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Illegal Immigration To The United States Summary

Illegal immigration to the United States

Illegal immigration to the United States, also known as undocumented immigration, includes both unlawful entry of foreign nationals into the United States and remaining in the country after the expiration of their entry visa or parole documents. Illegal immigration has been a matter of strong debate in the United States since the 1980s, and has been a major focus of President Donald Trump, as illustrated by his campaign to build a wall along the Mexico border. Research shows that illegal immigrants increase the size of the U.S. economy/contribute to economic growth, enhance the welfare of natives, contribute more in tax revenue than they collect, reduce American firms' incentives to offshore jobs and import foreign-produced goods, and benefit consumers by reducing the prices of goods and services. Economists estimate that legalization of the illegal immigrant population would increase the immigrants' earnings and consumption considerably, and increase U.S. gross domestic product. There is scholarly consensus that illegal immigrants commit less crime than natives. Sanctuary cities—which adopt policies designed to avoid prosecuting people solely for being in the country illegally—have no statistically meaningful impact on crime, and may reduce the crime rate. Research suggests that immigration enforcement has no impact on crime rates.The illegal immigrant population of the United States peaked by 2007, when it was at 12.2 million and 4% of the total U.S. population. Estimates in 2016 put the number of unauthorized immigrants at 10.7 million, representing 3.3% of the total U.S. population. Since the Great Recession, more undocumented immigrants have left the United States than entered it, and illegal border crossings are at the lowest in decades. Since 2007, visa overstays have accounted for a larger share of the growth in the undocumented immigrant population than illegal border crossings, which have declined considerably from 2000 to 2018. In 2012, 52% of unauthorized immigrants were from Mexico, 15% from Central America, 12% from Asia, 6% from South America, 5% from the Caribbean, and another 5% from Europe and Canada. As of 2016, approximately two-thirds of unauthorized adult immigrants had lived in the U.S. for at least a decade.

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