This time we are going to introduce you to America’s problem with undocumented immigrants. Sometimes there children grow up not knowing about their status, there are celebrities who have been undocumented, and much more. It’s important to understand facts that aren’t always nice to hear about.


Undocumented immigrants, or illegal immigrants, are those who enter the country without government permission. This means staying past your allotted time or not attaining proper documents such as visas. While this is probably an issue in many other countries as well, this is a major issue in America. The most well known situation is with the undocumented immigrants crossing the border from Mexico. As Mexico and the U.S. share borders, there has been a long history of people coming to the U.S. in search of better jobs and more opportunities.

History/Background 歴史・背景

まず始めに事実を並べてみましょう。MPI(移民政策施設)によると、2013年にはアメリカで4130万人もの移民がいると記録されています。2014年、Pew Research Center によると1130万人もの不法移民がアメリカにいたと記録されており、これは国の人口の3.5パーセントを占める数になります。不法移民は世界中にいますが国境が同じ地の上にあることからも、その大部分はメキシコからの集団です。実際に、Pew Research Centerにおいても不法移民の50パーセント以上がメキシコからの移民とされています。不法移民によって最も影響を受けている州はカリフォルニア、テキサス、フロリダ、ニューヨーク、ニュージャージーそしてイリノイだという事がこの記述の中で述べられています。

First, let’s get some of the facts laid down. According to the MPI (Migration Policy Institute), there were roughly 41.3 million immigrants in the U.S. in 2013. And in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center, there were 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S, which makes up for 3.5% of the countries population. While there are undocumented immigrants from all over the world, the largest group is from Mexico, as it shares the border. In fact, the Pew Research Center states that more than 50% of the immigrants are from Mexico. The states that are affected the most by this are California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois as they have the largest population of undocumented immigrants.


But without the proper documentation, how does one enter the country? Well, it’s quite risky, but there are many people who travel for days to find a way through the border.
Crawling through tunnels and climbing over fences, many people risk their lives and don’t survive the journey, as they try to make their way over to U.S. soil. Border patrol is very strict and has cracked down even more in the recent decade.


By being undocumented, there are many things that one can lack in benefits. For starters, if you are caught, you can be deported back to your country without warning and you will not be allowed back into the US, or you will face further consequences.

Why Is It A Problem/なぜ問題なのか



There are many problems that come from this whole situation. For both sides of the spectrum. First off, let’s talk about documentation. Because undocumented immigrants are in America illegally and do not own any proper documentation, they are not able to obtain any legal benefits. These benefits include legal identification or a social security number, which then leads to the inability to apply for insurance, health care, or financial aid. Without legal identification or a social security number, applying for jobs or schooling can become very difficult if not impossible.




Continuing on with the topic of jobs, without these IDs, getting a job is near to impossible. Mainly because employers must report how much a person is making, and by being an undocumented citizen, they must be paid under the table. This can be extremely risky for employers, and many of them are not willing to take that chance. So many of the jobs that are offered to those who are undocumented are the jobs that most people do not want. Physical labour, or jobs that pay way below minimum wage. This often leads to corrupt employers taking advantage of undocumented immigrants and forcing them into modern day slavery.


There is this certain idea associated with undocumented immigrants that they take away jobs from the white Americans. Many undocumented immigrants are unable to get a higher education, and without diplomas to prove that you have a set of skills, people are unable to land themselves with jobs that would be within the competition level for “white America”. Especially because many come to America without having high English skills, and not being able to get the education they need to learn English, the kind of jobs they can get are even more limited. So for people to be scared that undocumented immigrants are taking away their opportunities for jobs is quite ludicrous. In fact, according to Wikipedia in 2011, Georgia became very strict with undocumented immigrants and deported many, and those who were not caught left the state in search for safety. The outcome of this plan landed Georgia with a labour shortage on the farms, which affected the whole state.


最後に、不法移民に関することで最も問題視されている側面は、こういった事を知らずにアメリカに連れられてやって来た、不法移民の子供たちと言えるでしょう。もしくは、自分はアメリカで生まれたけども、自分たちの家族は不法移民だという人々です。とても幼くしてアメリカにやって来た子供たちについて話してみましょう。そういった子供たちにとっては、アメリカは彼らの故郷なのです。それだけが彼らの知る全てです。彼らは自分の両親の「祖国」を知りませんし、自由の国と言われるその土地で育った訳です。高校生になるまでは、彼らが国民であるという「証明」をする必要がありません。誰もが公立学校に通うことが出来ます。このために多くの子供たちは自分たちが正式な国民でないという事も知る機会がないのです。実際、そういった子供たちの多くがアルバイトや大学へ書類をいざ出す時になるまでは気づくことが出来ないのです。その時になって社会保障番号がないと言われたり、他、書類提出をする際に必要なその書類がないと言われます。この最も難しい点は、子供たちは「祖国」について何も知らないので戻ることも出来ないのです。ほとんどの場合は、そこでの言語(本来の祖国の言語)を話すことは出来ないし、そこへは一度も訪れたこともありません。これが問題視されていたのでDREAM Actは不法移民に永住権を割り当てるために条件を提案しました。ウィキペディアによると、2001年の8月1日に出された法案のようです。残念なことに、国会には何度も提出したのにも関わらず未だに通っていません。しかし、2012年8月15日、オバマ政権がDACAというプログラムを始めたのです。このプログラムは不法移民の子供たちに永住権や国民権を当然に保証するものではありませんが、彼らが仕事に就けるための書類や車の免許証、国の補助によるチャイルドケア、健康保険、無職であっても受けられる福利などを据え置きするプログラムです。これを受けるに当たっては多くの必要事項があるのですが、アメリカ人として子供たちが人生を送るための第一歩ですし強制送還される事なくそのまま教育を受けることが可能となります。

