Illegal Immigrants in America, What Will Be Their Fate?

I have written several articles Racism and Slavery. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on Racism and Slavery.

As of 2019, FAIR estimates that there are approximately 14.3 million illegal aliens residing within the United States. This increasing population can be attributed to a number of factors:

  • Unsecured borders.
  • An explosion in sanctuary jurisdictions throughout the United States, where local law enforcement authorities refuse to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • The availability of jobs. Illegal aliens know they will find work because America has yet to put in place mandatory E-Verify for all employers.
  • The increasing number of social welfare programs, and other benefits, given to illegal aliens by states and local governments – including in-state college tuition and driver’s licenses.
  • Easily exploited asylum laws, flawed detention policies and a growing immigration court backlog that, for years, have allowed illegal aliens to obtain release from ICE custody and disappear into the interior of the United States.
  • The on-going promise of amnesty by members of Congress and powerful special interests.

Unless the federal government takes meaningful action to eliminate the incentives that fuel illegal immigration, the total number of illegal aliens residing in the United States could surge to over 21 million by 2025, at a cost of nearly $200 billion, annually.

An “illegal alien” is anyone who entered the United States without authorization or anyone who unlawfully remains in the United States once their authorized period of stay has expired. It is important to define exactly who is and is not an illegal alien because many organizations deliberately misclassify some illegal aliens in an effort to suggest that the population is smaller than it is in reality. Many mainstream organizations incorrectly classify unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs), recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as being lawfully present in the United States. That classification is inaccurate. Individuals who have been paroled into the United States, who have been granted any form of deferred action, or who have received TPS have not been granted “lawful status.” Rather, federal immigration authorities have acknowledged their unlawful presence and have decided to defer their removal from the U.S. solely for the administrative convenience of the government. These types of limited relief from removal are subject to revocation or rescission in a wide variety of circumstances. FAIR offers a detailed explanation of who should be considered an illegal alien in a study titled “Why ‘Illegal Alien’ is the Correct Term.”

Estimates for the number of illegal immigrants present in the US can vary depending on the parameters used by millions. It is imperative that we have accurate numbers. A variation of a million aliens, could mean billions of dollars in additional expenditures by the government.

What accounts for these differences?  There are several key factors:

Ideology:  Many pro-mass migration organizations do not want Americans to know just how big our illegal alien problem really is. Therefore, in order to minimize the problem, they engage in all manner of mathematical gymnastics to produce illegal alien population estimates that they see as “tolerable” to the bulk of American society. The most common technique involves classifying broad classes of illegal aliens – for instance DACA recipients – as “lawfully present” and refusing to include them in illegal alien counts. (Conversely, some pro-mass immigration groups publish stratospheric estimates hoping to convince the public that mass amnesty is inevitable because it would be impossible to remove such a large number of illegal aliens from the United States.)

Bad Science:  Immigration is currently a hot issue. As a result, there are many researchers, both inside and outside academic institutions, who want the notoriety that comes with commenting on something that is regularly discussed on the evening news. The problem is that many of these researchers have no experience with immigration law and policy. Indeed, many have limited experience analyzing socio-political events.

Take a recent study by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Yale University, for example. This report was led by a Ph.D. in business management, and used modeling techniques that are suitable for analyzing problems in the hard sciences (e.g., weather phenomena) but of questionable utility for examining complex phenomena like illegal mass migration.

Flawed Assumptions:  As noted already, it was once a point of consensus that relying on ACS data alone would result in an undercount of the estimated illegal alien population by as much as 15-35 percent. However, many estimates now assume that the ACS undercount is less than 5 percent. The explanation offered for this assumption is that the latest ACS algorithms have become more effective, therefore the ACS produces a better estimate of the illegal alien population. However, very little has been offered to back up this theory, other than ideological pronouncements about the benefits of mass migration.

In addition, some organizations further reduce the pool of potential illegal aliens by making unsupported assumptions about who to include in their counts and who to exclude. Some examples:

  • Immigrants who access welfare must be in the country lawfully. (This is untrue. Illegal aliens regularly access all kinds of benefits to which they are not entitled under the law.)
  • Anyone who entered the country prior to 1980 is not an illegal alien. (This is wildly inaccurate. The U.S. government has recognized an illegal migration problem at least as far back as 1904 when the United States Department of Commerce and Labor dispatched mounted watchmen to interrupt the flow of illegal Chinese migrants.)
  • Anyone who holds a professional license or certification will not be in the country without authorization. (This has not been true for quite some time. Increasing numbers of states are allowing immigrants, including illegal aliens, to apply for professional and occupational licenses. In fact, some states are now allowing illegal aliens to practice law.)

