Illegal Immigration

December 10, 1976

Report Outline
Impact of Illegal Aliens in U.S.
Approaches to Immigration Problems
Search for Realistic Solutions
Special Focus

Impact of Illegal Aliens in U.S.

Explosive Growth in Clandestine Immigration

Changes in U.S. immigration law due to take effect Jan. I will impose the most severe restrictions in history on legal immigration into the United States from other countries of the Western Hemisphere. For the first time, each of these countries will have a quota of 20,000 U.S.-bound emigrants each year. In addition, a preference system already in effect for the Eastern Hemisphere will be applied in this part of the world. The preferences favor close relatives of U.S. residents, refugees, and professionals and skilled workers.

The changes are intended to put the residents of this hemisphere on an equal footing with the rest of the world. Ironically the changes are expected to worsen, rather than ease, this nation's mounting immigration woes, especially the problems caused by the tide of illegal aliens. Illegal immigration into the United States has been increasing rapidly throughout the past decade. In 1965, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) apprehended 110,371 illegal aliens; 1974 apprehensions had increased sevenfold to 788,145. In 1975, the total declined slightly to 766,600. By far the largest number of illegal aliens were clandestine border crossers, called EWIs (Entered Without Inspection) by the Immigration Service. In 1975, 87 per cent of those apprehended were EWIs. Other categories included visitors who had overstayed their visas, crewmen who had jumped ship, and students who had taken jobs or violated other provisions of their entry permits.

In the past several years, according to a study recently conducted for the Department of Labor, there has been an “explosive increase” in the amount of immigration—both legal and illegal—from Mexico and other countries of the Western Hemisphere. Current immigration law permits 120,000 persons from this hemisphere to enter the country each year as resident aliens. Many times that number apply for admission. As a result, Latin American applicants face waiting periods of up to three years or more before gaining admission to the United States. In addition, many prospective immigrants must secure certification from the Department of Labor that they are not likely to displace U.S. residents from their jobs. Because of the difficulty of immigrating legally, millions of Mexicans, West Indians and Canadians enter and stay in this country by clandestine methods.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Immigration and Naturalization
Mar. 19, 2021  Immigration Overhaul
Feb. 24, 2017  Immigrants and the Economy
Sep. 02, 2016  U.S.-Mexico Relations
Oct. 23, 2015  Immigrant Detention
Sep. 27, 2013  Border Security
Mar. 09, 2012  Immigration Conflict
Dec. 2010  Europe's Immigration Turmoil
Sep. 19, 2008  America's Border Fence
Feb. 01, 2008  Immigration Debate Updated
May 04, 2007  Real ID
May 06, 2005  Illegal Immigration
Jul. 14, 2000  Debate Over Immigration
Jan. 24, 1997  The New Immigrants
Feb. 03, 1995  Cracking Down on Immigration
Sep. 24, 1993  Immigration Reform
Apr. 24, 1992  Illegal Immigration
Jun. 13, 1986  Immigration
Dec. 10, 1976  Illegal Immigration
Dec. 13, 1974  The New Immigration
Feb. 12, 1964  Immigration Policy Revision
Feb. 06, 1957  Immigration Policy
Nov. 27, 1951  Emigration from Europe
Feb. 09, 1945  Immigration to Palestine
Sep. 30, 1940  Forced Migrations
Apr. 18, 1939  Immigration and Deportation
Jul. 27, 1931  Deportation of Aliens
Mar. 12, 1929  The National-Origin Immigration Plan
Aug. 19, 1927  Immigration from Canada and Latin America
Nov. 01, 1926  Quota Control and the National Origin System
Jul. 12, 1924  Immigration and its Relation to Political and Economic Theories and Party Affiliation
Immigration and Naturalization
Labor Standards and Practices
Outsourcing and Immigration