Quotes on Illegal Immigration & Reform

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."

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Library Topic: Border Security

"If we would reach a degree of civilization higher and grander than any yet attained, we should welcome to our ample continent all nations, kindreds [sic] tongues and peoples; and as fast as they learn our language and comprehend the duties of citizenship, we should incorporate them into the American body politic. The outspread wings of the American eagle are broad enough to shelter all who are likely to come."

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"Until World War I, crossing the border was easy and people entering from Mexico could do so legally. When US economic growth created a need for workers, Mexican immigrants were welcomed. But during the Great Depression of the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of people of Mexican descent were 'repatriated' to Mexico even though more than half were US citizens. During the Second World War, Mexican workers were again welcomed, to meet labour shortages. But in the 1950s, the Federal Government launched 'Operation Wetback' to expel Mexicans from the United States. Once again, many US citizens were forced to leave their country of birth. More than a million people were expelled in 1954 alone; many were denied hearings and thus US citizens were denied their constitutional rights. ...

In 1924 Congress created the Border Patrol as a component of the Immigration Bureau, 'to patrol the land border and stop smuggling.' By 1950 most of the Border Patrol's resources had shifted to the southern border to prevent illegal immigration. The Border Patrol has steadily expanded in recent years, and numbered more than 6,300 agents in 1997. ... Additional resources and technology at the Patrol's disposal include new lighting, fencing, ground sensors, mobile infra-red night scope cameras, more vehicles and computerized systems for processing persons who are apprehended. It has increasingly become involved in drug interdiction activities and, since November 1989, the US army has been formally involved with assisting the INS in the so-called 'War on Drugs.'"

Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security

"Many thousands of Mexicans (in particular) leave their homeland due to economic and social pressures and go in search of a better livelihood north of the border. Amnesty International does not take issue with the sovereign right of the United States to police its international borders in order to determine whether individuals have the legal right to enter the country. But it must do so in a manner which complies with its international human rights obligations."

Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security

“Amnesty may seem, on the surface, to be a reasonable measure, but what specific problems facing illegals does it redress? Research has shown that undocumented immigrants get paid less than other workers. But the research also attributes this fact not to the immigrants' legal status, but to their youth, their low education and skill levels, their limited English proficiency and their short stints with specific employers. In fact, there is a considerable body of research indicating that the well-being of immigrants is less a function of their legal status than of the length of time they have been in the United States. The problems that beset undocumented immigrants diminish as they cease to become transients (whether moving around in the U.S. or back and forth to Mexico), settle down in more stable jobs and neighborhoods, pick up skills and begin to familiarize themselves with English. And of course, the more time illegals spend here, the more adept they become at avoiding the INS.”

Peter Skerry
The Washington Post
The Brookings Institution
August 12, 2001
Library Topic

“Legalizing Mexican migration would, in one stroke, bring a huge underground market into the open. It would allow American producers in important sectors of our economy to hire the workers they need to grow. It would raise wages and working conditions for millions of lowskilled workers and spur investment in human capital. It would free resources and personnel for the war on terrorism. Contrary to common objections, evidence does not suggest that a properly designed system of legal Mexican migration will unleash a flood of new immigrants to the United States, hurt low-skilled Americans, burden taxpayers, create an unassimilated underclass, encourage lawbreaking, or compromise border security.”

Daniel Griswold
Trade Policy Analysis, 19
Cato Institute
October 15, 2002
Library Topic

“Comprehensive reform should also legalize the millions of workers currently in the United States without legal documentation. Many of these workers have lived and worked in the United States for several years. They have become valuable participants in their workplaces and their communities. They should be allowed and encouraged to come forward to be legalized and properly documented. Legalization does not mean amnesty. Newly legalized workers can be assessed a fine. They should be required to get in line with everybody else if they want to apply for permanent status. However we achieve legalization, it would be far preferable to the status quo of millions of people living in a legal and social twilight zone, outside the rule and protection of the law.

Reform is not about opening the door to millions of additional foreign workers. It's about legalizing the millions already here and the hundreds of thousands who are coming in each year already. Legalization would raise their wages, benefits and working conditions by giving them more bargaining power in the marketplace. They could more easily change jobs to improve their pay and working conditions. They would be more likely to qualify for health insurance. They would be more likely to invest in their language and job skills. They could put their savings in the bank. Legalization would replace an underground flow and stock of illegal workers with a safe and orderly supply of legal workers—workers who would enjoy the full protection of the law and freedom of movement in the labor market.”

