The controversy surrounding immigration is very complex. Some feel that immigration including those who have done so illegally hurts no one. They also argue that it is necessary for our economy to survive. On the other side of this controversy are those that say it hurts the citizens of the United States.
Immigration comes in many different forms. Some immigrants have filed the proper paperwork and received the proper permits to be in the United States. Some have decided to over stay their permits, choosing not to leave after the permit has expired. Some have decided to come to the United States without any of the required paperwork. Some women cross the border in the last days of their pregnancy in order to circumvent having to get proper permission from the United States.
The INS uses the following descriptions: Permanent Resident Alien - an alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants; however, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) broadly defines an immigrant as any alien in the United States, except one legally admitted under specific nonimmigrant categories (INA section 101(a)(15)). An illegal alien who entered the United States without inspection, for example, would be strictly defined as an immigrant under the INA but is not a permanent resident alien. Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States.
Every year since 1976 the U.S. border patrol has made nearly a million apprehensions of people who have or are trying to enter illegally into the United States. Nineteen of twenty persons that are apprehended are Mexican. (Fair 1998).
The data shows that when a program called bracero was ended in 1965 there was a large influx of people entering the United State illegally. Bracero was a program that allowed Mexicans to enter the United States as guest workers.