Politics

The Number Of Undocumented Immigrants In The U.S. Remains The Same 6 Years In A Row

The Number Of Undocumented Immigrants In The U.S. Remains The Same 6 Years In A Row by Mark Pembroke

Over 100 million people from all over the world have migrated to other countries with the aim of finding a better life as a result of war, difficulties in finding a job and poverty. America has been playing the role of the “promised land” for many years now for people from all corners of the world. However, many foreign nationals cross the American border illegally and remain in the country with the status of undocumented immigrant for years.

Undocumented Immigrants
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The undocumented immigrant population of America reached its peak in 2007 when its numbers peaked to over 12.2 million people. Of course, these are only rough estimations. The exact count of undocumented immigrants is impossible to calculate.

In 2008, with the Great Recession, that 12.2 million dropped significantly and has remained steady since 2014.

The numbers give an insight of the changed situation of many undocumented immigrants in America, since over half of them have become long-term residents of the country, and have established themselves in the respective communities. According to official statistics, in 2014 over 66% of undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States for over 10 consecutive years. This is a meaningful improvement, considering the percentage was much lower in 2000 – just a little over 35%.

It is still a fact that the largest number of undocumented immigrants comes from Mexico. However, many recent changes have taken place, such as the improvements made in the Mexican economy, leading to greater prospects for well-paid jobs. Furthermore, the tighter border control results in fewer people reaching the border of the U.S.

Recently, some U.S. authorities have proposed a variety of amnesty-like paths to a Permanent Residence (popularly known as Green Card). However, the current situation is harder than ever for those who haven’t taken advantage of the immigration programs. The Democrat Hillary Clinton is attempting to introduce more options for legal protection of those foreign citizens who live illegally in the U.S., while the Republican Donald Trump is pushing for tightening the Mexican border even harder.

Those who are eligible to must act quick before drastic changes in the legal proceeding have been made. One of the requirements for becoming an American citizen is to have lived continuously in the United States for the last five (5) years. This requirement refers to those citizens who have been Green Card holders for the same period of time. Those who are married to an American citizen can apply for a U.S. citizenship after having lived three (3) years in the United States.

After this period, foreign nationals will be eligible to apply for the Form N-400 – U.S. Citizenship Application.

Note that after having lived for many years in the U.S. it will be expected of foreign nationals to be able to pass a history and civics as well as an English language test, in order to make a successful application.

The U.S. Citizenship application will also include an interview stage. Applicants will be asked a series of simple questions, regarding their personal status. Most of those questions will be similar to the ones already answered within the form.