The population of the United States of America is said to increase by one person every 13 seconds. This takes in to account both births and deaths in the country and international immigrants. However, it does not include immigrants who arrive in the USA undocumented. It is nearly impossible to tally the total number of illegal immigrants in USA or any country but an estimation may be made of the characteristics and size of the undocumented alien population.
Who Are Undocumented Immigrants?
Illegal immigrants in USA refer to any person who has entered the USA without correct authorization or who has overstayed their authorized visit. Most illegal immigrants enter the country by walking over unguarded borders between USA and Mexico. This is the primary reason for President Trump’s proposal of a wall at the Mexico border.
A number of people risk their lives to enter the USA every year just to have a chance at living the American dream. Most people entering the country undocumented aren’t very well educated and are basically looking for a way to make enough money to send back home to their families and thus improve their social standing. The occupations with the most illegal immigrants are farming, construction, building, maintenance, production, food preparation and serving and transportation.
Where Do Illegal Immigrants In USA Come from?
As of 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security estimated that were over 12 million undocumented immigrants in the USA. The maximum number of undocumented immigrants is from Mexico. El Salvador and Guatemala are a distant second and third.
When looking at illegal immigrants in USA from Asia, India tops the list. In the same report, the US Department of Homeland Security put the estimated number of illegal immigrants from India at 4,30,000. India is followed by China, Philippines, and Korea.
Undocumented Immigration in USA Statistics
2017 – The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there were 12.1 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2014. The top countries of origin are:
- Mexico = 6.6 million
- El Salvador = 700,000
- Guatemala = 640,000
- India = 430,000
- Honduras = 400,000
- Philippines = 360,000
Why Enter Illegally?
One of the main reasons for so many Indians to enter the USA undocumented or overstay their visa is the difficulty of getting the right approvals to enter the country legally. Family-based immigration is limited to certain family members and subject to annual numerical limits.
For an employment-based visa, the immigrant’s employer must sponsor the immigrant and meet a number of other conditions. It is much harder for temporary, seasonal employers to sponsor immigrant visas. Even when it comes to humanitarian protection visas, the USA has annual numerical caps.
In addition to this, Indians are not guaranteed a visa even if they do meet all the conditions. According to US visa regulations, no country can receive more than 7% of the visas granted for a particular year.
The number of people migrating from India to the USA is much higher than the number of visas granted and hence many applicants have to wait for years before getting their visa. Thus, some applicants consider it a better idea to risk entering the USA illegally rather than wait for legal resident status.
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