What Americans want to do about illegal immigration

8/25/15 Pew Research Center

Passport -CitizenshipThe debate over the future of the nation’s estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants is on the political front burner once more.

President Barack Obama set the stage in November when he announced new executive actions (now tied up in court) to prevent the deportation of millions of unauthorized immigrants, expanding 2012’s original program aimed mostly at providing relief to those brought to the United States as children. Illegal immigration has dominated the Republican presidential campaign, particularly after Donald Trump’s call for deporting all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Others have called for a changing the constitutional amendment that guarantees birthright citizenship.

Among the public overall, there is little support for an effort to deport all those in the U.S. illegally, but surveys in past years have found greater support for building a barrier along the Mexican border and for changing the Constitution to ban birthright citizenship.

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Tracing The Shifting Meaning Of ‘Alien’

822/15 NPR

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_SWATRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to “criminal aliens” and “illegal aliens” in the immigration plan he released on Sunday. “Alien,” and especially “illegal alien,” have become such staples in the vocabulary of conservative pundits and politicians that many immigrant rights advocates now reject those terms as derogatory and dehumanizing.

But it wasn’t always like that.

Take this excerpt from a letter that a group of Mexican-American law students wrote to the editor of the Los Angeles Times in 1970. They sent it after the paper ran an editorial with a headline that included the term “wetback.”

“We are still faced with insensitive and racist terms, such as wetback, to refer to Mexican nationals who have entered the country illegally,” the students wrote, “and we are now educating the public to use terms like illegal aliens or illegal entrants.”

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Experts: Trump’s Border Wall Could Be Costly, Ineffective

8/19/2015 News Channel 9

Via Flickr user "Gage Skidmore"
Via Flickr user “Gage Skidmore”

Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, released his first policy paper over the weekend, proposing ‘immigration reform that will make America great again.’

Trump has faced criticism for negative comments about illegal immigrants, but he has remained at the top of the Republican field in the polls and some of his opponents vying for the party’s nomination have adopted hardline positions on the issue similar to his.

One of the central tenets of Trump’s immigration policy is a wall across the U.S/Mexico border—’A nation without borders is not a nation,’ he states in his policy paper—but immigration experts question the effectiveness and cost of such a venture.

Analysts See U.S. Border With Mexico As More Secure Than It’s Been In 40 Years

8/20/15 NPR

Via Flikr user 'OccupyReno'
Via Flikr user ‘OccupyReno’

While Donald Trump’s recent position paper on immigration dominates headlines, a new study of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. digs into the latest numbers.

The Washington, D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute released “An Analysis of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States by Country and Region of Birth.” It’s based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

Some of the findings may not surprise you. Mexicans represent 6 million of the estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country, making up 56 percent of the total. An additional 1.6 million, or 15 percent, come from Central America. Asia (China, India, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam and Pakistan) accounts for 1.5 million, or 14 percent, of the unauthorized population.

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What Would Happen if America Actually Adopted Donald Trump’s Insane Immigration Plan?

8/19/15 Vice News

Via Flickr user "Gage Skidmore"
Via Flickr user “Gage Skidmore”

In the two months that Donald Trump has been running for president, the billionaire real-estate mogul has had quite a lot to say on the subject of immigration. But while he’s caused cranial explosions across The Americas with his insistence that the Mexican government is “sending” its drug-dealers and rapists across the US border, Trump has said little about what he would actually do to deal with the issue.

That is, until now. Earlier this week, Trump unveiled his plans for policy reform, laying out his ideas to curb both legal and illegal immigration into the US. Posted on his campaign website under the title “Immigration Policy That Will Make America Great Again,” the proposal promises a rough existence for undocumented immigrants under President Trump.

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2.5 million illegals cross border under Obama, less than Bush

7/20/15 Washington Times

ObamaAbout 2.5 million illegal immigrants have settled in the U.S. during President Obama’s tenure, according to estimates being released Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which said it’s an improvement compared with the Bush administration.

Nearly 800,000 of those illegal immigrants arrived in the past two years, suggesting that the flow has ticked up as the economy has improved and as Mr. Obama has reshaped enforcement policies, focusing on criminals while relaxing actions against rank-and-file illegal immigrants. Still, the total illegal immigrant population has remained steady at an estimated 11 million to 12 million over the past six years, the report concluded, finding that the arrivals are canceled out by the hundreds of thousands who return home, die or earn legal status through existing channels such as marrying an American.
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Facing the Facts on Illegal Immigration

7/19/15 New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Mr. Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, gets a lot wrong in his comments about immigration and Mexico. There is no evidence that Mexican officials are dispatching criminals across a porous border, and immigrants don’t commit more crimes, studies show.

Yet even some of his critics give him credit for tapping into something real: what they see as the perils of President Obama’s lax approach to immigration, generally, and enforcement along the Mexican border in particular.

“We need to secure the border,” says Carly Fiorina, another presidential contender. This, too, is misleading.

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