year 2005 the number of deportations reached 208,521 with less than half being deported under criminal grounds. pm and 5 am), and "lateral repatriations", or the practice of moving migrants from the region where they were detained to areas hundreds of miles away. These practices increase the risk of gangs and organized criminal groups preying upon the newly arrived migrants.According to a June 2013 report published by the Washington Office on Latin America, dangerous deportation practices are on the rise and pose a serious threat to the safety of the migrants being deported. These practices include repatriating migrants to border cities with high levels of drug-related violence and criminal activity, night deportations (approximately 1 in 5 migrants reports being deported between the hours of 10
In 2013, deportation prioritization guidance used by Immigration and Customs enforcement, was extended to Customs and Border Protection, under the Obama Administration's prosecutorial discretion plan.This has led to a reduction of the number of deportations of those who are in "non-priority" categories.
According to survey by the Associated Press conducted in August 2014, The Homeland Security Department was on pace to remove the fewest number of immigrants since 2007. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency responsible for deportations, sent home 258,608 immigrants between the start of the budget year—October 1, 2013. and July 28, 2014—a decrease of nearly 20 percent from the same period in 2013, when 320,167 people were removed. Obama announced earlier in 2014 plans to slow down deportations; recently these were put on hold until the November 2014 election.
A study by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, estimated that the cost of forcibly removing most of the nation's estimated 10 million illegal immigrants is $41 billion a year.
In 1995, the United States Congress considered an exemption from the Posse Comitatus Act, which generally prohibits direct participation of U.S. soldiers and airmen (and sailors and Marines by policy of the Department of the Navy) in domestic law enforcement activities, such as search, seizure, and arrests.
In 1997, Marines shot and killed 18-year-old U.S. citizen Esequiel Hernández Jrwhile on a mission to interdict smuggling and illegal immigration near the border community of Redford, Texas. The Marines observed the high school student from concealment while he was tending his family's goats in the vicinity of their ranch. At one point, Hernandez raised his .22-caliber rifle and fired shots in the direction of the concealed soldiers. He was subsequently tracked for 20 minutes then shot and killed. In reference to the incident, military lawyer Craig T. Trebilcock argues, "the fact that armed military troops were placed in a position with the mere possibility that they would have to use force to subdue civilian criminal activity reflects a significant policy shift by the executive branch away from the posse comitatus doctrine." The killing of Hernandez led to a congressional review and an end to a nine-year-old policy of the military aiding the Border Patrol.
After the September 11 attacks in 2001, the United States again considered placing soldiers along the U.S.–Mexico border as a security measure.In May 2006, President George W. Bush announced plans to use the National Guard to strengthen enforcement of the US-Mexico Border from illegal immigrants, emphasizing that Guard units "will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities". Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said in an interview with a Mexico City radio station, "If we see the National Guard starting to directly participate in detaining people ... we would immediately start filing lawsuits through our consulates." The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called on the President not to deploy troops to deter illegal immigrants, and stated that a "deployment of National Guard troops violates the spirit of the Posse Comitatus Act". According to the State of the Union address in January 2007, more than 6,000 National Guard members have been sent to the border to supplement the Border Patrol, costing in excess of $750 million.
Several U.S. cities have instructed their own law enforcement personnel and civilian employees not to notify the federal government when they become aware of illegal immigrants living within their jurisdiction.
There is no official definition of "sanctuary city". [ clarification needed ] Most of these ordinances are in place at the state and county, not city, level. These policies do not prevent the local authorities from investigating crimes committed by illegal immigrants.Cities which have been referred to as "sanctuary cities" by various politicians include Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; San Diego; Austin; Salt Lake City; Dallas; Detroit; Honolulu; Houston; Jersey City; Minneapolis; Miami; Denver; Aurora, Colorado; Baltimore; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Portland, Maine; and Senath, Missouri, have become "sanctuary cities", having adopted ordinances refraining from stopping or questioning individuals for the sole purpose of determining their immigration status.
According to a 2006 report by the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacists and other extremists were engaging in a growing number of assaults against legal and illegal immigrants and those perceived to be immigrants. [ needs update ] including assault on migrants from Latin America.
The No More Deaths organization offers food, water, and medical aid to migrants crossing the desert regions of the American Southwest in an effort to reduce the increasing number of deaths along the border.