Daniel Griswold
United States Senate
May 26, 2005
Library Topic

“No one knows how many illegal immigrants are in the United States, Europe, and other countries, but there are surely many millions. Figures for the United States, the country with the largest number, vary widely, but the Department of Homeland Security estimated there were close to 12 million in 2006. There is great disagreement about what should be done about them.

At one extreme are those who call for catching and evicting as many illegal residents as possible. Yet this seems highly unrealistic; the United States will not apprehend and return millions of people to Mexico or other countries. Nor is it desirable to go to the other extreme, offering blanket amnesty to all illegal residents, for amnesty now would encourage future illegal immigration in the hope of a further amnesty. Amnesty makes a mockery of immigration laws and rewards those who came illegally, even as many potential immigrants wait years for the right to come legally.

I argued last year on my shared blog that selling the right to immigrate would be the best approach to legal immigration. Among other benefits, the revenue from immigrants’ payments could reduce taxes. Paying for the right to immigrate would also negate the argument that immigrants get a free ride when they gain health care and other benefits. Moreover, making immigrants pay would attract the type of immigrants who came much earlier in American history: young men and women who are reasonably skilled and want to make a long-term commitment to the United States.”

Gary S. Becker
Hoover Digest, 3
The Hoover Institution
Library Topic

"There is widespread agreement that until recently the number of illegal immigrants in the United States was growing. However, there is now very strong evidence that the overall size of the illegal population is no longer increasing and, in fact, is falling. Numerous stories in the media, estimates by the federal government, and research by those outside the government all point to a significant change in migration patterns.

Future enforcement efforts as well as the state of the economy will likely determine if the current trend continues. President Obama has repeatedly stated his strong desire to legalize those in the country illegally and it is unclear to what extent the new administration will enforce immigration laws. Also the future direction of the economy, which is likely to play a very significant role in migration trends, is another unknown factor. The relative importance of increased enforcement versus the economy is difficult to determine. What is clear is that a very long-standing migration pattern has reversed. But once the economy recovers and if enforcement is reduced, which seems likely, the illegal population will almost certainly resume it growth."

Steven A. Camarota
Karen Jensenius
Center for Immigration Studies
July 2009
Library Topic

"In 1980, illegal immigration in the United States was far from the overwhelming challenge it is today. It was only after the 1986 immigration reform bill, which provided amnesty to more than three million illegal aliens, that an ever increasing surge of people entering the U.S. illegally began. As the federal government failed to address the growing crisis, state governments began to take action. As early as 1994, Californians tried to deal with the financial burden of illegal immigration by passing Proposition 187, which would have limited financial benefits for illegal aliens in California. Although stopped by a judge and a new governor, Gray Davis, unwilling to defend the people’s vote, California’s actions foreshadowed what was to occur across the United States 10 years later, when the federal government failed its people once again."

Matt A. Mayer
Heritage Special Report
The Heritage Foundation
August 25, 2009
Library Topic

“IRCA [Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986] was an omnibus immigration law, an attempt to form a grand bargain that would take care of many immigration policy disputes. Part of it was the introduction of ‘employer sanctions,’ saying that it would be illegal, in the future, for employers to hire illegal aliens; the other part was the legalization package. The promise was that sanctions would eliminate the lure of jobs in the U.S. economy and the legalization package would put several important groups of illegal aliens on the path to citizenship, thus shrinking the size of both the current and future illegal populations.”

David S. North
Center for Immigration Studies
January 2010
Library Topic

“…the very existence of such a large unauthorized-immigrant population is evidence that the enforcement-only approach to unauthorized immigration, which the federal government has pursued for the past decade and a half, has failed. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has increased dramatically since the early 1990s despite massive increases in the amount of money and manpower devoted to immigration enforcement.”

Walter A. Ewing
Symposium: Breaking the Immigration Stalemate
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
February 19, 2010
Library Topic

“Paradoxically, stronger immigration enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border has encouraged more unauthorized immigrants to stay in the United States. Given the high costs and physical risks of unauthorized entry, migrants now have a stronger incentive than in the past to extend their stays in the United States, which increases the likelihood that they will remain.”

