13 Charts That Show How Completely Broken The US Immigration System Has Become

mexican immigrant rights

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Immigration reform has been a testy issue in the United States for more than a century, and the most recent iteration of the question is extremely divisive. Now, eight Senators have come together with a bipartisan proposal that seeks to solve the myriad of issues that come with unauthorised entry into the U.S. 

Before we solve the problem, we’ve got to understand it. 

These charts show crucial stats on the state of immigration in the U.S.

First we’ll look at the current status of unauthorised immigrants.

Next we’ll look at how the U.S. tries to control the border and the difficulties therein.

Finally, we’ll look at how the convoluted path to legal immigration for high skilled workers failed, and what the problems are with he current system. 

unauthorised immigrants comprise a major portion of the U.S. civilian labour force.

Close to 25 per cent of farm workers, 19 per cent of maintenance workers and 17 per cent of construction workers were unauthorised immigrants in 2008.

And in 2008, 8 per cent of births in the U.S. were children with unauthorised immigrant parents. 24 per cent were from immigrants of any legal status.

That is who is already here. But one major question with immigration reform is how to deal with the porous border?

The Border Control's budget has been rising rapidly.

However, the reported number of annual apprehensions carried out by the Border Control has been decreasing steadily.

As a result, the cost per apprehension has skyrocketed from $238 per apprehension in 1990 to $10,431 per apprehension in 2011.

Border Control Budget, Apprehension

The number of immigrants held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities is on the rise, and was almost 450,000 people newly jailed in 2011 alone.

One issue is that it's become incredibly difficult for people to get residency in the United States, and even harder to become a naturalized citizen.

Until the early 1990s, less than 3 per cent of petitions for naturalization were denied annually. Since then, denials have become much more common.

Petitions from people seeking to become naturalized citizens have been denied more often than ever in the past two decades, peaking in 2000.

Requests for Evidence, which delay the L-1B application process, have also become the norm when in the past they were the exception.

Suffering more than many other groups are specialists from India who see widespread visa petition denial because the nation produces a large volume of highly trained and educated specialists.

These stats show how hard it is to develop a working solution to unauthorised immigration.

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