In 2014, 'Dreamer Moms' began protesting, hoping that President Obama will grant them legal status. On November 12, 2014, there was a hunger strike near the White House undertaken by the group Dreamer Moms. On November 21, 2014, Obama provided 5 million undocumented immigrants legal status because he said that mass deportation "would be both impossible and contrary to our character." However, this decision was challenged in court during the Trump administration and then overturned.
Illegal immigrants increase the size of the U.S. economy and contribute to economic growth.Illegal immigrants contribute to lower prices of US-produced goods and services, which benefits consumers.
Economists estimate that legalization of the current unauthorized immigrant population would increase the immigrants' earningsand consumption considerably. A 2016 National Bureau of Economic Research paper found that "legalization would increase the economic contribution of the unauthorized population by about 20%, to 3.6% of private-sector GDP." Legalization is also likely to reduce untaxed labor in the informal economy. A 2016 study found that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows unauthorized immigrants who migrated to the United States as minors to temporarily stay, increases labor force participation, decreases the unemployment rate and increases the income for DACA-eligible immigrants. The study estimated that DACA moved 50,000 to 75,000 unauthorized immigrants into employment. Another 2016 study found that DACA-eligible households were 38% less likely than non-eligible unauthorized immigrant households to live in poverty.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Public Economics found that more intense immigration enforcement increased the likelihood that US-born children with undocumented immigrant parents would live in poverty.
A number of studies have shown that illegal immigration increases the welfare of natives.A 2015 study found that " increasing deportation rates and tightening border control weakens low-skilled labor markets, increasing unemployment of native low-skilled workers. Legalization, instead, decreases the unemployment rate of low-skilled natives and increases income per native." A study by economist Giovanni Peri concluded that between 1990 and 2004, immigrant workers raised the wages of native born workers in general by 4%, while more recent immigrants suppressed wages of previous immigrants.
In a 2017 literature review by the National Academy of Sciences, they explain the positive impact of illegal immigrants on natives in the following way:
The entry of new workers through migration increases the likelihood of filling a vacant position quickly and thus reduces the net cost of posting new offers. The fact that immigrants in each skill category earn less than natives reinforces this effect. Though immigrants compete with natives for these additional jobs, the overall number of new positions employers choose to create is larger than the number of additional entrants to the labor market. The effect is to lower the unemployment rate and to strengthen the bargaining position of workers.
According to Georgetown University economist Anna Maria Mayda and University of California, Davis economist Giovanni Peri, "deportation of undocumented immigrants not only threatens the day-to-day life of several million people, it also undermines the economic viability of entire sectors of the US economy." Research shows that illegal immigrants complement and extend middle- and high-skilled American workers, making it possible for those sectors to employ more Americans. Without access to illegal immigrants, U.S. firms would be incentivized to offshore jobs and import foreign-produced goods. Several highly competitive sectors that depend disproportionately on illegal immigrant labor, such as agriculture, would dramatically shrink and sectors, such as hospitality and food services, would see higher prices for consumers. Regions and cities that have large illegal populations are also likely to see harms to the local economy were the illegal immigrant population removed. While Mayda and Peri note that some low-skilled American workers would see marginal gains, it is likely that the effects on net job creation and wages would be negative for the U.S. as a whole.
A 2002 study of the effects of illegal immigration and border enforcement on wages in border communities from 1990 to 1997 found little impact of border enforcement on wages in U.S. border cities, and concluded that their findings were consistent with two hypotheses, "border enforcement has a minimal impact on illegal immigration, and illegal immigration from Mexico has a minimal impact on wages in U.S. border cities".
According to University of California, San Diego economist Gordon H. Hanson, "there is little evidence that legal immigration is economically preferable to illegal immigration. In fact, illegal immigration responds to market forces in ways that legal immigration does not. Illegal migrants tend to arrive in larger numbers when the U.S. economy is booming (relative to Mexico and the Central American countries that are the source of most illegal immigration to the United States) and move to regions where job growth is strong. Legal immigration, in contrast, is subject to arbitrary selection criteria and bureaucratic delays, which tend to disassociate legal inflows from U.S. labor-market conditions. Over the last half-century, there appears to be little or no response of legal immigration to the U.S. unemployment rate."