Walter A. Ewing
Symposium: Breaking the Immigration Stalemate
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
February 19, 2010
Library Topic

“There is no shortage of labor in the United States. There is instead a shortage of employers who are willing to pay a fair wage to American workers and too many employers who are willing to break the law to hire illegal aliens. This puts added pressure on business owners who want to treat their workers fairly and abide by the law because their competitors who hire illegal workers have an unfair competitive advantage.”

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“Illegal immigration has become, in effect, an inexhaustible source of government sanctioned and subsidized low-wage labor, eroding the welfare of less-educated native-born workers.”

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"Pinal County, Arizona is the fastest growing county in all of America. Located between Phoenix and Tucson we also have another not so favorable title. Pinal County is the 'Number One Pass Through County for Drug and Human Trafficking in all of America.' Over half of the illegals entering America come through Arizona. According to U.S. Border Patrol, last year alone they captured 219,300 in the Tucson sector. U.S. Border Patrol has acknowledged this number does not take into account another conservative estimate of 2.7 illegals that made it into the United States undetected. Of those illegals that were caught, 17 to 30 percent of them already have a criminal record in the United States. ...

While we keep hearing information from Washington, D.C. that the 'Border is More Secure Then Ever' I would strongly disagree. Statistics in Pinal County during the past two years have shown dramatic increases in totals tied to drug and human trafficking. Our calls to U.S. Border Patrol to turn over illegal aliens have increased, 2007-(188), 2008-(169), 2009-(270) and 2010-(370) Vehicle Pursuits have increased, 2007-(142), 2008-(140), 2009-(289) and 2010-(340) and Marijuana Seizures have also surged, 2008-(19,619 pounds), 2009-(44,963 pounds) and 2010-(45,500 pounds). Just last year, we had a cartel member executed in a quiet Casa Grande, AZ neighborhood. We have had two other cartel members killed during the middle of the night in Vekol Valley after they were shot each with a single bullet. ...

During the past two multi-agency enforcement details (four days each), worked in this drug and human trafficking corridor, more than 200 suspects were arrested. This clearly shows the border is not secured. We need immediate help to protect our citizens. We can no longer wait for action. Until we get Federal support and the U.S. - Mexico border is secured, I have directed my deputies to take cartels on directly. In order to protect our citizens, it has now become the job of my office to directly engage those responsible for drug and human trafficking. We are conducting operations on a weekly basis to dismantle, and disrupt drug and human trafficking operations and reduce the crimes associated with their activity."

Paul Babeu
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
April 5, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security

"On March 10, 2010, Mayor Eddie Espinoza, Village Trustee Blas Gutierrez, Chief Angelo Vega and some five other Columbus residents were arrested for allegedly violating Federal Firearms Statutes. The eight were indicted and had allegedly conspired to purchase firearms and ammunition and other equipment in order to sell those items to a drug cartel in Mexico. Allegedly Mexican authorities had U.S. ATF agents trace the weapons back to that group. Allegedly at least two bodies recovered from a secret burial site in Mexico were found with firearms traced back to the group. Police vehicles were allegedly used to transport the firearms to a safe house in El Paso TX.

The Sheriff’s Department took immediate action and denied the Columbus Police Department the use of its frequency and denied Luna County Central Dispatch to use the SO frequency to interact with the Columbus Police. The remaining ranking member of the Columbus Police Department was roommate of long standing with Chief Vega. That individual, Sgt. Robert Valenzuela had a prior arrest for Drunk Driving and is currently under indictment in Dona Ana County (NM) for 4th Degree Felony Stalking. Chief Vega has given information to the Federal Prosecutors that he would use the police radio to identify suspicious vehicles in the Columbus area to determine whether or not the vehicles were law enforcement. As Sheriff, I refused to allow any corrupt elements in the Columbus Police Department to compromise the integrity of the Stonegarden Program under our management.

Stonegarden remains the one truly effective program which brings local, state, and federal law enforcement together along the border."

Sheriff Raymond Cobos
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
April 7, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security

"When the war between cartels began to reach a critical level in Ciudad Juárez, we saw a pattern emerge that we never predicted and hasn't stopped. Our county hospital district, which houses the only Level 1 trauma center in our region-the next closest center is 275 miles away-began seeing victims of the violence who were rushed through our ports of entry and into our ER. Since 2008, we've spent $4.9 million in trauma care specifically for these victims; to date, we've been compensated for only $1.2 million, leaving local property taxpayers to pick up $3.7 million in uncompensated costs. We've repeatedly requested funding from the Merida initiative to help off-set the costs borne by local property taxpayers because we just don't see that financial burden diminishing - unless the U.S. changes its drug policies or the cartels suddenly declare a cease fire.

