The United States is still an extremely popular destination for immigrants, and the US government gives nearly 1 million immigrants legal permanent status a year. That said, more than 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States today. Though most are from Mexico, undocumented immigrants come from all over the world, from the Philippines and China to Ireland and Italy. No matter their political party, although 3 in 4 Americans support commonsense immigration reform that fixes our legal immigration system and a pathway to citizenship, gridlock in Congress has so far kept meaningful immigration change off the table.
Today, our rusty immigration system can takes decades to process legal requests to immigrate. And for millions of undocumented immigrants, there's no "line" to stand in and no way for them to become a legal resident. Today, the situation is very complicated: even though President Obama has issued executive orders that would grant work permits and temporary legal status to nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, he's also overseen more deportations of undocumented immigrants than any previous president before him. And while these actions are definitely just temporary band-aids, they would provide immediate relief to millions of families. In June 2016, the Supreme Court handed down a split decision, 4-4, on President Obama’s immigration executive actions. This split decision blocked the executive actions and stopped two programs, called DACA and DAPA, which temporarily allowed undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and work.
Ever tried to download an app when your phone is out of storage? That's sort of how America's immigration system is running these days: slow, frustrating, and in need of an upgrade. Currently, we are turning away talented entrepreneurs and innovators who want to come in the U.S. to start companies and create jobs, and for the undocumented immigrants left out of the official American system, there isn't even a "back of the line" for them to get on.
Undocumented immigrants contribute nearly $12 billion in taxes annually, and comprise about 5% of the U.S. labor force. Certain fields, like the tech industry, also rely on legal immigration to bring highly skilled foreign entrepreneurs to encourage innovation, create jobs and grow our economy. For every day without immigration reform, it is estimated that our economy loses $37 million in lost revenue. And the estimated cost to round up and deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants is greater than $600 billion - not to mention the devastating human toll that mass deportation would inflict.