Illegal immigrants are not eligible for most federally-funded safety net programs.Illegal immigrants are barred from receiving benefits from Medicare, non-emergency Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Medicare program; they also cannot participate in health insurance marketplaces or eligible to receive insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Illegal immigrants contribute up to $12 billion annually to the Social Security Trust Fund, but are not eligible to receive any Social Security benefits. Unless the illegal immigrants transition to legal status, they will not collect these benefits. According to a 2007 literature review by the Congressional Budget Office, "Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use."
While the aggregate fiscal effects are beneficial to the United States, unauthorized immigration has small but net negative fiscal effects on state and local governments.According to the 2017 National Academy of Science report on immigration, one reason for the adverse fiscal impact on state and local governments is that "the federal government reimburses state and local entities a fraction of costs to incarcerate criminal aliens, the remaining costs are borne by local governments."
A paper in the peer-reviewed journal Tax Lawyer from the American Bar Association concluded that illegal immigrants contribute more in taxes than they cost in social services.
A 2016 study found that, over the period 2000–2011, illegal immigrants contributed $2.2 to $3.8 billion more to the Medicare Trust Fund "than they withdrew annually (a total surplus of $35.1 billion). Had unauthorized immigrants neither contributed to nor withdrawn from the Trust Fund during those 11 years, it would become insolvent in 2029—1 year earlier than currently predicted."
Around 2005, an increasing number of banks saw illegal immigrants as an untapped resource for growing their own revenue stream and contended that providing illegal immigrants with mortgages would help revitalize local communities, with many community banks providing home loans for illegal immigrants. At the time, critics complained that this practice would reward and encourage illegal immigration, as well as contribute to an increase in predatory lending practices. One banking consultant said that banks which were planning to offer mortgages to illegal immigrants were counting on the fact that immigration enforcement was very lax, with deportation unlikely for anyone who had not committed a crime.
According to empirical evidence, immigrants including the illegal ones, are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens in the United States.For immigration in general, a majority of studies in the U.S. have found lower crime rates among immigrants than among non-immigrants, and that higher concentrations of immigrants are associated with lower crime rates. Some research even suggests that increases in immigration may partially explain the reduction in the U.S. crime rate. A 2013 study found that children of immigrants were more likely to commit crimes than their parents.
2014 and 2018 studies found that undocumented immigration to the United States did not increase violent crime.A 2016 study found no link between illegal immigrant populations and violent crime, although there is a small but significant association between illegal immigrants and drug-related crime. A 2017 study found that "Increased undocumented immigration was significantly associated with reductions in drug arrests, drug overdose deaths, and DUI arrests, net of other factors." A 2017 study found that California's extension of driving licenses to unauthorized immigrants "did not increase the total number of accidents or the occurrence of fatal accidents, but it did reduce the likelihood of hit and run accidents, thereby improving traffic safety and reducing costs for California drivers ... providing unauthorized immigrants with access to driver's licenses can create positive externalities for the communities in which they live." A 2018 study in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy found that by restricting the employment opportunities for unauthorized immigrants, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) likely caused an increase in crime. A 2018 PLOS One study estimated that the undocumented immigrant population in the United States was 22 million (approximately twice as large as the estimate derived from U.S. Census Bureau figures); an author of the study notes that this has implications for the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime suggesting the correlation is lower than previously estimated: "You have the same number of crimes but now spread over twice as many people as was believed before, which right away means that the crime rate among undocumented immigrants is essentially half whatever was previously believed." A 2019 analysis found no evidence that illegal immigration increased crime.
Research suggests immigration enforcement deters unauthorized immigrationbut has no impact on crime rates. Immigration enforcement is costly and may divert resources from other forms of law enforcement. Tougher immigration enforcement has been associated with greater migrant deaths, as migrants take riskier routes and use the services of smugglers. Tough border enforcement may also encourage unauthorized immigrants to settle in the United States, rather than regularly travel across the border where they may be captured. Immigration enforcement programs have been shown to lower employment and wages among unauthorized immigrants, while increasing their participation in the informal economy.
Research finds that Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program which led to a quarter of a million of detentions (when the study was published; November 2014), had no observable impact on the crime rate.A 2015 study found that the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which legalized almost 3 million immigrants, led to "decreases in crime of 3-5 percent, primarily due to decline in property crimes, equivalent to 120,000-180,000 fewer violent and property crimes committed each year due to legalization".
