Current Immigration News

By Michael Spychalski

The number of illegal immigrants in our country declined by about one million between 2007 and 2009, according to the Department of Homeland Security.  The DHS now estimates that there are currently about 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States.  There has been a long-standing debate about whether or not these illegal immigrants should be included in the census.  Some people are for including them because doing so would bring more federal funding to certain areas, while others are against their inclusion because it would promote illegal immigration by giving districts with higher levels of such immigration more voting power in Washington.  This year, the census will be bilingual for the first time.  But it will still be a difficult task counting everyone in the United States as many illegal immigrants will likely be hesitant to answer census questions for fear of running afoul of immigration law.  It will be interesting to see how the census is handled this time.

An attempt to pass illegal immigration amnesty was last tried in 2007.  It failed.  Would the political climate allow such an amnesty law to pass in 2010?  The current debates over health care and providing it to illegal immigrants might create some wiggle room for an amnesty law.  Since illegal immigrants will likely not be covered under any new health care plan, many people believe such immigrants will be offered amnesty as an alternative way to cover them.  Some anticipate that President Obama will present an amnesty plan to Congress this year.  Little is known of the details, however, there is speculation that it will include requiring immigrants to learn English and pay fines.

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