Exploring the Issues of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States of America
Introduction to Human Services
Professor Andrea Winston
March 25, 2010
Undocumented immigrants are faced with innumerable social and economical issues. This has become a burden to the United States of America Immigration Policies. Researchers have noted that in every decade for the last 40 years, migration of foreign immigrants is steadily increasing and most of the immigrants are undocumented(www.thelutheran.org).
Undocumented immigrants, illegal aliens, unauthorized residents, illegal aliens, migrant or undocumented worker are some of the names given to immigrants who do not have a valid green card or citizenship in the United States of America. The sometimes politically charged monikers are often some of the public names given to the estimated 12 million people living in the U.S. against federal immigration laws. While illegal immigration continues to be a “hot issue” in the United States, other countries around the world are also being affected. Regardless of where the illegal immigrants are from, what they have in common is that they are seeking a better life. Some leave their homeland due to politics and or economic situation. The countries they tend to choose are usually more technologically advanced, have greater resources and offer more opportunities (www.thelutheran.org).
Where Are Immigrants Coming From?
Immigrants come from Asia, Mexico, South America, Sub- Saharan Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, Oceania, Central America, Caribbean, Middle East and Canada. Many immigrants hope to obtain permanent residency or a green card and eventually achieve United States citizenship. Some immigrants initially enter the country legally with a visa but then violate the terms of the visa by overstaying. Others enter illegally by resorting to the assistance of human smugglers. Most of these immigrants are between 18 to 39 years old. Slightly more than 5 million illegal immigrants are males varying from age 18 to 39. Females age 18 to 39 make up the second largest group of approximately 3.5 million illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants that are minors or less than 18 years old make up about 2 million. The last group of illegal immigrants aged 40 years or older are nearly 1.5 million( www.usimmigrationsupport.org).
Where are they going?
Due to the close proximity of Mexico to the U.S. it is no surprise that Mexicans make up the largest percentage of illegal immigrants. Many that end up crossing the border end up staying in the U.S. permanently while a small percentage return back home. Hispanics are a minority group that has established itself in the United States and they continue to grow. Some states that have large Hispanic communities are: California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New York and Illinois. These states have become the destination for most illegal immigrants.
The Struggles Unlike most illegal immigrants who succeed in getting to the United States waste little time in looking for a job. For many it was most likely not an easy nor cheap journey. They may have ended up borrowing money from family members and friends to pay for their initial expenses. Most are not at all picky and will take nearly any job offered to them. Job benefits then is not a priority; most will even do two jobs to make ends meet. Many are employed by businesses that paid them way less than minimum wages. Most work in poor conditions and work for long hours. Many will do jobs that are looked down on by society or jobs that American does not want. Many immigrants are looked down on or discriminated against by people of different culture or race. Hispanics are made fun of by many other individuals because of their native language and their looks (www.thelutheran.org) .
On the other side many