To say that the debate over immigration laws in America has been contentious would be a complete understatement. Some feel that American immigration laws allow invaders to come into our land and steal away our jobs. Other feel that the problem with immigration is just a symptom of an apathetic government and a system that is set up around people who think they are above working some jobs.
Whatever your opinion, however, opinion is just that. If you only ever focus on what you think instead of what you know, then you will be left spinning your wheels, getting nowhere fast. Every single American needs to make the effort to educate themselves on the facts about illegal immigrants. Doing so, we can make decisions about immigration laws reform that is good for American citizens and not dehumanizing for our immigrants.
Percentage of the American Population
According to the New American, 13% of the U.S. population is made up of foreign- born peoples, illegal or otherwise. Those 40.5 million people represent the largest number of foreign-born people in this country since 1920, when mass immigration from Europe was taking place. 11.5 million, less than a third of the foreign-born population, are thought to be illegal.
How Long Have They Been in the Country?
Most illegal immigrants in the United States have been here quite a long time. Recent statistics show that, on average, undocumented workers have been in the States for 7.5 years. In that time, vast numbers of them have set up families, learned to speak English, and have begun actively participating in their communities.
Demographics Among Illegal Immigrants
One of the most sobering facts about illegal immigrants is how many women and children there are. 51% of the foreign-born people in the United States are women. 45% of immigrated households are made up of couples with children. Subsequently, when we discuss immigrations laws we have to consider more than the economic impact of the situation. We have to discuss how every decision will affect innocent children.
How Much Do Illegal Immigrants Make?
A vocal minority of Americans believe that immigrants come to this country and steal all of our best jobs. However, according to Slate, the average immigrant only makes 75% of what American-born workers make. Specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that median weekly earnings in the U.S. are approximately $777. For immigrants, that number is only $582.75.
Illegal Immigration is on the Decline
When looking at facts about illegal immigrants, it is easy to assume that the issue is growing in its impact, especially with 13% of the American population being made up of foreign-born peoples. As statistics from Pew Internet show, however, illegal immigrations, mostly based out of Mexico, reached net zero in 2012. In other words, the amount of people illegal immigrants leaving this country are equal to those trying to get in.
We Americans are a proud people. It is easy to get our blood going when we think our nation is under attack by any means. When it comes to this topic, we need to look at all the facts about illegal immigrants if ever we want to create a sensible, humane approach to immigration reform. After all, would our ancestors not have wanted the same a century ago? Read more.