Where has some of the federal funding gone, if not to my trauma facility or increasing my law enforcement capacity? It's gone to a wall. While federal law enforcement has gone on the record to praise the border wall, it is to me and others an example of considerable federal dollars being spent on a rusting monument that makes my community look like a junk-yard."

Veronica Escobar
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
April 7, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security

"Residents who live on the U.S.-Mexico Border have seen their communities used as a convenient backdrop to heated debates and political posturing about immigration and drug policies. Incredibly, it's been said by some elected officials-two from our own state-that there are bombs going off in the streets of El Paso. That is absolutely untrue. As a border community, we have challenges, no doubt, but exploding bombs are not among them.

What happens when the rhetoric escalates and the facts get lost? It hurts my local economy; it hurts our ability to recruit talent; it negatively affects our convention business; and it doesn't solve the real problems."

Veronica Escobar
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
April 7, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security

"A true fix to undocumented immigration could come from comprehensive immigration reform that would create a path for the undocumented to regularize their status, institute migrant worker visas, and, in general, offer a realistic, common-sense approach to a complicated challenge. And comprehensive immigration reform will finally take away the platform used by state politicians who want local police and sheriff's departments to enforce federal immigration laws. For the record, the El Paso County Sheriff, the El Paso Police Chief, the El Paso Mayor, Congressman Reyes and I all oppose having local law enforcement officers enforce federal immigration laws.

Community policing, the strategy utilized so effectively by local law enforcement in El Paso, involves building trust and relationships between law enforcement and citizens that helps solve crimes and keep neighborhoods crime-free. If my sheriff's deputies are required by the Texas legislature to enforce federal immigration laws, and if they become de-facto immigration officers, that trust disappears, families become afraid to report crime, and we become a less safe community.

Another facet of an overall fix should focus on our border ports. Our ports of entry should be as modern as our cell phones are. Unfortunately, they are not. They lack significant investment in staff and infrastructure, and what should be a point of opportunity becomes simply a point of obstruction. Every year, $30 billion of commerce comes across El Paso's ports, but a minimum of at least an hour wait for vehicles and up to 2 - 3 hour wait times for pedestrians during peak periods, creates a disincentive. Consider what that wait feels like, especially for pedestrians, in the sweltering summer southwest sun."

Veronica Escobar
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
April 7, 2011
Library Topic
Library Topic: Border Security
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More About This Topic...

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Quote Page

Quotes on illegal immigration and immigration reform from politicians, legislation, economists, philosophers, and experts in the field.

Commentary or Blog Post

Tancredo, a noted critic of illegal immigration, uses this piece to describe what the U.S. would look like if there where no illegal immigrants in the country.

This piece discusses the 287(g) program which "relinquishes, with no meaningful oversight, immigration enforcement power to local law enforcement and corrections agencies." As the title suggests, those who condemned the Bush administration for its use of this program were equally chagrined at the Obama administration's extension of the same.

An Alabama law to tackle illegal immigration is coming under fire from some business leaders in the state, who say the measure is undermining Alabama's economy even before it takes effect.

This piece describes American public opinion on various immigration issues. Conducted during the time of Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law, the piece declares that a majority of Americans think immigration is a good thing.

The overall findings of this poll show a significant divide between the perception that minority voters want legalization and increased legal immigration and the reality, which is that they want enforcement and less immigration.

"Yet that is exactly what the administration faced when Ms. Pacheco and others—young, illegal immigrants who decided to step out of the shadows—were agitating, with increasing volume and sophistication, to eliminate the threat of being deported."

The law's supporters believe it will protect Arizona residents from problems caused by illegals, while the law's opponents adamantly declare that it mandates racial profiling.

Karlyn Bowman examines the opinions of the nation on immigration and compares them to the opinions of those in Arizona.

"The Pew Research Center's recent study concluding that the number of Asian immigrants moving to the United States now exceeds the number of Latinos hardly seems surprising to me or many of my fellow immigration attorneys. My law firm, Wildes & Weinberg P.C., which has focused exclusively on United States immigration matters for more than 50 years, has seen a dramatic uptick in the number...

