Illegal immigration is a serious issue, and opinions are sharply divided. In the United States, there are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, many of whom are poorly educated, unskilled workers. However, the immigrants are willing to work jobs for a low salary that most Americans won't take. While some Americans have spoken out against the restriction of immigrants' rights, others don't want the illegal immigrants to be able to stay in the country.
The debate revolves around several issues. The country's existing immigration laws are being called into question, as is the enforcement of the United States borders. In 2006, President Bush signed a law authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S. and Mexican border.
Another main concern is how to handle the existing illegal immigrants in the country. Should they legally be allowed to stay, or should they be sent back to their home countries? And if they stay, are they U.S. citizens?
Congress is split on the issue, and no bills have been passed. For more resources on immigration in the United States, check out the Web sites below.
The Department of Homeland Security is currently putting a new emphasis on using immigration as a "crime-fighting tool," according to this Washington Postarticle. The Obama Administration announced in October 2010 that it has deported more than 392,000 illegal immigrants in 2009 - a record number, in which half are convicted criminals.