Where do Illegal Aliens Live in the United States? Unsurprisingly, illegal aliens tend to live near the United States’ border with Mexico and in states that offer incentives for breaking American immigration law.

FAIR, “How Many Illegal Aliens Live in the United States?”, by Matt O’Brien, Spencer Raley and Casey Ryan

Now that we have some data on the illegal immigrant  population that lives in the U.S. It is time to discuss some other aspects of the population. I am writing this article because immigration has become a politically hot topic, with the wall being built and the talk of giving large amounts of financial aid to these illegal immigrants. Recent studies have shown that population growth is declining, that still doesn’t address the 14.3 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. The makeup of the foreign-born population is also changing: New arrivals in the United States are more likely to be from Asia and less likely to be from than other world regions, and they are on average more educated than previous generations of migrants to the United States. The Mexican immigrant population in the United States has declined by half a million people since the beginning of the decade. And in 2018, the United States ceded its status as the world’s top country for resettling refugees, surpassed by Canada. Of the 14.3 million that are here illegally, there are an additional 30.3 million that are here legally. This immigrant population makes up 13.6% of the 328.2 million individuals living in the U.S. as of 2019. The black population numbers 41.7 million people or 12.7% of the population.

How have the number and share of immigrants changed over time?

The U.S. government first began collecting data on the nativity of the population in the 1850 census. That year, there were 2.2 million immigrants, representing nearly 10 percent of the population.

Between 1860 and 1910, the immigrant share fluctuated between 13 percent and almost 15 percent of the overall population, peaking at 14.8 percent in 1890, largely due to high levels of immigration from Europe.

Restrictive immigration laws in 1921 and 1924—which kept permanent immigration open almost exclusively to northern and western Europeans—coupled with the Great Depression and World War II, led to a sharp drop in new arrivals from the Eastern Hemisphere. 

Which languages are most frequently spoken in U.S. homes?

In 2018, approximately 78 percent (240.3 million) of all 307.5 million people ages 5 and older regardless of nativity reported speaking only English at home. The remaining 22 percent (67.3 million) reported speaking a language other than English at home.

At the national level, Spanish is the language most commonly spoken after English. Among people speaking a language other than English at home, 62 percent were Spanish speakers, followed by speakers of Chinese (5 percent, including Mandarin and Cantonese); Tagalog (almost 3 percent); and Vietnamese, Arabic, French (including Cajun), and Korean (about 2 percent each).

How many immigrants are in the U.S. civilian labor force?

Immigrants constituted 17 percent (28.4 million) of the civilian labor force (164.9 million) in 2018. The foreign-born share of the civilian labor force in 2018 is more than three times the share in 1970, when approximately 5 percent of the labor force was comprised of immigrants. Between 1970 and 2018, the foreign-born share of the overall U.S. population grew somewhat slower, from less than 5 percent to close to 14 percent—meaning immigrants participate in the workforce at higher levels than the U.S. born.

There are four main pathways to obtain a green card: through a family relationship, employment sponsorship, humanitarian protection (refugees and asylees), and the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery (also known as the green-card lottery).

Overall, of the 1.1 million immigrants who received green cards in 2018, 44 percent were immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (the immediate relative visa category is uncapped), followed by another 20 percent of family-related immigrants whose admission is limited by visa and country caps.

Seventeen percent adjusted from refugee or asylee status. About 13 percent of new LPRs were either sponsored by their employers or self-petitioned, including investors who create jobs. Approximately 4 percent were diversity lottery winners.

How many people have temporary visas?

According to the most recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates available at the time of this writing, 2.3 million foreign nationals on various temporary visas resided in the United States during 2016, up from about 2 million in 2015. Almost half (1,100,000) were temporary workers and their families, followed by 870,000 foreign students and their families (40 percent).

How many people still have DACA status?

MPI estimates that as of 2019 approximately 1.3 million people met all criteria to apply under the original DACA program. As of September 30, 2019, approximately 652,880 individuals had active DACA status, according to USCIS.

The top states of residence for DACA active participants were California (29 percent), Texas (17 percent), Illinois (5 percent), followed by New York, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina (about 4 percent each).

The top countries of origin of active DACA program participants were Mexico (80 percent), El Salvador (4 percent), Guatemala (3 percent), Honduras (2 percent), and Peru, South Korea, Brazil, and Ecuador (about 1 percent each).

