The Numbers Don't Lie
Since the early 1990s, the United States has seen the largest wave of immigration in its history. Of 300 million people now living here, about 37 million were born in another country. Not since the trans-Atlantic rush a century ago have immigrants made up such a large portion of the population.When a country has more illegal immigrants than legal that is proof that something is terribly wrong.
The new immigrants come from places as far-flung as the Philippines, India, China and El Salvador. But the great wave is dominated by people like Raquel Rodríguez and her sisters: low-wage workers from Mexico. At least one-third of the foreign-born in the United States come from Mexico, census figures show.
When Mrs. Rodríguez moved to Texas 11 years ago as a legal resident, she was lucky to have the best of an American immigration system that is generally agreed to be broken. Proposals for broad changes in the system by President Bush and the Senate met opposition this year from Republicans who favored a crackdown on illegal immigrants. The push for change could resume in the coming months with the new Democratic majority in Congress.
The clearest sign of the system’s dysfunction is that legal permanent residents are no longer the majority of newcomers. Among recent arrivals, legal immigrants are outnumbered by illegal ones who sneaked across a border, or came legally and overstayed their visas.
H/T Beyond Borders Blog
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