With over 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally (as of 2011), the issue of illegal immigration continues to divide Americans.
Some people say that illegal immigration benefits the US economy through additional tax revenue, expansion of the low-cost labor pool, and increased money in circulation. They contend that immigrants bring good values, have motivations consistent with the American dream, perform jobs that Americans won’t take, and that opposition to immigration stems from racism.
Opponents of illegal immigration say that people who break the law by crossing the US border without proper documentation or by overstaying their visas should be deported and not rewarded with a path to citizenship and access to social services. They argue that people in the country illegally are criminals and social and economic burdens to law-abiding, tax-paying Americans.
Immigration ProCon.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents facts, studies, and pro and con statements on questions related to illegal immigration in the United States. We use "illegal immigration" to refer to the act of immigrating illegally. We refer to people who have entered the United States without proper legal documentation and who are deportable if apprehended, and people who have entered the United States legally but who have fallen "out of status" and are also deportable as "people who are in the United States illegally," "people who have immigrated illegally," or "people in the country illegally." Read more about the terminology here.