A 2017 review study of the existing literature noted that the existing studies had found that sanctuary cities — which adopt policies designed to avoid prosecuting people solely for being an illegal immigrant — either have no impact on crime or that they lower the crime rate. A second 2017 study in the journal Urban Affairs Review found that sanctuary policy itself has no statistically meaningful effect on crime. The findings of the study were misinterpreted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a July 2017 speech when he claimed that the study showed that sanctuary cities were more prone to crime than cities without sanctuary policies. A third study in the journal Justice Quarterly found evidence that the adoption of sanctuary policies reduced the robbery rate but had no impact on the homicide rate except in cities with larger Mexican undocumented immigrant populations which had lower rates of homicide.
According to a study by Tom K. Wong, associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, published by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank: "Crime is statistically significantly lower in sanctuary counties compared to nonsanctuary counties. Moreover, economies are stronger in sanctuary counties – from higher median household income, less poverty, and less reliance on public assistance to higher labor force participation, higher employment-to-population ratios, and lower unemployment."The study also concluded that sanctuary cities build trust between local law enforcement and the community, which enhances public safety overall. The study evaluated sanctuary and non-sanctuary cities while controlling for differences in population, the foreign-born percentage of the population, and the percentage of the population that is Latino."
A 2018 study found no evidence that apprehensions of undocumented immigrants in districts in the United States reduced crime rates.
After the Obama administration reduced federal immigration enforcement, Democratic counties reduced their immigration enforcement more than Republican counties; a paper by a University of Pennsylvania PhD candidate found "that Democratic counties with higher non-citizen population shares saw greater increases in clearance rates, a measure of policing efficiency, with no increase in crime rates. The results indicate that reducing immigration enforcement did not increase crime and rather led to an increase in policing efficiency, either because it allowed police to focus efforts on solving more serious crimes or because it elicited greater cooperation of non-citizens with police."A 2003 paper by two Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas economists found "that while the volume of illegal immigration is not related to changes in property-related crime, there is a significant positive correlation with the incidence of violent crime. This is most likely due to extensive smuggling activity along the border. Border enforcement meanwhile is significantly negatively related to crime rates. The bad news is that the deterrent effect of the border patrol diminishes over this time period, and the net impact of more enforcement on border crime since the late 1990s is zero."
According to Cornell University economist Francine Blau and University of California at Berkeley economist Gretchen Donehower, the existing "evidence does not suggest that ... stepping up enforcement of existing immigration laws would generate savings to existing taxpayers."By complicating circular migration and temporary work by migrants, and by incentivizing migrants to settle permanently in the US, the 2017 National Academy of Sciences report on immigration notes that "it is certainly possible that additional costs have been created to the economy by the increased border enforcement, beyond the narrow costs of the programs themselves in the federal budget."
A US Justice Department report from 2009 indicated that one of the largest transnational criminal organizations in the United States, Los Angeles-based 18th Street gang, has a membership of some 30,000 to 50,000 with 80% of them being illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Active in 44 cities in 20 states, its main source of income is street-level distribution of cocaine and marijuana and, to a lesser extent, heroin and methamphetamine. Gang members also commit assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shootings, extortion, homicide, identification fraud, and robbery.
Identity theft is sometimes committed by illegal immigrants who use Social Security numbers belonging to others in order to obtain fake work documentation.In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Flores-Figueroa v. United States that illegal immigrants cannot be prosecuted for identity theft if they use "made-up" Social Security numbers that they do not know belong to someone else; to be guilty of identity theft with regard to social security numbers, they must know that the social security numbers that they use belong to others.
An estimated 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from high school every year but only 5 to 10 percent go on to college.[ citation needed ]
Studies have shown that undocumented immigrants are wary of disclosing their immigration status to counselors, teachers and mentors. In other words, undocumented students sometimes did not disclose their status to the very individuals that could help them find pathways to higher education.
There are significant dangers associated with illegal immigration including potential death when crossing the border. According to Chicano activist Roberto Martinez, since the 1994 implementation of an immigration-control effort called Operation Gatekeeper, immigrants have attempted to cross the border in more dangerous locations.Those crossing the border come unprepared, without food, water, proper clothing, or protection from the elements or dangerous animals; sometimes the immigrants are abandoned by those smuggling them. Deaths also occur while resisting arrest. In May 2010, the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico accused Border Patrol agents of tasering illegal immigrant Anastasio Hernández-Rojas to death. Media reports that Hernández-Rojas started a physical altercation with patrol agents and later autopsy findings concluded that the suspect had trace amounts of methamphetamine in his blood levels which contributed to his death. The foreign ministry in Mexico City has demanded an explanation from San Diego and federal authorities, according to Tijuana newspapers. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, there were 987 assaults on Border Patrol agents in 2007 and there were a total of 12 people killed by agents in 2007 and 2008.
