Last updated on: 3/13/2017 | Author:

What Is Illegal Immigration?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in a Feb. 2011 release, “Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2010,” available at, stated:

“The unauthorized resident immigrant population is defined as all foreign-born non-citizens who are not legal residents. Most unauthorized residents either entered the United States without inspection or were admitted temporarily and stayed past the date they were required to leave.”

Feb. 2011 - US Department of Homeland Security

The Center for Media and Democracy, in a Aug. 10, 2008 article, “Illegal Immigration US,” available at, stated:

“Illegal immigration (also referred to unauthorized or undocumented immigrants) refers to the migration of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destined country.”

Aug. 10, 2008 - Center for Media and Democracy

Demetrios G. Papademetriou, PhD, Director of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), in a Sep. 1, 2005 Migration Policy Institute essay entitled “The Global Struggle with Illegal Migration: No End in Sight,” offered the following explanation:

“Illegal immigration takes several forms, four of which are the most common:

1. Undocumented/unauthorized entrants: These are nationals of one state who enter another state clandestinely. Most such entrants cross land borders, but sea routes are also employed regularly, and wherever inspection regimes are permeable, so are air routes. In all instances, the entrant manages to avoid detection and hence, inspection…

2. Individuals who are inspected upon entry into another state, but gain admission by using fraudulent documents: The fraud in question may involve the person’s identity and/or the documentation in support of admission. A variant of this class of entries involves the making of fraudulent asylum claims where issues of identity, documentation, and the narrative in support of the asylum claim may be falsified.

3. Violators of the duration of a visa: These include individuals who enter another state properly but ‘willfully’ overstay their period of legal stay, thus lapsing into irregular status.

4. Violators of the terms and conditions of a visa: Nationals of one state who enter another state with the proper documents and procedures, but at some point violate the terms of their visa. The most frequent such violation is the acceptance of employment. In a nearly institutionalized variant of such violation, language schools in some countries, such as Japan, have been notorious for admitting students who actually spend their time working. Another variant of this class of violation is when persons with special visa privileges — such as holders of ‘border crosser visas’ that allow border residents from an adjacent country to reside and be employed in the other country within strictly prescribed time and geographic parameters — systematically abuse these parameters.”

Sep. 1, 2005 - Demetrios Papademetriou, PhD