"Asian-Americans have surpassed Hispanics as the fastest-growing group of new immigrants to the U.S. and may provide a boost to Democratic Party hopes in this year's elections, a survey shows.

Among immigrants to the U.S. in 2010, 36 percent were Asian and 31 percent Hispanic, according to the report by the Pew Research Center in Washington. In 2008, 42 percent of immigrants were...

"For the first time since US immigration quotas were abolished in the mid-1960s, Asian Americans have emerged as the largest immigrant group, surpassing Hispanics.

Asian Americans accounted for 36% of all immigrants in 2011, while Hispanics accounted for 31%, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. Slightly more than 1 million people obtained permanent resident status in...

"Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States, according to a survey on Tuesday predicting a demographic trend bringing powerful economic, social and political changes."

The December 2010 issue of Cato's Immigration Reform Bulletin describes the process of naturalization. Anderson describes the costs, rules, and important requirements of citizenship, and notes that some of these are harder than people might realize.

Daniel Griswold argues for illegal immigration legalization on the grounds that it has worked effectively in the past.

Griswold believes that a good economy needs the low-paid, unskilled labor force often supplied by illegals, but he also believes that this need is not properly filled through amnesty.

This article describes George W. Bush's issuance of clemency for two border patrol agents. The agents were convicted of shooting an illegal alien at the Mexican border.

"The Treasury Department reports that illegal immigrants filing tax returns using the Individual Tax Identification Number are receiving more than $1.5 billion each year from the federal government through the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit."

"Three months ago, young undocumented immigrants lined up in front of some immigrant service organizations and foreign consulates to learn about deferred action, an Obama administration program that launched in August. Known as DACA, for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program offers temporary legal status to young people who arrived in the country before their 16th birthday."

The authors of this piece were the chief instigators of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that is commonly accused of granting amnesty to illegal aliens.

"Asian Americans are now the nation's fastest-growing racial group, overtaking Latinos in recent years as the largest stream of new immigrants arriving annually in the United States.

In an economy that increasingly depends on highly skilled workers, Asian Americans are also the country's best educated and highest-income racial or ethnic group, according to a new report from the Pew...

"About one-quarter of the young undocumented immigrants eligible for the two-year deportation deferral established by President Obama have applied since the program started Aug. 15."

The tough economic circumstances of the past few years have helped to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Anderson declares that immigrants believe English is key to their success in America, and therefore have a great desire to learn it.

The massive Republican takeover of Congress in 2010 causes Stuart Anderson to wonder whether or not the 2011-2012 Congress will enact immigration reform legislation parallel to legislation implemented after the historic 1994 election.

Federal immigration law determines whether a person is an alien, the rights, duties, and obligations associated with being an alien in the United States, and how aliens gain residence or citizenship within the United States.

Sandy Ikeda declares that "legal, and especially illegal, immigration is to a certain extent the unintended consequence of welfare-state capitalism."

Commenting on the common arguments against the controversial Arizona immigration law, Jonah Goldberg strives to point out their fallacious tendencies.

A federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration, ruling Monday that she needed more time to decide whether the law is constitutional.

The Obama administration is challenging a new Alabama law that would let the police detain people stopped for traffic offenses who are suspected of being in the country illegally, a law described as one of the toughest of its kind nationwide.

"Terrazas, now 26, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was a student at Arizona State University in May 2009 when she and some friends were stopped for speeding during a camping trip to Payson. The police officer suspected that Terrazas, a passenger, was in the country illegally. She had no state ID and refused to say where she was born.

The officer called Immigration and Customs...

"In an election-year policy change, the Obama administration said Friday it will stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements."

"President Barack Obama's carefully timed immigration announcement may be good or bad public policy, depending on your position on the political Spectrum. But any way you look at it, it is bad constitutional policy."

Binswanger argues that it is an issue of individual rights, and he cites Rand (who immigrated to the U.S. from Soviet Russia) as the premier example of the benefits derivable from open immigration.

"The June 11 front-page article 'A question of merit' didn't tell the whole story about the Dream Act. It's true that when people don't know the facts, the Dream Act has some appeal. After all, we are all naturally sympathetic when children are involved. But the descriptions of the Dream Act often voiced by its supporters are not accurate. And the consequences are never told."

Since Becker believes that both amnesty and eviction are unappetizing solutions to the problem, he suggests that setting up a system of payment in return for legal settlement in the U.S. would be beneficial to both immigrants and current U.S. citizens.

