Illegal Immigration: A Critical Issue Dominating the US Agenda

Illegal Immigration: A Critical Issue Dominating the US Agenda

Posted on April 15, 2024

Amidst the myriad challenges facing the United States, few are as contentious and pervasive as illegal immigration. 

This complex issue strikes at the heart of national identity, economic stability, and security, commanding attention from policymakers, citizens, and advocates alike. 

Illegal immigration transcends mere debate, permeating public discourse with questions of border integrity, social cohesion, and humanitarian responsibility. 

From the bustling streets of border towns to the halls of Congress, the impact of unauthorized migration reverberates, shaping policies, shaping communities, and shaping lives. 

As the nation grapples with the complexities of this issue, it becomes increasingly clear that addressing illegal immigration demands innovative solutions and principled leadership. 

Let us delve into the depths of this multifaceted challenge, exploring its nuances, implications, and pathways toward resolution.

A Top Pressing Concern for US Citizens

Immigration remains the primary concern for a significant portion of Americans, as recent statistics from Gallup (Feb, 2024) reveal:

  • Significantly more Americans now cite immigration as the most important problem facing the U.S., with approximately 28% expressing this view compared to 20% just a month ago.
  • Immigration has previously ranked ahead of all other issues as the most important problem, notably in 2019 during a surge of attempted border crossings by Central American migrants.
  • Bipartisan negotiations have recently taken place in response to a record number of border crossings at the southern border, peaking at over 300,000 in December.

An influx of migrants in U.S. cities has placed additional strain on social services, further underscoring the significance of this issue.

Now, let's explore how illegal immigrants navigate border crossings and the regions where they frequently attempt to enter the country.

How Illegal Immigrants Cross Borders

Illegal immigrants employ various methods to cross borders, navigating through obstacles and evading detection. Understanding these methods sheds light on the complexities of unauthorized migration. Here are the primary ways illegal immigrants cross borders:

  • Unauthorized Border Crossings: Many illegal immigrants attempt to cross borders through unauthorized entry points, bypassing official checkpoints and border security measures. This often involves traversing remote or rugged terrain, such as deserts, mountains, or dense forests, in search of entry into the target country.
  • Overstaying Visas: Some illegal immigrants enter a country legally with a visa but overstay their authorized period of stay. They may choose to remain in the country beyond the expiration date of their visa, thereby becoming undocumented immigrants.
  • Human Trafficking and Smuggling: Human traffickers and smugglers play a significant role in facilitating illegal immigration by organizing and coordinating transportation across borders. They often exploit vulnerable individuals, subjecting them to dangerous and dehumanizing conditions in exchange for passage into the target country.
  • False Documentation and Identity Theft: Illegal immigrants may acquire false documentation or engage in identity theft to circumvent border controls and gain entry into a country. This may involve obtaining counterfeit passports, visas, or other official documents to conceal their true identity and immigration status.

Now that we've explored how illegal immigrants cross borders, let's see where they come from and what countries they settle in.

Where Unauthorized Immigrants Come From

Understanding the countries of origin of unauthorized immigrants provides insight into global migration patterns and the factors driving people to seek entry into the United States. 

According to research from the Pew Research Center, as of 2021, the top countries of origin for unauthorized immigrants living in the US include:

  • Mexico: Mexico has long been the primary source of unauthorized immigration to the United States. Economic opportunities, political instability, and family ties are among the factors driving Mexicans to seek better prospects north of the border.
  • Central American Countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras): In recent years, an increasing number of unauthorized immigrants have come from Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Factors such as poverty, violence, and corruption have prompted many individuals and families to flee their home countries in search of safety and opportunities in the US.
  • Other Latin American Countries: While Mexico and Central American countries account for a significant portion of unauthorized immigrants in the US, individuals from other Latin American countries also contribute to the immigrant population. Countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela face their own set of economic and social challenges, prompting some residents to seek better prospects abroad.
  • Asian Countries: Although not as prominent as Latin American countries, certain Asian countries also contribute to the unauthorized immigrant population in the US. Countries like China, India, and the Philippines have individuals who enter the country without legal authorization, often in search of employment or educational opportunities.
  • Other Regions: Additionally, individuals from various other regions, including Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean, make up a smaller portion of the unauthorized immigrant population in the US. Economic factors, political instability, and conflicts are among the reasons individuals from these regions may choose to migrate to the US without legal authorization.

Where Unauthorized Immigrants Settle

The distribution of unauthorized immigrants across the United States varies significantly, with certain states hosting larger populations than others. According to previously mentioned research from the Pew Research Center, as of 2021, the following states have the highest concentrations of unauthorized immigrants:


California has long been a destination for immigrants, both authorized and unauthorized. Its proximity to Mexico, diverse economy, and large immigrant communities make it a magnet for individuals seeking economic opportunities and better lives. As a result, California has one of the highest populations of unauthorized immigrants in the country.


Texas shares a lengthy border with Mexico, making it a primary entry point for unauthorized immigrants entering the United States. Its robust economy, particularly in industries such as agriculture, construction, and hospitality, attracts many individuals seeking employment opportunities. Consequently, Texas is home to a significant population of unauthorized immigrants.


Florida's geographic location and strong economy have also made it an attractive destination for immigrants, including those without legal authorization. The state's tourism, agriculture, and service industries offer employment opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds. As a result, Florida has a notable population of unauthorized immigrants.