According to the Washington Office on Latin America's Border Fact Check site, Border Patrol rarely investigates allegations of abuse against migrants, and advocacy organizations say, "even serious incidents such as the shootings of migrants result in administrative, not criminal, investigations and sanctions."
A 2017 Science study found that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows unauthorized immigrants who migrated to the United States as minors to temporarily stay, led to improved mental health outcomes for the children of DACA-eligible mothers.A 2017 Lancet Public Health study reported found that DACA-eligible individuals had better mental health outcomes as a result of their DACA-eligibility.
A 2017 study found that extending Medicaid to undocumented immigrants led to improvements in infant health and reductions in infant mortality.
Many Mexican immigrants have been trafficked by either their smugglers or the employers after they have gotten to the United States. According to research at San Diego State University, approximately 6% of illegal Mexican immigrants were trafficked by their smugglers while entering the United States and 28% were trafficked by their employers after entering the United States. Trafficking rates were particularly high in the construction and cleaning industries. They also determined that 55% of illegal Mexican immigrants were abused or exploited by either their smugglers or employers.
Indian, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese women have been reportedly brought to the United States under false pretenses. "As many as 50,000 people are illicitly trafficked into the United States annually, according to a 1999 CIA study. Once here, they're forced to work as prostitutes, sweatshop laborers, farmhands, and servants in private homes." US authorities call it "a modern form of slavery".Many Latina women have been lured under false pretenses to illegally come to the United States and are instead forced to work as prostitutes catering to the immigrant population. Non-citizen customers without proper documentation that have been detained in prostitution stings are generally deported.
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women has reported scores of cases where women were forced to prostitute themselves. "Trafficking in women plagues the United States as much as it does underdeveloped nations. Organized prostitution networks have migrated from metropolitan areas to small cities and suburbs. Women trafficked to the United States have been forced to have sex with 400–500 men to pay off $40,000 in debt for their passage."
Death by exposure has been reported in the deserts, particularly during the hot summer season."Exposure to the elements" encompasses hypothermia, dehydration, heat strokes, drowning, and suffocation. Also, illegal immigrants may die or be injured when they attempt to avoid law enforcement. Martinez points out that engaging in high speed pursuits while attempting to escape arrest can lead to death. Many migrants are also killed or maimed riding the roofs of cargo trains in Mexico.
Recent studies have found that illegal immigration status is perceived by Latino immigrant workers as a barrier to safety at work.
One of the most important factors regarding public opinion about illegal immigration is the level of [ clarify ]; anti-illegal immigrant sentiment is highest where unemployment is highest and vice versa. In general, some say that illegal immigrants are taking away jobs from Americans; however businesses and agricultural groups disagree and say that migrant workers are needed to fill unattractive jobs. This is further supported by a May 2006 New York Times/CBS News Poll report that 53 percent of Americans felt "illegal immigrants mostly take the jobs Americans don't want". However, there are others who say that illegal immigration helps to "decimate the bargaining leverage of the American worker. If you use a form of labor recruitment that bids down the cost of labor, that leads you to a society where a small number are very, very rich, there's nobody in the middle, and everyone is left scrambling for crumbs at the bottom. Yet there are still others who say that the U.S. "has an economy that depends on illegal immigration" and "without illegal immigration labor, it would almost certainly not be possible to produce the same volume of food in the country."
According to a 2006 Gallup poll, 84% of investors believe that illegal immigrants mostly take low paying jobs that Americans do not want.However, nearly 62% of investors say illegal immigration is hurting the investment climate. 68% of investors say that illegal immigrants cost taxpayers too much because they use government services like public education and medical services, while 25% say that in the long run, illegal immigrants become productive citizens who come to make up paying their fair share of taxes. About 80% thought that the government should do more to curb illegal immigration.
In 2007, an ABC News Pollindicated that most respondents (67%) believed the United States was not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants from coming into the country and, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll most Americans believed that US immigration policy needed either fundamental changes (41%) or to be completely rebuilt (49%).
