Monday, June 18, 2012

12 million undocumented living in the U.S.

Yep. A very large number of people living in the United States of America are undocumented. And yes they still consider themselves American. A few days before President Barack Obama made an historic, direct action that will make our nation's immigration policy more fair, more efficient, and more just, Time Magazine published the article, "Not Legal. Not Leaving." According to the article, "One year ago, Jose Antonio Vargas publicly revealed he's an undocumented immigrant. Now he reports on life in citizenship limbo and how others' 'coming out' can change the debate." A very bold move, Vargas and others now face questions including why they aren't becoming citizens or why they aren't being sent back to their country.

Throughout the article Vargas, who is not Mexican but Filipino, accounts his own story and others who have official "come out" on their own or because of others. Vargas is one of an estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The Time articles sites some interesting numbers: 59% of the these are from Mexico. About 1 million come from Asia and the Pacific Islands, about 800,000 from South America and about 300,000 from Europe.  Some numbers which stuck out included, "...households headed by undocumented workers collectively paid $11.2 billion in income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes and $8.4 billion in consumption taxes."

So what is going to happen? What if all 12 million undocumented immigrants were forced to leave? My opinion...there would be mayhem. The path to citizenship is probably one of the most complex systems ever; it can take months or even decades.
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