The Current Immigration Debate

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Immigration has been one of the most talked about and major topics in the last decade or so. The purpose of this research paper is to educate myself and the reader over three main issues occurring concerning immigration. The three main issues and topics are demographics and economical impact, border security, and humanitarian concerns. According to The U.S. Immigration Debate, in 1970 there were only about 10 million immigrants present in the US.  Currently, breaking down the numbers, there are estimates of 1.

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7 million with some type of visa, roughly 11.1 million undocumented immigrants, 22.6 million lawfully present and 20.7 million naturalized citizens, totaling 43.3 million immigrants.

Using those statistics and recent trends in immigrant population, it is expected that by 2023, 14.8% of American population will be immigrants, it will continue to grow by 2060. The majority of the immigrant population, specifically the undocumented population, reside in several states with larger populations. There are six states where 58% of undocumented immigrants reside in and include; California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Illinois. Their contribution to the economy and workforce is highly noticeable. They count for 17% of the workforce in America and within that percentage, there are about 750,000 people are DACA recipients are are eligible to work and attend school lawfully. They also add $2 trillion dollars to the US economy.

One of the biggest issues that deal with immigration is border security. Within the last decade, in order to secure the border and obtain maximum efficiency, there has been a rise in border patrol staffing. As of 2015, DHS has sent air surveillance systems, underground motion sensors, mobile and remote surveillance systems as an effort to monitor the border. In most recent times, in order to obtain funding for a wall to be built on the border, President Trump issued a national state of emergency. This is the latest effort to secure the border and stop illegal entry. Ethics and humanitarian concerns have become immigration related problems. People under DACA protection not having a permanent solution to their cases is an example. DACA(Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was an executive decision done by President Obama in 2012 as an effort to support and help “DREAMERS”.

The moral case for DACA is finding a permanent solution for them through the Dream Act, which would allow them permanent residence since the 750,000 people affected by it have been here for most of their lives. Another humanitarian issue that has been most recent, is the separation of Central American families who arrived in a caravan in order to seek asylum and refugee status. Almost 60,000 unaccompanied minors and 78,000 people have tried to cross and were apprehended at the border. The rates of denial of asylum for them is relatively high, which brings the moral issue of whether denying them asylum gives them a death sentence if they return home. Immigration is a huge topic among politics nowadays. It is important to stay educated on demographics, border security and ethical and humanitarian concerns.


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  2. Carter, J. (2017, September 01). What you should know about DACA and Dreamers. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from
  3. C., & Nicholson, M. D. (2017, April 20). The Facts of Immigration Today: 2017 Eddition. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from
  4. Felter, C., & Renwick, D. (2018, July 2). The U.S. Immigration Debate. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from
  5. Krogstad, J. M., Passel, J. S., Cohn, D., Krogstad, J. M., Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2018, November 28). 5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from
  6. Paletta, D., DeBonis, M., & Wagner, J. (2019, February 15). Trump declares national emergency on southern border in bid to build wall. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from
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The Current Immigration Debate. (2022, Feb 13). Retrieved from