Although Americans may favor one immigration policy over another, perceptions of government and officials' ability to implement these policies is consistently negative.In November 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a set of executive actions which could extend at least temporary legal status to nearly half of the illegal immigrants in the United States. The Republican majority in the 2015 Congress challenged these actions. Although some Republican senators did vote for the reform bill of 2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, President Obama's executive steps were considered by Republicans to not be in accord with the overall stated policy position of the Republican Party. On February 16, 2015, a federal district court judge issued a temporary injunction against the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program (one of the November 20, 2014 deferred action measures). The Justice Department has appealed the injunction.
According to a 2007 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll,most respondents (55%) at the time believed state or local police forces should arrest illegal immigrants they encounter who have not broken any state or local laws.
The previously cited CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll indicates that most respondents (76%) were against state governments issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. A similar poll by the Field Institute found "[California] residents are very much opposed (62% to 35%) to granting illegal immigrants who do not have legal status in this country the right to obtain a California driver's license. However, opinion is more divided (49% to 48%) about a plan to issue a different kind of driver's license that would allow these immigrants to drive but would also identify them as not having legal status."
Further, most respondents (63%) in the above-mentioned 2006 Quinnipiac University Pollsupport local laws passed by communities to fine businesses that hire illegal immigrants while 33% oppose it.
In addition to these opinions, others at the local level have gotten involved in grass root, citizen-organized efforts to enhance controls on illegal migration.Several citizen-led anti-illegal migration organizations were created under the "Minuteman" name. These organizations developed with the purpose of patrolling the border and lobbying legislative bodies to reduce illegal migration.
There has been controversy around sanctuary cities, one response from the state and local governments. Many American cities have designated themselves as sanctuary cities and many other state and municipal governments discourage the reporting of illegal immigrants to U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement.A sanctuary city is defined as a city that follows certain practices to protect illegal immigrants; these include – cities that do not allow municipal funds or resources to be used to enforce federal immigration laws, usually by not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire about one's immigration status.
71% of respondents in a 2006 Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll believed that enforcement of immigration laws will require additional measures beyond a border fence, with 65% of respondents supporting employer fines.77% of respondents to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll support employer fines.
A 2007 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates 57% strongly favor employer fines and 17% somewhat favor them, while 44% strongly favor increased border security and 19% strongly oppose.In a CBS News/New York Times poll, 69% of Americans favor prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants; 33% favor deporting those who have lived and worked in the U.S. for at least two years.
The Manhattan Institute reported that 78% of likely Republican voters favor a proposal combining increased border security, tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal workers, and allowing illegal immigrants to register for a temporary worker program that includes a path to citizenship. Respondents favored the program over a deportation and enforcement-only plan 58% to 33%.
Following the passage of Arizona's Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act in April 2010, which authorizes police officials to question persons on their immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that they are illegally in the country or committing other violations not related to their immigration status, numerous polls showed widespread support for the law. A Rasmussen poll found that 60% of the electorate support such a law while 31% are opposed to such a law.A New York Times poll showed similar results: 51% of Americans felt the law was "about right" in its dealings with illegal immigration, 9% felt that its measures did not go far enough to address the problem while 36% have negative opinions regarding such a law.
Harvard political scientist and historian Samuel P. Huntington argues in Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity that illegal immigration, primarily from Mexico, threatens to divide the United States culturally, into an Anglo-Protestant north, central, and eastern portion, and a Catholic-Hispanic southwest. Immigration researcher Andrea Nill has a similar point. Nill noted that the association of illegal immigration with Latinos would bring adverse attention to their community.Recent immigration laws could help fuel these associations and possibly encourage citizens to discriminate and distance themselves from the Hispanic culture. Furthermore, this separation could allow for tensions and possibly violence to grow between both groups.
A number of films and at least one novel tell stories based on the infamous voyage of the Golden Venture, a ship carrying would-be illegal immigrants from China that ran aground in New York Harbour in 1993.
The 1996 film Deadly Voyage treats the perils endured by would-be immigrants attempting to enter the United States illegally.
How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories is a 12-part documentary film series that examines the American political system through the lens of immigration reform from 2001–2007, from filmmaking team Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini. Several films in the series contain a large focus on the issue of illegal immigration in the U.S. and feature advocates from both sides of the debate. Since the debut of the first five films, the series has become an important resource for advocates, policy-makers and educators.
