[ANALYSIS] America’s immigrants, and what we should know

This is perhaps not news to some people in America, yet there are still so many things that people need to talk about concerning undocumented immigrants.

Immigrants in the United States are facing a tough time, with increases in deportations and threats to deport happening almost daily.

The way in which Americans speak about those who enter the country needs to change–especially when it comes to those terms that describe them. That is, an asylum seeker and a refugee are not the same thing. Nor are refugees and immigrants the same.

An asylum seeker is someone who is in danger of being persecuted in their former nation and is seeking safety in another nation. In the United States, this means that they go through the process of proving that they are in danger. An asylum seeker is already living somewhere in the United States while they wait to be granted asylum.

A refugee is similar to an asylum seeker, however they are usually outside on the United States and are facing some kind of persecution. They may often be fleeing a regime or government at the time.

Immigrant is the general term most people use to describe all people who enter the U.S. However, immigrants are generally leaving a country in search of economic opportunities by choice, not necessarily fleeing a dangerous governing power, unlike refugees and asylum seekers.

Part of the reason for these terms, is due to the laws and procedures that people must follow in order to gain citizenship. It is important to understand the difference of each term as well.

Furthermore, there is a difference between being an “illegal” immigrant, and being an undocumented immigrant.

When Americans talk about undocumented immigrants or illegal immigrants, they are likely talking about immigrants who came over the border without a immigration officer approval or other permissions from U.S. agencies. It is a misdemeanor offense.

As the video explains: being an undocumented immigrant isn’t technically a crime. Being undocumented, deported, and then returning is. Of the 11 million undocumented immigrants who come here legally, some have trouble with their visa or overstay their visa, which, again, is not a crime, but it is a “civil violation” and can be dealt with in an immigration court.

Unauthorized or undocumented immigrants make up the labor force of certain industries that American workers, simply do not enter into.

The graph below, based on a study by Pew Research Center, shows where most of the undocumented workers are concentrated.

The graph shows that a good percentage of farm workers in 2014 were undocumented immigrants, and this fact still holds true today. As stated before, many undocumented immigrants hold jobs that American-born workers are unwilling or unable to do.


There is no doubt that there is necessary immigration reform in this country. However, forced deportations and raids could be harmful to the country.

As an example, Georgia in 2011, 425,000 immigrants lived in the state. Despite that, after some legislation, the number of immigrants dramatically decreased. According to the University of Georgia, the state lost roughly 40% of the immigrants who worked on farms professionally, and with no one to pick up the extra work, the economy suffered.

This could potentially be the case for much of America, should immigrants be ousted from the country.

In addition to working, undocumented immigrants in the United States pay taxes and pay into government programs that, as undocumented immigrants, they will never be able to take advantage of.

President Trump’s promise is to deport immigrants who have commit crimes while being undocumented, and for the left and the right, that is something that can be agreed upon. Still, even with Trump’s promises, there are still immigrants who have commit no crimes, that can face possible deportation or arrest. It is because of this, that many Americans and undocumented people living in America, do not necessarily believe that only criminals are being deported.

The below links provide some extra reading about how and why immigrants pay taxes. These links also explain Trump’s immigration plan, the 2011 Georgia Immigration incident, as well as reports on ICE’s deportations under Trump, so far.

Think about how your friends, colleagues, and even the media often reports on “illegal” or “undocumented” immigrants, when reading these.

75% of Immigration raids were for criminal arrests, NPR reports

Trump Immigration explained

How much do Immigrants pay in taxes? – Politifact

Adding up the Tax dollars paid by undocumented immigrants

Georgia Farmers say immigration laws kept workers away

ICE not just deporting criminals



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