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Current Immigration Situation in U.S.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that, based on their analysis of the Current Population Survey administered by the Census Bureau, there are currently about 12 million illegal aliens living in the United States. These illegal aliens account for roughly 5 percent of the American workforce (Passel). They cook us our food and wash our plates in restaurants, they help build our houses, and they pick the fruits and vegetables that line our supermarket aisles. And while their labor allows us to enjoy a higher standard of living than would otherwise be possible, these unauthorized aliens are forced to live in the shadows. They are denied access to benefits such as social security despite the fact that their wages are paid into the system, and their wages often force them to live below the poverty line. In a post September 11 reality, however, the number of people streaming across our borders illegally presents a very real threat to our national security. President George W. Bush has proposed the establishment of a guest worker system to ensure that our economy has the laborers it needs to thrive and that our homeland security is safeguarded. I believe that this is the best and fairest solution for every stakeholder. This paper will analyze the current immigration situation in America to understand what its origins are, and how we can fix it.

Before we can focus on the solution, however, we need to establish the exact parameters of the problem facing the nation. In 2004, "the foreign-born population in the United States reached 35.7 million persons, comprising approximately 12 percent of the United States population. Of this group, estimates indicate approximately 10.3 million ù 29 percent of the foreign born ù were unauthorized migrants" (Van Hook et al). As previously noted, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that unauthorized migrants currently number 12 million. A federal government analysis of the 2000 census showed t...

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