When we speak of a person as an “illegal or undocumented immigrant,” we are referring to a person who was born in another country and who is not legally allowed to live or reside in the United States.
What does it mean to be an illegal alien?
In the United States, people who do not have the right to live in that country are illegal immigrants. However, the most widely used term to refer to an undocumented citizen is “illegal alien” or “undocumented immigrant.”
Are those who illegally cross the U.S. border an illegal alien?
No. This expression includes all those who live illegally within the United States, regardless of the way they got into the country.
There is an important number of illegal aliens living in the United States. Some arrived as tourists – that is, in a legal manner -, and stayed in the country after their Tourist Visa expired, without authorization from the U.S. government.
Why the United States has not deported all the illegal aliens?
This is partly because the resources used to carry out deportations are insufficient to match the high number of immigrants that arrive into the United States every years. Besides, the costs of deportation are not insignificant.
Year after year, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deports thousands of immigrants – not only undocumented immigrants, but also permanent residents. That is, immigrants who possess a Green Card.
There are several causes for deportation, but in the most part these are related to a criminal or illegal activity, such as:
- Illegally entering the United States.
- Domestic violence.
- Abusing of the Visa validity.
- Arranged marriages.
However, it is important to remember that the number of legal immigrants residing in the United States is also growing non-stop, which is a very important thing to take into consideration, since they are a fundamental element of economy and of the progress of the nation.