Illegal Immigrant Population

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Illegal Immigrant Population

Illegal Immigrant Population


The actual size and the origin of the Illegal immigrant population in the United States is uncertain and hard to ascertain because of difficulty in accurately counting individuals in this population. (Atlanta Latino Newspaper, 2005) National surveys, administrative data and other sources of information provide inaccurate measures of the size of the illegal immigrant population and current estimates based on this data indicate that the current population may range from 7 million to 20 million. Illegal immigrants and Hispanic groups are suing Hazleton to overturn a new city act that targets landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and businesses that employ them. Violent crime in Hazleton increased more than 70 percent from 2001 to 2006, and Barletta testified last week that it was driving businesses away and making residents afraid to leave their homes. Police Chief Robert Ferdinand was confronted with police records showing that only about 40 more total crimes _ violent and nonviolent _ were committed in 2006 than in 2001, a period when thousands of Hispanics moved to the city. Only a small number of illegal immigrants were arrested in that time.


A majority of U.S. Hispanics say the growing focus on illegal immigration has made their lives tougher. Illegal immigrants are responsible for many more crimes than the statistics indicate because police officers often failed to indicate a suspect's immigration status on arrest reports. The thrust of the police department is to solve crimes. (Ross, 2005) A number of street gangs have moved into Hazleton and started dealing drugs and stockpiling weapons. Dealers are willing to use violence to protect their turf, and were recruiting illegal immigrants. Between 1,500 and 3,400 illegal immigrants live in Hazleton, , according to an estimate by Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration studies, a group that advocates for tighter controls on immigration. The immigrants tend to earn less money and pay fewer taxes, increasing the costs to federal, state and local governments. If the illegals leave, the costs leave with them. If other communities were to adopt the same policies as Hazleton, that itself would have a big effect and more illegals would decide to go home. (Atlanta Latino Newspaper, 2005)

Hispanics tend to believe illegal immigration helps the United States more than it hurts. This belief is more common among immigrants, but more than half of U.S.-born Hispanics agree.

More than half of those surveyed said they are worried about deportation for themselves or someone close to them. About half say they have had something negative happen as a result of increased enforcement of immigration laws.

Almost two-thirds say Congress' failure to pass an immigration reform law has made their lives more difficult.

Hispanics generally oppose measures used to find and deport illegal immigrants. Three-quarters oppose workplace raids and 79 percent local police identifying illegal immigrants, while just over half say states should not check for illegal immigrants applying for driver's licenses. (McTague, 2005)

About 15 percent of the U.S. population is now Hispanic, the country's largest ...
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