I have received many questions and requests for assistance in the wake of Pres. Obama's announcement on August 18, 2011 of prosecutorial discretion.

There has been much discussion and confusion over the recent policies and memoranda from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) concerning 'prosecutorial discretion.' Some people mistakenly believe that it is some sort of 'amnesty.'

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced federal officials would focus their deportation efforts on 'criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety and national security, repeat immigration law violators' and known gang members.

Clarence Jones uses this piece to sympathize with the citizens of Arizona over their recent, but controversial, immigration legislation.

If anyone had any doubt about President Obama's lack of respect for the Constitution, the separation of powers or the rule of law, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano dispelled that doubt on Aug. 18.

While there are many conflicting opinions regarding the H-1B visa debate, according to LaPlante, the one thing that both sides can agree on is that something needs to be done to adjust or change the current system - the difference is in what way to take the changes. This article discusses both sides of the issue. It includes arguments for completely eliminating the...

Outsourcing immigration enforcement to an ill-trained and poorly supervised assortment of state and local law enforcement agencies creates a lot of problems.

This piece reports on Utah's attempt to create a unique piece of immigration legislation.

The Utah legislature concocted an interesting bill when they combined increased illegal immigration enforcement with a guest worker program.

It would be wise to provide a variety of government services to illegals while also implementing policies that would make this form of unofficial amnesty more appealing to the general U.S. population.

"Republicans, riled that President Obama moved on his own to bar deportation of some young illegal immigrants, caution that the new policy is being implemented without regulations or even much thought on how to prevent fraud."

Chart or Graph

Over the past two decades, border enforcement has increasingly become a priority, with the Border Enforcement budget increasing sevenfold from 1980 to 1995 and then more than tripling from 1995 to 2003.

The foreign-born population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), certain legal nonimmigrants (e.g., persons on student or work visas), those admitted under refugee or asylee status, and persons illegally residing in the United States.

These two maps demonstrate the drastic increases the U.S. has seen in illegal immigration over the past 30 years.

The cost of the naturalization process has escalated. In 1985, the cost of filing was only $35. This rose to $90 by 1991.

Americans remain more likely to say immigration should be decreased (45%) rather than kept at its present level (34%) or increased (17%), but the gap between the two most popular options has narrowed from a year ago.

An estimated 8.5 million of the total 10.8 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2009 were from the North America region, including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.

The number of unauthorized residents declined by 1.0 million between 2007 and 2009, coincident with the U.S. economic downturn.

Analysis Report White Paper

This paper compares the 2008 government bailouts with the 1986 illegal immigration amnesty program. The author describes some of the many problems that occurred with the amnesty program several decades ago, among which is the great potential for fraudulent immigration applications.

This research shows that the illegal immigration population rose dramatically during the Congressional discussion of amnesty in 2007, but then diminished after the amnesty bill was voted down, and that illegal immigration decreases during times of economic crisis.

This piece examines the effects that illegal immigration amnesty has had on the American working class.

The Senate is currently considering a massive immigration reform bill, the 'Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and immigration Reform Act of 2007' (S. 1348). This bill would grant amnesty to nearly all illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

Part III of this paper examines human rights abuses of illegal immigrants by Border Patrol agents at the Mexico-U.S. border. This examination focuses on several Border Patrol abuse cases, and it explains the legal rights possessed by illegal immigrants who find themselves the victims of abuse by Border Patrol agents.

Matt Mayer assesses the growth of illegal immigrants in the U.S. since 1980.

Although the United States is in the midst of a financial crisis and an economic recession, immigrants keep coming, but who is coming? Immigration is often categorized into various distinctions; legal vs. illegal, low-skilled vs. high-skilled. Within the political debate a significant amount of emphasis is placed on low-skilled illegal workers, but what about the high-skilled immigrants?

Included in the report are statistics on the historical nature of immigration, information on illegal immigration, and other data relating to this issue.

We find that immigration had small negative effects in the short run on native workers with no high school degree and on average wages while it had small positive effects on native workers with no high school degree and on average native wages in the long run.

This study examines the economic impact of increases in the number of immigrant workers by their education level and experience in the work force, using Census data from 1960 through 2000.

Does the state have the right to exclude these ordinary people? In the following, I argue that the answer to this question is no.

This report uncovers the immigration implications that the House version of the infamous health care bill held.

This study examines the economic impacts that illegal immigration legislation could have on the United States.