The series premiered on HBO with the broadcast debut of The Senator's Bargain on March 24, 2010. A directors' cut of The Senator's Bargain was featured in the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival at Lincoln Center, with the theatrical title Story 12: Last Best Chance. That film featured Edward Kennedy's efforts to pass The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. The second story in the 12-part series, Mountains and Clouds, opened the festival in the same year.
The films document the attempt to pass comprehensive immigration reform during the years from 2001–2007, and present a behind-the-scenes story of the success (and failure) of many bills from that period with an effect on illegal immigration including:
Marking Up The Dream, Story Six in the How Democracy Works Now series, focuses on the heated 2003 markup in The Senate Judiciary Committee, contrasting optimistic supporters who viewed The DREAM Act as a small bi-partisan bill that would help children, with opponents who saw the legislation as thinly-veiled amnesty. Also presented in the film are the rallies and demonstrations from illegal immigrant students who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The film opens with demonstration by some illegal high-school students as they stage a mock graduation ceremony on the U.S. Capitol lawn.
Immigration to the United States is the international movement of non-U.S. nationals in order to reside permanently in the country. Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the U.S. history. Because the United States is a settler colonial society, all Americans, with the exception of the small percent of Native Americans, can trace their ancestry to immigrants from other nations around the world.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed by the 99th United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986.
Operation Wetback was an immigration law enforcement initiative created by Joseph Swing, the Director of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), in cooperation with the Mexican government. The program was implemented in May 1954 by U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell and utilized special tactics to deal with illegal border crossings into the United States by Mexican nationals. The program became a contentious issue in Mexico–United States relations, even though it originated from a request by the Mexican government to stop the illegal entry of Mexican laborers into the United States. Legal entry of Mexican workers for employment was at the time controlled by the Bracero program, established during World War II by an agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments. Operation Wetback was primarily a response to pressure from a broad coalition of farmers and business interests concerned with the effects of Mexican immigrants living in the United States without legal permission. Upon implementation, Operation Wetback gave rise to arrests and deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Immigration reform in the United States is a term used in political discussion regarding changes to current immigration policy of the US.
The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 was a bill in the 109th United States Congress. It was passed by the United States House of Representatives on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239 to 182, but did not pass the Senate. It was also known as the "Sensenbrenner Bill," for its sponsor in the House of Representatives, Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. The bill was the catalyst for the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests and was the first piece of legislation passed by a house of Congress in the United States illegal immigration debate. Development and the effect of the bill was featured in The Senate Speaks, Story 11 in How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories a documentary series from filmmaking team Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini.
In 2006-2007, millions of people participated in protests over a proposed change to U.S. immigration policy. These large scale mobilizations are widely seen as a historic turn point in Latino politics, especially Latino immigrant civic participation and political influence, as noted in a range of scholarly publications in this field. The protests began in response to proposed legislation known as H.R. 4437, which would raise penalties for illegal immigration and classify undocumented immigrants and anyone who helped them enter or remain in the US as felons. As part of the wider immigration debate, most of the protests not only sought a rejection of this bill, but also a comprehensive reform of the country's immigration laws that included a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act was a United States Senate bill introduced in the 109th Congress (2005–2006) by Sen. Arlen Specter [PA] on April 7, 2006. Co-sponsors, who signed on the same day, were Sen. Chuck Hagel [NE], Sen. Mel Martínez [FL], Sen. John McCain [AZ], Sen. Ted Kennedy [MA], Sen. Lindsey Graham [SC], and Sen. Sam Brownback [KS].
Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration laws of that country, or the continued residence of people without the legal right to live in that country. Illegal immigration tends to be financially upward, from poorer to richer countries. Illegal residence in another country creates the risk of being detained and deported, or facing other sanctions.
Elvira Arellano is an international activist who works to defend the human rights of illegal immigrants living in the U.S..
