In order to better understand the impact of some proposals before Congress, this fact sheet examines the labor force status of unauthorized workers who have been in the country for five years or less.
Some of the proposals in immigration legislation under consideration in the U.S. Congress would distinguish between unauthorized migrants of long standing and those more recently arrived.
A growing number of Americans believe that immigrants are a burden to the country, taking jobs and housing and creating strains on the health care system. Many people also worry about the cultural impact of the expanding number of newcomers in the U.S.
Analysis of the March 2005 Current Population Survey shows that there were 11.1 million unauthorized migrants in the United States a year ago.
The study was conducted for Pew Hispanic Center via telephone by International Communications Research, an independent research company.
Strict requirements, insufficient information about registration procedures and lack of public interest hobbled Mexico's first effort to conduct absentee voting among its more than ten million adult citizens living in the United States.