Since the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990, the United States has occasionally granted a form of humanitarian relief called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) when the home countries of foreign nationals in the United States experience natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other circumstances making return unsafe. TPS offers work authorization and protection from deportation for six- to 18-month periods. The first country to be designated for TPS was El Salvador in 1990, to protect Salvadorans who had fled the country’s civil war.

Since 1990, 22 countries have been designated for TPS. Ten countries currently are designated: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. As of November 2018, an estimated 417,000 people from these ten countries had TPS, with the largest groups being Salvadorans (252,000), Hondurans (81,000), and Haitians (56,000). The Trump administration has announced that it will not extend TPS for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan when those designations expire. As a result, 97 percent of grantees could lose permission to work and protection from deportation. However, there have been several legal challenges, including one that resulted in a preliminary injunction barring termination of the El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan designations. The nationals of these four countries will receive automatic extension of TPS and work permits for as long as the injunction is in place. Additional court cases have ensued, and TPS protections have been extended through January 4, 2021 for all six countries originally set for termination.

Migration Information Source “Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States,” By Jeanne Batalova, Brittany Blizzard, and Jessica Bolter

President Trump since his election to the office of president has worked towards reforming our immigration policy and practices. He is building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. to slow down the movement of illegal aliens. He is also working on finding a permanent solution to the illegal executive order that President Obama signed regarding to DACA.* He is also working on reducing the number of skilled workers coming into the U.S. and taking those high paying jobs. Jobs that should be going to qualified Americans. The Trump administration family separation policy is an aspect of his immigration policy. It often referred as the zero toleration approach.** It was officially adopted across the entire US–Mexico border from April 2018 until June 2018, but continued unofficially until at least October 2019. Later investigations found that the practice of family separations had begun a year prior to the public announcement. Under the policy, federal authorities separated children from parents or guardians with whom they had entered the US. The adults were prosecuted and held in federal jails, and the children placed under the supervision of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In January 2020 the SPLC reported that the official government number of children separated from their parents or guardians was 4,368, though it is likely that the accurate number is much higher. By early June 2018, it emerged that the policy did not include measures to reunite the families that it had separated. This created a child migration crisis. Following national and international criticism, on June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order ending family separations at the border.***

The Democrats have a totally different agenda. They first of all want to make our country a party system. They believe by making all the illegal immigrants into citizens and giving them millions of dollars of aid, free medical and education they will essentially buy their votes in-perpetuity. They therefore will change the political landscape so radically that there will only be one party. The republican party will totally be crippled, and no longer a factor in politics. You mind as well get rid of congress. There will be no real purpose. It will basically be a blank check for the executive branch.

Illegal immigrants aren’t typically prosecuted under Section 1325, although the Bush administration started a program called “Operation Streamline” to increase prosecutions, hoping to discourage would-be crossers and especially to create a deterrent against illegal reentry (illegal entry is a misdemeanor often punished by time served, whereas illegal reentry is a felony). Such prosecutions were a key element of Trump’s family-separation policy that had to be quickly abandoned.

The repeal of Section 1325 would send a message of permissiveness that would create another incentive for migrants to come across the border, and remove a tool for going after coyotes (it can be difficult to prove their offense, so prosecuting them for illegal entry is a backstop). Section 1325 has been on the books for 90 years, and it reflects the commonsense view that entering the United States without lawful permission should be a crime. Yes, it’d still be a civil offense to be present in the United States without papers, and in theory, still possible to be deported — although this brings us to the rest of the Democratic approach to immigration. One of the most contentious immigration questions in the Democratic primary is whether candidates want to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Some have talked about repealing Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes it a misdemeanor to cross illegally. Several Democratic candidates want it to be a civil offense, not criminal. The Trump administration used this statute to justify its family separation policy, which is how it became a hot topic in the campaign.

Right now, around 1.1 million people obtain legal permanent resident status in the U.S. each year, in addition to the hundreds of thousands who are naturalized and tens of thousands who are resettled as refugees (a group that the Trump administration has cut drastically). We asked candidates whether they would like to increase, decrease or roughly maintain current levels of legal immigration to the U.S.

The democrats are for free medical for immigrants and free borders for immigrants. This would be a even greater draw for the immigrants. It would erode the difference between U.S. citizens and new immigrants. It would further stress our financial system.

