Are illegal aliens really a problem?
Whether the United States has a problem with illegal immigration may be largely a matter of the way one defines the term. “If the question of terrorism is removed from the equation, there really isn’t one,” says Assistant Professor Mark Bauer of the Chicago Kent College of Law. “We pass laws we don’t enforce. We just go after the most egregious offenders. Up until Sept. 11 (2001), that was our policy with immigration. The INS was underfunded. We forced them to make choices over what should be done. The INS estimates there are 7 million illegal immigrants in the United States, their ranks swelling by 350,000 annually. The largest number live in California — 2.2 million as of January 2000 — and Texas is home to another million. Of all the illegals in the United States, 4.8 million are from Mexico, with El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, China and Ecuador contributing at least 100,000 each. Full Story