The immigration debate is heating up in Congress over the main question of who to legalize in the U.S.? There are reportedly 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S. that need to get into status. The media repeatedly portray these individuals as “barely literate young men who pour over the southern border and live solitary lives.” In reality they are mothers, fathers, homeowners and churchgoers investing in their communities.
A recent piece by the Immigratuon Policy Center analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau, This data provides us with statistics about the location of these immigrants, how long they’ve been here, what family and community ties they have to the U.S. and from where they come. There is a large portion of immigrants from Mexico in Border States to the south such as Texas, California, Florida and New York. There is also an overwhelming amount of immigrants in various other parts of the country from Central American and the Philippines. “Nearly half of all adult unauthorized immigrants have children under the age of 18, and roughly 4.5 million native-born U.S.-citizen children have at least one unauthorized immigrant parent.” Because of such high numbers, it is impossible to ignore 11 million people living in the shadows in the U.S. Congress is trying to figure out a process that would be timely and efficient to give citizenship to those who applied and have been waiting followed by the undocumented workers who are also waiting their turns.
Based on more statistics gathered, “Over half of unauthorized immigrants age 25-64 have a high-school diploma or more education.” This number would be even higher if they could apply for financial aid for college and have a legal status to allow them to continue their education. Also, “approximately two-fifths of unauthorized immigrant adults attend religious services every week.” Immigrants have made the U.S. their home participating in community programs, educating their children and working to support their family. Congress needs to acknowledge the compromises immigrants make and keep that in mind when voting on a proposal that includes a path to citizenship.
If you have questions regarding how immigration reform might help aliens in Missouri and Illinois to get into legal status, contact us at 314-961-8200 or visit our contact page.