The traditionally pro-immigration Democratic Party has not simply become more pro-immigration in recent yearsRather, in a fairly rapid shift over the past two decades, the party leadership and faithful have adopted a radical new framework that treats any restrictions on immigration and enforcement of current laws as immoral. Sensible immigration reforms and policies that long commanded the support of majorities in both parties are now decried as veiled racism. In their place, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is pushing for an immigration vision that borders on open-borders advocacy.

To be sure, not all of the blame for the current immigration impasse can be laid at the feet of the Democratic Party. Business-oriented Republicans have exploited low-skill immigration for years, while the tea party House Republicans effectively killed a reasonable overhaul compromise in 2013. But none of that is sufficient to explain the Democrats’ internal repositioning. To grasp how fast and how far the political winds have shifted, consider these statistics: The percentage of Democrats who view illegal immigration as a “somewhat” or “very serious” problem fell 30 points in just five years between 2014 and 2019 from 80% to 50%; the percentage of Democrats who think that large influxes of refugees and immigrants into the U.S. is a “critical threat” went from 62% in 2002 to 19% in 2018; the percentage of Democrats who support fining employers who hire illegal immigrants dropped from 61% in 2010 to a low of 38% in 2017; the percentage of Democrats who favor increasing the number of border patrols on the U.S.-Mexican border declined from 46% in 2010 to 26% in 2017; the percentage of Democrats who support conditioning amnesty and citizenship for illegal immigrants on learning English fell 16 points between 2006 and 2013 from 85% to 69% (this stipulation was also removed from the Democratic Party platform in 2016); and the percent of democrats who regard controlling and reducing immigration as an important policy goal fell from 51% in 2008 to 19% in 2018.  

recent study found that liberal immigration attitudes are more likely to be energized by stronger moral convictions. Other research shows that the moralization of political attitudes makes them more resistant to consequentialist or cost/benefit reasoning. In other words, once moral reasoning takes over a political question, practical or utilitarian arguments lose their ability to persuade. For Democrats this is becoming the case even when the practical questions relate to matters, like income inequality, that are also important to them. Between a moralized political question and a matter of practical politics, it seems, the moral side will always win. There is ample evidence, for instance, that sustained low-skill immigration harms the livelihoods of low-skilled natives, at least in the short run, and the stability of the economy and welfare state in the long run. But these sorts of arguments have little power against a moral case increasingly prevalent in elite quarters that advocates an open-borders immigration policy as a form of “reparations” for America’s historical sins.

Here is how a recent New York Times essay put it:

What is good immigration policy for the United States is separate from what is just and moral for the peoples whose destiny America, past and present, has affected. It might make economic sense for the United States to let in more skilled Indians and fewer unskilled Latinos, but America owes them more, and it should open its doors more to its southern neighbors.

Whatever one thinks of the merits of this moral persuasion, the fact is that many Amerians, including Democrats and crucial swing voters who could decide the 2020 election, don’t share them. For such individuals, appeals to guilt and privilege will fall on deaf ears, or worse, backfire. Moral considerations should have a place in any national immigration debate. But when they begin to consume it altogether they risk prodding a cycle of backlash rather than promoting compromise and incremental reform. “Democrats Are Turning Immigration Into a Moral Ultimatum,” By Zach Goldberg


*About three-quarters of U.S. adults say they favor granting permanent legal status to immigrants who came illegally to the United States when they were children, with the strongest support coming from Democrats and Hispanics, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted June 4-10, 2020. As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (or DACA), 74% of Americans favor a law that would provide permanent legal status to immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, while 24% are opposed. As with other immigration issues, some of the sharpest differences in these views are between Democrats and Republicans. While 91% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor granting legal status to immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, about half of Republicans and Republican leaners (54%) say the same.

**President George W. Bush began the trend of a “zero tolerance” approach in 2005 with Operation Streamline, but during his administration, exceptions were generally made for adults traveling with minors. US President Barack Obama made changes to immigration policy, releasing parents and focusing on deportation of immigrants who committed crimes in the US. In 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Flores v. Lynch that detained immigrant children should be released as quickly as possible, but that parents were not required to be freed. The Obama administration complied by releasing women and children after detaining them together for 21 days.

*** To put this in perspective, crossing the border without papers was considered illegal, therefore doing so was a crime. In the U.S. if a single parent is convicted of a crime, and sentenced to jail or prison, his/her children are put in protective services, if there are no next of kin. Nobody gets upset about this practice. Why are we getting upset about this separation of families. Granted the crime was only a misdemeanor, and the separation was Draconian in nature. I actually think the catch and release policy of Obama’s presidency was more humane. As long as they were released back in Mexico, or their country or origin.

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