Although statistics are not easy to come by, it is estimated that there are 10.8 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States of America today. Mexicans make up the majority at 62%. Next, in the top ten, and in descending order are immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, The Philippines, India, Korea, Ecuador, Brazil and China.
Most of the Mexican illegal immigrants have settled in California, Texas and Florida. These are borders which are the subject of conflicting ideas about controlling the influx.
In Texas, in the last two decades, these people have lived and worked in the larger cities. Now, they are beginning to move to suburban areas of Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston. This movement of Mexican populations is creating new issues for smaller communities. This is discussed in detail in another article about schools.
Why do people from Mexico and other Hispanics come to America? Delving into the social and political situations these people face in their respective countries provides answers to this question. Basically, jobs are not available to them and violence from the drug cartels makes survival and humane conditions difficult and frightening. They feel unsafe and fear for their children’s futures. They cannot support their families on the pittance they are able to obtain. Their military forces have been unable to bring down the drug traffickers. Their police forces have been infiltrated by the cartels.
So, with all the legal ways for people to immigrate to America, what is the problem? Why is the undocumented population so high? Aren’t there visas or green cards or resident status cards available? The answer is that there are all those legal ways to enter. Here are the facts about legal entry.
A United States Permanent Resident card allows an immigrant to stay here indefinitely. This card can be obtained through a family member or by meeting stringent employment requirements or through an annual lottery.
Secondly, there is a wide variety of visas which allow people to come here and travel for a short time or work or study for a period of years or join family who are living here.
The overarching problem is with the math. The government offers many kinds of visas, but there aren’t that many of each. For instance, only 66,000 H-2B visas, for nonagricultural workers, are issued annually, and they are good for three years at the most. It is significant, however, that as many as half of the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. came here legally on visas. They just stayed longer than they were supposed to.
This article deals with the facts of illegal immigration. The problems and possible solutions are the subject of a subsequent piece to be published on EzineArticles.