In this paper we analyze the long-run impact of immigration on employment, productivity and its skill bias.

American industry's explosive demand for highly skilled workers is being stifled by the federal quota on H-1B visas for foreign-born highly skilled workers. The quota is hampering output, especially in high-technology sectors, and forcing companies to consider moving production offshore.

We need flexible limits on immigration that rise and fall with U.S. labor demand, coupled with strict enforcement of tough wage and labor laws that protect all workers, regardless of where they were born.

Very few modern political issues have proven more divisive, polarizing, and difficult to solve than the illegal immigration problem. It has divided Republicans and Democrats along stark partisan lines, but the divisions run much deeper. Proposals to reform the nation's immigration system have also divided traditionally aligned factions: labor unions and civil rights groups, business associations and conservatives.

The report begins by focusing on the complaints raised by 204 persons released into Mexico after being apprehended by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, the INS, U.S. Customs, and other law enforcement agencies.

"There are roughly 1.8 million immigrants in the United States who might be, or might become, eligible for the Obama Administration's 'deferred action' initiative for unauthorized youth brought to this country as children."

This piece gives some historical background on the immigration policies of the last century, and also gives a variety of refutations to the major arguments offered for stricter immigration enforcement.


In this podcast Daniel Griswold reports on the Congressional progress on immigration reform.

According to Jim Harper, the current immigration system cannot exist properly without a national identity program.

Since President Obama is attempting to take on immigration reform once again, Griswold highlights the mistakes of the past and declares that the U.S. needs a "guest worker program" to take care of its economic needs.

This clip shows Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing Arizona Senate Bill 1070. She cites the safety of the state as a key motivator for signing and confirms her commitment to enforcing law as well as avoiding racial profiling.

This CNN news clip focuses on the governmental services in which illegal immigrants take part, including public education, health care, and prisons, and also argues that illegal immigrants are reducing economic benefits for Americans who would like the jobs that illegals often take.

Tamar Jacoby argues illegal immigrants take low-wage jobs that Americans do not want. This in turn allows businesses to expand, spurring economic growth and benefiting the American economy.

Although the future president waffled on the issue at first, he finally declared that he was in support of illegal immigrants receiving driver's licenses.

George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan gave the following speech at The Future of Freedom Foundation’s “Economic Liberty Lecture Series.” He discusses and and finds wanting the most common arguments for immigration restrictions.

Witnesses testified about U.S. border security and how border patrol operations on federal lands might be impacted by environmental laws.

Primary Document

"Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals."

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

Any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen.

Any free white person could receive citizenship providing they had renounced their allegiance to their previous state/sovereignty by name, lived in the United States for five years at least.

This act was the first attempt at standardizing immigration and naturalizing foreign citizens. It was done under threat of war with France.

This act allowed the President at any time to order any aliens he deemed dangerous to be deported.

This act was to be implemented on all new aliens providing they were no longer subjects of any nation the U.S. was at war with at the time of application.

The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress approved an act banned transportation of 'coolies' in ships that were either owned or not owned by citizens of the United States of America.

Established the position of Commissioner of Immigration, reporting to the Secretary of State; validated labor contracts made by immigrants before arrival; exempted immigrants from compulsory military service; established the office of Superintendent of Immigration for New York City.

The Senate and House Representations of the United States of America in Congress approved a law stating that any immigration of Chinese, Japanese, or any Asian country, to the United States must be free and voluntary.

An act in which the State Commission and officers were in charge of checking the passengers upon incoming vessels arriving in the U.S.

The 1891 Immigration Act was a revised version of the 1882 Immigration Act. As in the 1882 Immigration Act, this act declared that certain classes of individuals were unfit to become American citizens.

The 1917 Immigration Act, also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, was a law passed by Congress that restricted the immigration of 'undesirables' from other countries...

The objective of this act was to temporarily limit the numbers of immigrants to the United States by imposing quotas based on country of birth.

This act repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, established quotas for Chinese immigration, and allowed Chinese nationals in the U.S. to become naturalized citizens.

The G.I. fiancée act was devised to expedite the entrance of foreign-born fiancées of members of the U.S Armed Forces that served in WWII.

This act helped those individuals who were victims of persecution by the Nazi government or who were fleeing persecution, and someone who could not go back to their country because of fear of persecution based on race, religion or political opinions.

