Everyone says they're against illegal immigration. Problem: legal immigration is actually the bigger problem.
How many legal immigrants enter the U.S. each year? Let me count the ways they come in! (With apologies to the poet.)
The 1990 immigration law "capped" legal immigration at 700,000 persons a year. Yet since 1990, there’ve been only two years in which legal immigration has been below that level.
In 2006, 1,266,264 people were granted legal permanent resident status. That’s a record if you exclude the post-IRCA amnesty spike of the early 1990s—which reflected the 1986 amnestying of illegal aliens already here.
In contrast, the stock of illegals in the US is growing by an estimated 500,000/year. [The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S., by Jeffrey S. Passel, Pew Hispanic Center,
There are about 26 million legal immigrants in the country. Notoriously, the U.S. government doesn’t know how many illegals are here. The official estimate is 12 million, but it could be as high as 20 million. This is certainly a scandalous situation. But, either way, there are still more legal immigrants—and their numbers are growing faster.
Why doesn't the 1990 "cap" on legal immigration work? Because it exempts "immediate family" of U.S. citizens. Current immigration law allows both naturalized and U.S.–born citizens to bring in their spouses, children and parents without limit—a never-ending chain. Legal residents (i.e. Green Card holders), may have to wait several years before bringing their families to America (legally). But of course, once they're here, they're here.