Illegal Immigration Facts

Illegal Immigrant Facts: Understanding The Data


Illegal immigration has been a major component of American society for decades. Though most people think of this issue as one that involves Mexicans entering the US across the Rio Grande, there are other individuals who are also here illegally, for example when their student or work visas expire. Illegal immigrant facts can be shocking, but nevertheless it is important to understand what is truth and what is fiction.


Statistical data in regard to the number of people who reside in America illegally is difficult to quantify. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated that in 2008, the number of illegals in the US was around eleven million. This figure was actually less than the previous year when it was claimed there were twelve and a half million people here without papers.


Illegal Immigration Facts

There are other studies which claim the true number of people in the US illegally is between seven and twenty million. The reason why the statistics are not so clear is because the individuals who are in the country illegally tend not to want to be discovered by any government authority for risk of deportation. Another factor is that immigrants from Mexico often return to their homes after a number of months or years in the US.

Though the numbers vary, the information in regard to the countries of origin of illegal aliens is clearer. The Pew Research Institute suggests that around 56% of all illegal immigrants are Mexican, 22% come from other Latin American nations, 13% are Asian, 6% come from Canada and Europe, while only 3% are from Oceania and Africa. The breakdown of country of origin is fairly constant across all surveys.


Out of all the American states that are affected by this issue, those that have the biggest problem are California and Texas. The reason for this is obvious, these two states both border Mexico. There are statistics that suggest that between them California and Texas have nearly five million illegals.


Florida has the third highest number. It is estimated that around a million people currently live in Florida illegally. These individuals are mostly from the Caribbean, Cuba, and certain Latin American nations.


The numbers that highlight this problem are often complicated as a result of the children born here whose parents entered the country illegally or who have overstayed their visa. Under the American constitution, a child born in the US becomes an automatic citizen. This is irregardless of whether their parent entered the country illegally.


When exploring illegal immigrant facts, it is important to understand what drives people to enter and settle in the US without the right papers. Not all individuals intend on committing crime. Most come to the country in the hope of earning a better income than they would in their home countries. It is also seen as a way of improving the standard of living of one’s family. Though the problem is one that needs to be addressed, it should be done so in a manner which is akin to the libertarian origin of the country itself.