The topic of immigration is controversial. We are in a debate about immigration today because Congress is making new laws who can come to the United States to live and become citizens. People have strong feelings about immigration laws. Some people are in favor of laws that will limit the number of immigrants who cross the border into the United States to live here. Others are concerned about the large number of illegal immigrants. These are immigrants who came to the United States without legal documents giving them permission to stay. They are also called undocumented workers. It is against the law for them to work here without papers that allow them to have jobs. Some people say that we need these workers because they fill jobs that American citizens don’t want to do.
These immigrants work very hard at jobs that are difficult and unpleasant, such as picking crops and washing dishes in restaurants. Illegal workers cannot get benefits from their jobs such as health insurance and social security payments for when they grow old and retire. Most illegal immigrants are from Mexico. They cross the border between Mexico and the United States because they can earn more money here than in Mexico. In the United States, they have to learn English and learn about American customs and traditions. If immigration officers find them working here illegally, they can be sent back to Mexico. Deportation is the penalty for being in the United States without legal immigration documents.
The Congress passed a new bill that makes it a crime for people to be in the United States illegally. It also makes it a crime for people to help illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. Many people believe that this is unfair. They gathered together to march through the streets to tell politicians how they feel about this bill. The protesters say that if this bill becomes a law, it will violate the rights of immigrants. The Senate will vote to decide if the bill becomes a law or if a different law is passed. The debate about immigration is likely to continue because people will still argue about the best way to control immigration and to respect the rights of immigrants who are in the United States already.