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Illegal immigration on the rise

Illegal immigration is on the rise in Florida. The estimated number of immigrants living in Florida illegally rose from 900,000 in 2010 to 950,000 last year. Nationally, the number of illegal immigrants reached its highest point in 2007, when there were an estimated 12,200,000 such individuals. Due to the recession, that number dropped to 11,300,000 by 2009, rising again to 11,700,000 in 2012. American citizens have mixed feelings about the presence of the immigrants.

Many contend that this nation was built upon immigration. Long known for being a melting pot, the United States came into being when people came from Europe to escape religious oppression and other forms of abusive governmental policies in their home countries. People also sought opportunity in the New World. Slavery brought millions of Africans to our shores. When the slaves were freed, they made unique contributions to American culture, such as jazz and the blues. Later, the United States experienced waves of immigration from Asia.

Although immigration has often been met with intolerance, government has generally recognized that immigration helps to drive innovation and ensure a solid labor force. Still, in an economy in which many Americans are unable to find work, some wonder if illegal immigration takes opportunities away from citizens.

Immigration law is closely related to basic human rights. The law offers protection for some immigrants who have suffered abuses in their home countries. Attorneys with experience in immigration law and procedure may be able to challenge decisions that have limited the rights of people wanting to come live in the United States.

Source: WEAR, "Research shows Florida illegal immigration in. . .", September 23, 2013

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