The number of people who wish to migrate to the United States is higher than the quotas permit. This is currently causing people who cannot enter the United States legally, to enter the country illegally. Those who do so are entering without proper documents and are known as undocumented immigrants. The number of undocumented people that migrate is unknown due to the lack of proper documents.

According to the BCIS, or the U.S Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services the number of undocumented migrants in the U.S is growing about 350,000 per year. The BCSI estimates that 5 million of these undocumented immigrants are from Mexico. The BCSI also estimated that at least about 10,000 each from El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, China and Ecuador.

Your browser may not support display of this image. More than a million people are annually trying to cross the U.S borders. More than 95% are Mexican. People enter and remain in the U.S. primarily because of the desire to work, but lack the permission to do so from the government.

Failure for foreigners to receive work visas have two choices if they wish to stay in the U.S:

1. Approximately half of the undocumented residents legally enter the country as students or tourists and then remain after they are supposed to leave.
2. The other half simply slip across the border without showing a passport and visa to a border guard.

Undocumented immigrants can be “documented” by purchasing forged documents like birth certificates, alien registration cards, and a social security.

Facts about undocumented migrants in the U.S:

o An increasing percentage of U.S. immigrants are children-16% (under the age of 15)
o 40% of immigrants are of working age (25-39)
o About 6 million undocumented are working—representing about 5 percent of U.S. workers.

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act tried to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants to the U.S. this law would allow any undocumented immigrants, along with agricultural workers to gain a permanent residency if they lived in the U.S. between 1982 and 1987. After 5 years, they could apply for U.S citizenship. However, this law was not as successful as expected. Only 1.3 million agricultural workers and 1.8 million others applied for permanent residence. Many feared that if their applications were denied, they would eventually become deported. On the other hand, the law discouraged further illegal immigration by making it harder for recent immigrants to get jobs without proper documentation.




Recent immigrants are not distributed uniformly through the U.S. More than one half of them are clustered in four states California, New York, Florida and Texas. Individual states attract immigrants from different countries. For example:

* California, Texas, or Illinois: Mexicans
* New York or Florida: Caribbean Island countries
* New York or California: Chinese, Indians, or other Asians
* Proximity isn’t a factor for Poles heading to Illinois, and Iranians in California.



Immigrants cluster in communities where people from the same country previously settled. This is known as chain migration or the migration of people to a specific location because relatives or members of the same nationality previously migrated there. Recently, many immigrants have migrated to the Midwest to take industrial jobs that are shunned by Americans, such as meatpacking and related food processing.

Undocumented Immigrants
Many people who cannot legally enter the United States tend to immigrate illegaly. Those who do so are entering without porper documents and are called undocumented immigrants or unauthorized immigrants. The exact number of undocumented immigrants is unknown, however, The Urban Institute estimated in 2005 that there's a total of 9.3 million illegal immigrants. 5.3 million come from Mexico, 2.2 from other Latin American countries, 1 million from Asia, one-half million from Europe and Canada, and one-half million from the rest of the world. The Pew Hispanic Center estimated a high level of 11.1 million in 2005. In 2005, it was also estimated that 3.1 million children who were U.S citizens were living in families with an adult who was an unauthorized immigrant. Undocumented immigrants enter to remain in the United States primarily because they wish to work but do not have permission to do so from the government. About 7.2 million of the 11.1 unauthorized immigrants in 2005 were employed according to the Pew Hispanic Center accounting for 5 percent of the total U.S civilian labor force. They also made up 24 percent of workers in farming, 17 percent in cleaning, 14 percent in construction, and 12 percent in food preparation.




Labor Force
Most undocumented immigrants in the US come from Mexico. Most illegal Mexican immigrants have jobs in their home villages but migrate to the United States in order to earn more money. The majority work in the agriculture sector, picking fruits and vegetables, some also work in clothing factories. Those who work long hours for very few dollars a day as farm laborers or factory works will prefer to earn relatively low wages by American standards than to live in poverty at home. Undocumented residents tend to have problem finding good jobs in the United States. As a result of this some employers like to hire immigrants who do not have working visas because they can pay lower wages and do not have to provide health care, retirement plans, and other benefits. Illegal immigrants tend to face many problems and at times their rights are abused, they can easily be fired from their jobs for no reason and many times are threatened with deportation.

Economic
Illegal Immigrants contribute d to the political and economic force back in Mexico. The Inter American Development Bank estimated that immigrants in the United States sent $517 million back to Mexico in 2005, and $28 million to other Latin American countries. These remitances were used for good, clothing and shelter however the governments are trying to channel some of this money into developing projects.

Immigration Tensions
Today, undocumented immigrants face many adversities besides not having legal authorization to work. Political groups like “Americans For Legal Immigration” have been formed in order to fight what they perceive as a major threat of illegal immigration by demanding the US to enforce harsher immigration laws and stronger secured borders. Some states throughout the United States have chosen to allow local police officers to work as immigration officials, however this has caused tensions due to immigrants feeling like this is racial profiling which is against the constitution.