New York

New York's status as a cultural and economic hub has drawn immigrants from around the world, including those without legal status. The state's diverse economy, encompassing industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology, provides opportunities for individuals to find work and build new lives. Consequently, New York has a substantial population of unauthorized immigrants.


Illinois, with its vibrant cities and diverse economy, has also attracted a significant number of unauthorized immigrants. The state's manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation sectors offer employment opportunities for individuals seeking to establish themselves in the United States. As a result, Illinois has a notable population of unauthorized immigrants.

Now that we've explored where unauthorized immigrants tend to settle within the United States, it's important to delve into the reasons why illegal immigration presents significant challenges and concerns for governments, communities, and individuals alike. Let's examine why illegal immigration is a problem and the various implications it has on society.

Why Illegal Immigration is a Problem

Illegal immigration poses a multitude of challenges and concerns for governments, communities, and individuals alike. From economic impacts to national security risks, unauthorized migration presents complex issues that demand attention and action.

Economic Impact

Illegal immigration can strain local economies by competing for jobs with citizens and legal residents, potentially driving down wages in certain industries. This competition for employment can disproportionately affect low-skilled workers and exacerbate economic inequalities within communities. Furthermore, employers may exploit undocumented workers by paying them lower wages and providing substandard working conditions, undermining labor standards and worker protections.

Strain on Resources

Additionally, undocumented immigrants may utilize public services without contributing to the tax base, leading to increased costs for taxpayers. These services may include healthcare, education, social welfare programs, and law enforcement resources. The strain on public resources can hinder government efforts to provide essential services to residents and may result in budgetary deficits or cuts to critical programs. Addressing these resource disparities requires equitable distribution of funding and sustainable solutions to ensure the well-being of all residents.

National Security Concerns

Unregulated border crossings create vulnerabilities that could be exploited by individuals with malicious intent, posing risks to national security. From drug trafficking to human smuggling, porous borders provide opportunities for criminal organizations and terrorist networks to exploit gaps in security measures. Enhancing border security and immigration enforcement is essential to safeguarding the nation's borders and protecting the safety and security of its citizens.

Social and Cultural Impacts

Mass migration can strain communities and contribute to social tensions, impacting cultural cohesion and integration efforts. As demographics shift and populations diversify, societies must navigate challenges related to language barriers, cultural differences, and social integration.

Illegal immigration presents complex challenges that require nuanced solutions and collaborative efforts from governments, communities, and individuals. By addressing the economic, social, and security concerns associated with unauthorized migration, societies can work toward building more inclusive and resilient communities for all residents.

Our Plan to Address Illegal Immigration

At Morckel for Congress USA, we recognize the urgent need to address the challenges posed by illegal immigration. Our proposal for defending our republic encompasses comprehensive strategies aimed at securing our borders, upholding the rule of law, and promoting responsible immigration policies. Here's how we plan to tackle the issue:

1. Strengthening Border Security

We advocate for investing in advanced technology, increasing personnel, and implementing strategic infrastructure improvements to enhance border security. By bolstering surveillance capabilities and fortifying physical barriers where necessary, we aim to deter illegal crossings and disrupt smuggling networks.

2. Enforcing Immigration Laws

We are committed to upholding and enforcing existing immigration laws and consulate processes to ensure compliance and accountability. This includes cracking down on visa overstays, enhancing interior enforcement efforts, and prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

3. Reforming the Immigration System

We support comprehensive immigration reforms that address the root causes of unauthorized migration while providing a pathway to legal status for law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Our proposal includes streamlining legal immigration processes, improving visa programs, and implementing fair policies for asylum seekers.


How Many Illegal Immigrants in the US?

The unauthorized immigrant population in the United States reached 10.5 million in 2021, according to new Pew Research Center estimates.

How Many Border Crossings Between US and Mexico?

The number of border crossings between the United States and Mexico varies depending on various factors such as border security measures, economic conditions, and immigration policies. However, millions of people legally cross the US-Mexico border each year for various purposes, including tourism, trade, and employment.

How Many Immigrants Deported by Year?

The number of immigrants deported by year fluctuates based on changes in immigration enforcement policies, border security measures, and diplomatic relations with other countries. While exact figures may vary, the United States typically deports hundreds of thousands of individuals annually who are found to be in violation of immigration laws or have been ordered removed by immigration courts.

Where are Migrants Going?

Migrants may be heading to various destinations depending on factors such as economic opportunities, family reunification, and political asylum. Common destinations for migrants include urban centers in the United States, Canada, European countries, and other regions with stable economies and established immigrant communities.

How Many Immigrants Have Been Deported in 2023?

The number of immigrants deported in 2023 can vary and may not be available until the end of the year or later. Deportation figures are typically reported by immigration enforcement agencies and may include individuals apprehended at the border, as well as those residing in the country without legal status.

Which Country Has the Most Immigrants in the World 2023?

As of 2023, the United States continues to be one of the top destinations for immigrants, with a large and diverse immigrant population representing various countries and cultures. Other countries with significant immigrant populations include Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Global migration patterns are influenced by factors such as economic opportunities, political stability, and social networks.

Final Words

Ilegal immigration remains a pressing issue that demands attention and action. From strained resources to national security concerns, the challenges posed by unauthorized migration are complex and multifaceted. 

At Morckel for Congress USA, we are committed to addressing this issue head-on through comprehensive strategies aimed at securing our borders, upholding the rule of law, and promoting responsible immigration policies. Through our proposal for defending our republic, we seek to safeguard our nation's security and integrity while upholding our values of compassion and opportunity for all.

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