Illegal Immigration

May 6, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 17
Do illegal workers help or hurt the economy?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

A U.S. Border Patrol agent arrests Mexicans who crossed into the United States illegally near Douglas, Ariz., on April 4, 2005.  (Getty Images/Scott Olson)
A U.S. Border Patrol agent arrests Mexicans who crossed into the United States illegally near Douglas, Ariz., on April 4, 2005. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)

More than 10 million illegal immigrants live in the United States, and 1,400 more arrive every day. Once concentrated in a few big states like Texas and California, they are rapidly moving into non-traditional areas such as the Midwest and South. Willing to work for low wages, the migrants are creating a backlash among some residents of the new states, which have seen a nearly tenfold increase in illegal immigration since 1990. While illegal immigrants only make up about 5 percent of the U.S. work force, critics of the nation's immigration policies say illegal immigrants take Americans' jobs, threaten national security and even change the nation's culture by refusing to assimilate. But immigrants' advocates say illegal migrants fill the jobs Americans refuse to take and generally boost the economy. Proposals to deal with illegal immigration include the Real ID bill, which would block states from issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, and “guest worker” programs granting temporary legal status to illegal workers.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Immigration and Naturalization
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
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Immigration and Naturalization
Outsourcing and Immigration