This act was put in place to allow the entrance of foreign-born spouses and unmarried children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces regardless of their race.

The McCarran-Walter Act moved away from excluding immigrants based simply upon country of origin. Instead it focused upon denying immigrants who were unlawful, immoral, diseased in any way, politically radical.

The Hart-Cellar Act abolished the national origins quota system that had structured American immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it with a preference system that focused on immigrants' skills and family relationships with citizens or residents of the U.S.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act. It was enacted on October 24th 1968 and declares that anyone, regardless of age or race, shall achieve citizenship through 'naturalization through active-duty service in the armed forces.

The Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975 sets forth the allowance of provisions for those who fled from the Southeast Asian countries as well as those who cannot return to those countries due to the threat of violence or ill-treatment.

This Act extended special immigrant status to non-citizens who have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least 12 years.

This act addresses many aspects of immigration (both legal and illegal), and the responsibilities placed upon not only immigrants, but those enforcing legal immigration.

The Act was passed in order to unify the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States.

This yearbook presents the demographics of those obtaining legal U.S. residence in 2011.

To prohibit certain subversive activities; to amend certain provisions of law with respect to the admission and deportation of aliens; to require the fingerprinting and registration of aliens; and for other purposes.

This law was enacted to "deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, provide for an effective death penalty, and for other purposes.

The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.

This highly controversial bill passed the House, but stalled in the Senate. It proposed much stricter legislation against illegal individuals, including some aspects which criminalized citizens for aiding or hiring illegal aliens.

The USBP’s primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and other criminals along the border

The coming of Chinese laborers to the United States be, and the same is hereby, suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come.

The debate in both the House of Representatives and the Senate over the first 'Quota Law' restricting immigration into the United States, became an occasion for the legislators to define the meaning of America.

The immigration reports include statistical reviews, emigration and immigration conditions in Europe and other parts of the world.

This document contains a variety of official data and statistics on the subject of illegal immigration in the United States.

The Immigration Act of 1924 sought to limit the immigration of aliens into the United States, and for other purposes.

Starting in 1991, every year the Attorney General, decides from information gathered over the most recent five year period the regions or country that are considered High Admission or Low Admission States.

The INA is divided into titles, chapters, and sections. Although it stands alone as a body of law, the Act is also contained in the United States Code.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act attempted to solve the problems that the increasing population of illegal immigrants was posing for the United States.

This testimony transcript relays information about the influence that immigration compliance raids had on specific manufacturing plants.

Operation Wetback was a repatriation project of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to remove illegal Mexican immigrants ('wetbacks') from the Southwest.

The illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases challenging the statute may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The 9/11 Commission made immigration and document security recommendations after completing their investigation in 2004.

Respondent resident aliens filed this suit, claiming that petitioners, the Attorney General and other federal parties, targeted them for deportation because of their affiliation with a politically unpopular group....

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.

The ultimate aim of these hearings is: one, to do oversight on what we’re getting in return for the considerable federal investment in border security; two, to see what we can do to improve it.

Daniel Griswold makes the case for legalizing illegal immigrants, arguing that legalizing illegals would promote "a free society and a free and efficient economy", and would eliminate the dangers and mistreatment that many illegal immigrants face.

This report addresses the performance of 287(g) agreements between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and state and local law enforcement agencies.

This manifesto seeks solidarity with America's immigrants and encourages an immigrant-friendly immigration policy in the state of Utah.

"If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million in 2050, from 296 million in 2005, and 82% of the increase will be due to immigrants arriving from 2005 to 2050 and their U.S.-born descendants, according to new projections developed by the Pew Research Center. Of the 117 million people added to the population during this period due to the effect of new...

"Honduras has traditionally been an ally of the United States."

"Federal law bars aliens residing without authorization in the United States from most federal benefits; however, there is a widely held perception that many unauthorized aliens obtain such benefits. The degree to which unauthorized resident aliens should be accorded certain rights and privileges as a result of their residence in the United States, along with the duties owed by such aliens...

The defendants were convicted for assault, discharge of a weapon in the commission of a crime of violence, tampering with an official proceeding, and deprivation of civil rights.

This report describes the findings of Amnesty International’s research into human rights concerns along the United States’ border with Mexico, primarily recent allegations of brutality by officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

This bill modifies state law and enacts the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act. Among other things, this legislation seeks to create stricter standards for dealing with illegal immigrants in Utah.