Illegal immigrants, a.k.a. illegal aliens, a.k.a. undocumented aliens. They can be found in almost every country, but in this article I will primarily focus on illegal immigration in the United States.
Although estimates might vary, it appears that there are around 11 million illegal immigrants here in the United States. And they are not just from Mexico. They come from various countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Syria, and Lebanon.
Illegal immigration can take place via several methods. The best known is sneaking across the border. But immigrants can also be here illegally by overstaying their visas or by means of a Border Crossing Guard Violation (which is similar to overstaying a visa except it authorizes a border crossing for Mexican citizens for a 72-hour period for the purpose of visiting border areas within the United States).
So why do people come here illegally? Some are refugees, trying to escape political persecution, religious persecution, or civil war. Others are wanting to find a better life in America (some of them even claim the visa process is too long and too expensive, thus they decide to sneak across the border). Some even come to America illegally to join relatives who are already here (who in turn might also be illegal immigrants).
However, there are illegal immigrants who have malevolent purposes for coming to the United States. Some of them are involved with criminal organizations, such as drug cartels and human trafficking networks. Others are members of terrorist groups. Still others come here for the purpose of subversion, whether it be Mexicans claiming they are taking the Southwestern United States back for Mexico (note: Mexican schoolchildren are taught that the United States stole land from Mexico in the aftermath of the Mexican War — something which is not true), or people from Muslim countries who want to turn America into an Islamic nation. There are even those who come here illegally just to live off welfare.
So what can be done about the situation? Enforcing the immigration laws at all levels of government would be a good start, and that includes no more sanctuary policies in various localities. Building the wall is an excellent idea, as is hiring more personnel for the following agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and Citizenship and Immigration Services. On the reverse side, improving the visa process might also be a good idea, such as reducing the amount of red tape, reducing the time it takes to process a visa, and reducing the fees involved.
The Trump Administration is already making headway into dealing with the problem of illegal immigration. Hopefully it will be successful.
Image: By Makaristos – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2939481