Sanctuary city refers to municipal jurisdictions, typically in North America and Western Europe, that limit their cooperation with the national government's effort to enforce immigration law. Leaders of sanctuary cities say they want to reduce fear of deportation and possible family break-up among people who are in the country illegally, so that such people will be more willing to report crimes, use health and social services, and enroll their children in school. In the United States, municipal policies include prohibiting police or city employees from questioning people about their immigration status and refusing requests by national immigration authorities to detain people beyond their release date, if they were jailed for breaking local law. Such policies can be set expressly in law or observed in practice, but the designation "sanctuary city" does not have a precise legal definition. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated in 2018 that more than 500 U.S. jurisdictions, including states and municipalities, had adopted sanctuary policies.
The Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act of 2007 or STRIVE Act of 2007 is proposed United States legislation designed to address the problem of illegal immigration, introduced into the United States House of Representatives. Its supporters claim it would toughen border security, increase enforcement of and criminal penalties for illegal immigration, and establish an employment verification system to identify illegal aliens working in the United States. It would also establish new programs for both illegal aliens and new immigrant workers to achieve legal citizenship. Critics allege that the bill would turn law enforcement agencies into social welfare agencies as it would not allow CBP to detain illegal immigrants that are eligible for Z-visas and would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens with very few restrictions.
This is the history of laws concerning immigration and naturalization in the United States. Immigration is distinct from naturalization. For the first century of the United States' history, immigration to the country was unrestricted. Anyone could move into the United States, start a new life, pay taxes, participate in military service and conduct business. However, while the United States had an "open-borders" policy for the first century of its existence, it had very clear naturalization laws from the first years of its existence. Anyone who wanted to vote or hold elective office had to be naturalized. That is, anyone could immigrate in, but only those who went through the naturalization process and became a citizen could vote or hold elective office.
Emigration from Mexico is the movement of people from Mexico to other countries. The top destination by far is the United States, by a factor of over 150 to 1 compared to the second most popular destination, Canada.
Coyote is a colloquial Mexican–Spanish term referring to the practice of people smuggling across the U.S.–Mexico border. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) define smuggling as the "Importation of people into the United States involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. This offense includes bringing human beings into the country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of immigrants already in the United States." In short, human smuggling centers on the willful, illegal transportation of migrants into another country. The word coyotes originated in the early 19th century, where it was used to describe a person that employed Mexican immigrants for labor in the United States. During this period the United States had a demand for Mexican workers, therefore the first form of coyote was created. The Coyote’s main job would be to recruit hard-working Mexicans by traveling to Mexico and transporting them to the United States or hire the workers once they arrived in the U.S.
There are thought to be over half a million undocumented immigrants in New York City. They come from many parts of the world, especially Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean. About 70% of them have paid work, in catering, construction, retail, driving, cleaning, and many other trades; at least in catering, their wages tend to be lower than those of comparable workers. However, provision of healthcare, education and welfare benefits, in addition to law enforcement, imposes a net cost on public funds. City regulations restrict public officials and police officers from enquiring about immigration status of residents with whom they come into contact.
The economic impact of undocumented immigrants in the United States is challenging to measure, and politically contentious. The scarcity of reliable statistics leaves room for many methods of study, leading to diverse conclusions.
Border enforcement is a type of immigration enforcement whereby a country enforces its immigration laws by trying to prevent people from crossing its border or borders illegally. There are multiple methods a country can use to do this, including patrolling its border and building walls along part or all of it. The term is most commonly used in regards to the efforts by the United States government to prevent people from migrating illegally to the U.S. by crossing the Mexico-United States border. Since 2002, the number of United States Border Patrol agents has more than doubled, to a total of 20,273, and federal spending on the Patrol has increased from $1.4 to $3.8 billion over the same time. In addition to the Patrol, agencies responsible for border enforcement in the U.S. include Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Immigration policy and, specifically, undocumented immigration to the United States, was a signature issue of U.S. President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and his proposed reforms and remarks about this issue generated much publicity. Trump has repeatedly said that undocumented immigrants are criminals.
Executive Order 13768 titled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on January 25, 2017. The order stated that "sanctuary jurisdictions" including sanctuary cities that refused to comply with immigration enforcement measures would not be "eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes" by the U.S. Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security.
The issue of crimes committed by Illegal immigrants to the United States is a topic that is often asserted and debated in politics and the media when discussing Immigration policy in the United States. According to many studies, undocumented immigrants in the United States are less likely to commit crime than native-born citizens and have no impact on violent crime rates.
... every expert we polled said there is a consensus among scholars that undocumented immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens.
an urgent humanitarian situation.
Arrests of people trying to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico plunged to the lowest level since 1971