Illegal Immigration

When you think of illegal immigration in the U.S., do you picture a border crosser or a visa overstayer? A family or a single person? A farmworker or a waiter?

People living in the U.S. without legal status are frequently invoked in American politics especially in recent months. But the conversation is often short on facts about the millions of people who fall into this category.

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Fifty-three undocumented foreign nationals living in Kentucky were recently arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

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As President Trump’s administration ramps up immigration enforcement across the nation, a new report finds that illegal immigrants in Kentucky 'contribute significantly' to the state and local economies. 

Back in 2011, Alabama passed what was then considered the nation's strictest immigration law. Much of it was later struck down by the courts.

Now, the law offers a snapshot of potential challenges ahead for the Trump administration.

For Fernanda Herrera, a senior at Samford University outside Birmingham, Ala., the current climate surrounding immigration has her scared, just as the Alabama law did in 2011.

"I don't know if I'm going to see my parents tomorrow," Herrera says.

Her father crossed the Mexican border illegally when she was two.

An estimated 11 million immigrants live and work in the United States illegally. Their fate is one of the big policy questions facing the country. The story of how that population grew so large is a long one that's mostly about Mexico, and full of unintended consequences.

Prior to the 1920s, the U.S. had few restrictions on immigration, save for a few notable exclusions.

"Basically, people could show up," says Jeffrey Passel, of the Pew Research Center.

For workers in Mexico, crossing into the U.S. made a lot of economic sense, then and now.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made arrests in Union City, Tennessee on Friday. 

After more than a week of seeming to change direction on immigration policy, and then apparently turning back to his original plan, Donald Trump delivered a speech on the issue Wednesday night in Phoenix.

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Thursday, NPR's Steve Inskeep spoke with Sonia Nazario, the author of "Enrique's Journey," a book about a child from Honduras who reached the United States, and she says many of the thousands of Central American children crossing the U.S. - Mexico border are actually refugees, not migrants who mostly need to be sent home. Murray State College of Humanities and Fine Arts History Professor Dr. Bill Schell's areas of research involve Latin America and Mexico and Kate Lochte asks him about the background for the current spike in numbers of children trying to enter the U.S.

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Two separate measures for expanding the state’s Medicaid program and allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses are ready for an Illinois House vote. The Human Services Appropriations Committee voted 9 to 5 Monday to make up to 600,00 uninsured residents eligible for Medicaid. The measure is necessary to implement the national health care law next year. The federal government would pay all costs of the new Medicaid recipients for three years starting in 2014. The Medicaid expansion would also need Senate approval.

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Top Illinois Republicans are joining an effort to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno are joining former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar today at the state Capitol to announce their support.

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