The issue of immigration in this country is a touchy issue that's for sure. This nation, as we all know, was founded by immigrants and thus, the discussion of limiting immigration becomes polarizing. Yet for a variety of reasons, immigration today is a far different issue than our forefathers. A far different issue.
Data out this week shows there are an estimated 8.7 million undocumented, illegal immigrants in this country today. These immigrants are not the card-carrying type who work within the system and who hope for citizenship. These 8.7 million illegal immigrants are those without permission to work here or whose visas have long expired.
As with many issues in life, it's far easier to describe the problem than to arrive at a solution. Officials spend countless hours and dollars trying to agree on how to solve this tide of illegal immigrants. Thus far a solution has eluded us.
Almost half of the illegal immigrants are from Mexico who are working here under the radar screen. What's amazing about these numbers is that the illegal population more than doubled in the past decade. At this pace, the problem with overtake the social service network within a few years and some form of collapse will follow. It's just a matter of time.
We want people to call America home. But we want new citizens who have a thirst for freedom and who bring some skills to the landscape. We want laborers and professionals who can become a part of the fabric of this great nation. But that's not the picture that emerges.
The illegal immigrant population is overwhelmingly poor and is in search of jobs in this country. Some are successful while others simply add to the burden for taxpayers to support. How to achieve a balance in these new arrivals is the real challenge. Thus far we're not up to the challenge.
Census numbers show that a large segment of the undocumented population is settling in the Northeast and the Midwest urban centers. As whites flee the cities for the suburbs, illegal immigrants are replacing them. The strain on the public school system, the medical community and law enforcement will soon snap. It will be up to taxpayers to solve a problem that may well not have a solution.
If and when these events occur, what will we do?