Immigrant is defined as, “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” Undocumented immigrants are people who do not have legal immigration status in the country in which they reside. The term “illegal alien” has been used to describe undocumented immigrants. There is a political argument about what the correct term should be, with “illegal alien” considered the more pejorative description.
Facts You Should Know
- According to the Center for Migration Studies, the undocumented population in the U.S. dropped from 11.7 million in 2010 to 10.7 million in 2017, and according to the US Customs and Border Patrol, illegal entry by individuals from Mexico has fallen by more than 90% since FY2000.
- There are approximately 1.3 million young adults and millennials who were brought into the U.S. by their parents, but only 652,880 individuals had active DACA status at the end of FY2019, according to the US Customs and Immigration Service. Their status remains tenuous without Congressional action offering them a path to citizenship.
- In the period from 2010 to 2019, people arriving with temporary visas and overstaying them has been the primary source of undocumented immigrants.
Apprehensions at the Southwest border grew significantly in FY 2019, mostly due to the increase in families seeking asylum. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol apprehended more than 474,000 minor children and adults traveling as families and about 76,000 unaccompanied children along that border.
These children and families are primarily from Guatemala and Honduras.