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Illegal Immigrants In the United States

07th September 2011
By Paul Anderson in Immigration Law
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Any person residing in a country illegally is known as an "illegal immigrant." Undocumented immigrant, undocumented alien, illegal alien, or undocumented worker are other terms that are commonly used.

Some illegal immigrants enter the US illegally whereas others enter legally but overstay the number of days permitted on their visa or violate the terms of their green card or refugee permit. They decide to take a risk and move to the US in search of a better life. Some immigrants leave their home country because of political or economic reasons. Persons generally choose to immigrate to the US as it is more technologically advanced, has greater resources and offers more opportunities. Children born in the US to illegal immigrants automatically gain American Citizenship.

As mentioned earlier, illegal immigrants get their "illegal" status by entering the US illegally. There is still a myriad of ways that immigrants cross the border in order to get into the US. Immigrants from the Caribbean often cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach US, may be in a homemade boat or even a tube. Some immigrants from South America may get into Mexico and might get the assistance of a smuggler or others to help them illegally cross the border into the US.


Other illegalís cross the border into the US through shipping containers, trucks, or boxcars. Some tend to be successful and at times it may involve great risk to their life. Currently, with increased security measures and far more improved technology, it becomes even more difficult to cross the border and avoid detection. Immigrants try a number of times before successfully crossing the border.

Once the illegalís reach the US, they become employed in what is known as "low skilled jobs". These low skilled jobs are labor intensive and don't attract many employees. In the US, construction sectors are popular with immigrants as there is generally no sound requirement. Restaurants, hospitality, prostitution, agriculture and domestic service are other sectors where illegal immigrants are prominent. Though illegals take on the jobs that residents or US citizens refuse, it is felt that they take away jobs in general.

Work regulations in the US prohibit employers from hiring Illegal Immigrats. But some employers take advantage of an employee's "undocumented" status. Here the employer pays below what the federal law requires. Some employers think that they can get away with human rights violations with illegal immigrants as they will not report their employer out of fear of deportation. Though there are penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants, they are not always enforced. Off late, there is a significant change in immigration enforcement. Companies are subject to harsh penalties and get negative publicity for hiring illegal workers.


There are instances where young girls are sometimes offered a job in a foreign country. They think the job offers great financial opportunities, and due to their economic situation back home, they take up this job proposal. However, after arriving in the foreign country, they come to realize that they were brought into the country for the purpose of prostitution. Having nowhere to go for help, for many of them, it is a way of getting out of poverty. This problem is in significant numbers in the Middle East and Europe and on a smaller scale in the US.
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