1. Due to the resurgence of national security – which many attribute to the terrorist act that took place on September 11th, 2001 – the United States instated increased precautions with regard to immigration into the United States; these precautions exist in the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and increased funding for the Border Patrol, as well as for National Security Advisory (NSA).
2. An illegal immigrant is a term assigned to those individuals who have accessed a country or nation through illegal means, which include smuggling, trafficking, and a general admission devoid of legitimacy; legal immigration can be defined as the processing, application, and completion of the appropriate forms and the satisfaction of the protocol of legal entry.
Although the procedure for illegally entering a country are no excuse for the failure to adhere to the law, there exists a multitude of reasons for immigrants to risk entry into the United States as illegal immigrants.
3. Immigration lobbyists – both detractors, as well as advocates alike – have explained that while some illegal immigrants have entered America for reasons fueled by criminal activity and felonious intent, other illegal immigrants want a lifestyle provided by the American government that will provide a better quality of life for themselves, as well as for their own families.
In certain cases, these lobbyists have illustrated examples where illegal immigrants have unlawfully entered the United States to reunite with family, as well as to escape the corruption and instability rampant within their native governments. As a result, the debate surrounding illegal immigration continues to serve as a polemic seemingly devoid of a solution to all those involved; both for lobbyists and immigrants alike.
4. There exist a number of legal means in which immigrants can utilize in order to legally enter the United States of America in lieu of doing so illegally and running the risk of being branded as illegal immigrants:
Visa: Expressed permission to reside in the United States of America for a finite period of time, which is contingent on a purpose for the residence – examples of ‘purpose’ are marriage, employment, tourism, and study. Although a visa entitles the holder to reside legally within the United States, upon the expiration of that visa – and without a federally-mandated extension, the holder of an expired visa is considered to be an illegal immigrant 2. Refugee.
Permit: This is the granting of legal authority to enter the United States of America as a result of persecution, hardship, or extenuating circumstances endured by the noncitizen in question.
Green Card: Legal documentation that illustrates noncitizen status, albeit the right to reside legally within the United States on a permanent basis
Citizenship: Citizenship is granted subsequent to 5 years spent legally residing within the United States with a minimal amount of time spent outside of the United States; as an American citizen, the foreign-born individual is entitled to all of the rights and freedoms afforded to all American-born citizens – foreign-born American citizens are also responsible for their personal adherence to the laws and regulations set forth within the Constitution of the United States.
5. Illegal Immigrants who currently reside in the United States have done so in a variety of fashions:
Illegal Border Crossing: Despite the checkpoints that occur on the immediate borders between the United States and Canada, as well as between the United States and Mexico, illegal immigrants have devised a multitude of methods to cross the border illegally and without detection.
While some illegal immigrants have opted to sneak across the border, other illegal immigrants have chosen to pay a third-party for safe passage into the United States; these third-party enablers have been given the moniker ‘coyotes’, due to the many accounts of predatory behavior with regard to the noncitizen’s desperation to gain access into the United States.
In the past decade alone, there has been an abundance of reported cases of ‘coyotes’ stealing money from potential illegal-immigrants, refusing service, as well as the exploitation of illegal immigrants with threats of reporting their respective, illegal intentions.
Other illegal immigrants have opted to enter the United States by way of make-shift marine vessels, such as rafts, flotillas, and in certain cases, inner-tubes. Aside from the penalties that are incurred upon arrest, many illegal immigrants have lost their lives as a result of drowning, starvation, and exhaustion due to the perils of this rigorous – and dangerous – endeavor.
6. Immigration fraud is an criminal activity in which illegal immigrants cooperate in order to gain access to the United States; there exist a wide variety of criminal methods that are implemented in order for an illegal alien to penetrate the borders of the United States:
Fraudulent documents, both forged – as well as stolen, have been circulated through communities who utilize these documents as a way to make a profit through their sale or barter. Fraudulent Green Cards, Social Security Cards, Passports, and Visas have been known to circulate through forgery and theft; these documents are sold, bought, and produced in order assist illegal immigrants with illegal entry into the United States in lieu of lawful completion and processing of immigration documentation through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau.
Fraudulent marriage, engagement, and elopement are not uncommon practices that result in a heightened possibility of a noncitizen spouse or fiancée receiving a visa to reside legally in the United States; oftentimes, these marriages are fabricated for the purpose of displaying the appearance of a legitimate and genuine marriage – participants that are citizens of the United States receive payment in exchange for their own contribution.
Violation of Immigration: a violation of immigration is when an individual who was once legally permitted to enter the United States for a finite period of time refuses to return to their own country of origin upon the expiration of that expressed permission for entry. This denial can take place upon a noncitizen’s refusal to report to the USCIS upon the ending of the statute of limitations on their specific immigration documentation.