Finally, one of the most problematic aspects of undocumented immigrants would be the undocumented children who are brought into America without knowledge of this. Or those who were born in America but have undocumented family members. Let’s first discuss the children who are brought into America at a young age. For these children, America is their home. That is all they know. They are unfamiliar with their “home country”, as they grew up in this land they call free. Until high school, it is not required for children to “prove” that they are citizens. As anyone can attend public school. Because of this, many children are unaware of the fact that they are not citizens. In fact, many students do not realize this until they apply for part time jobs or for university. That is when they are told they do not have a social security number, or anything else that is required to apply. The most difficult part of this situation is that these children cannot return to their “home country” because they are unfamiliar with the country. Often times, unable to speak the language, and have never visited. Because this seemed to be rising issue, the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) was proposed to allot undocumented immigrants permanent residency if they meet the qualifications. According to Wikipedia, it was first introduced on August 1st, 2001. Unfortunately, it has yet to be passed despite how many times it has been reintroduced to the senate. But on August 15th, 2012, President Obama’s administration’s new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was put into motion. While this does not grant undocumented children permanent residency or citizenship, it will allow them to apply for a deferred status and attain work, a drivers license, state-subsidized child care, health insurance, unemployment benefits, and more. There are many qualifications that need to be met, but this is the first step towards helping children who were put into this situation to continue leading their lives as Americans and get the education they want without having to be deported back to their unfamiliar country.



Now, if one was born on American soil, even if your parents are not citizens, you are granted citizenship. There are many children who are in this situation as well. Unfortunately, when their family members are sought out they are often detained and then deported. But the children who are citizens are left alone. Usually winding up in foster care or on the streets. According to Wikipedia, 5,100 children were in the public child welfare system in 2011 due to parents being detained or deported. There has been movement for the immigration policies to change in order to keep families together.

Celebrity Experiences/セレブたちの経験談

Diane Guerrero/ディアン・グエレロ

これに際して、ディアン・グエレロを思い出します。彼女はOrange Is The New BlackやJane The Virgin に出演しており、2014年に家族の状況を明かしました。グエレロは家族の中で自分一人だけが国民扱いされ、両親や兄についてはそうではありませんでした。彼女が14歳の時、グエレロの家族はコロンビアへ強制送還されてしまったのです。一人取り残されてしまい、彼女はアメリカに住むことを決意し、家族がいない中アメリカで勉強を続けました。CNNのインタビューによれば彼女は自分の家族がもう二度とアメリカに戻る事が出来なくてもコロンビアに居る彼らをこれからも訪れる、というのです。しかし、何年もの間家族と疎遠になってしまったその現実にも直面しています。グエレロは移民の制度を立て直す運動をしており、家族たちが引き離される事がないよう努力をしています。

With that, this leads me to Diane Guerrero‘s case. Known for her roles on Orange Is The New Black and Jane The Virgin, Guerrero had come out in 2014 about her family situation. Guerrero was the only one out of her immediate family who was a citizen, while her parents and older brother were not. At the age of 14, Guerrero’s family was ripped away from her as they were suddenly deported back to Colombia. Left alone, she continued to live in America, away from her family, and continued to study in America. According to her interview on CNN she continues to visit her family in Colombia, as they are unable to re-enter the U.S. but struggles with the reality that they have been estranged for many years. Guerrero is an active advocate for immigration reform and fights to keep families together.

Cesar Millan/シーザー・ミラン


Everyones favorite dog trainer, Cesar Millan was also once an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. Crossing the border in December 1990 at the age of 21, Millan only had a hundred dollars to his name. He walked around the border trying to figure out how to cross, until he finally took a risk by paying a coyote, hired guides, with all his money to take him across the border. He spent countless days sleeping on the streets until he found himself a job as a dishwasher and other odd jobs in order to survive. He continued working until he was able to get a job as a dog groomer and walker, where he was able to showcase his true talents with animals. As he continued to work, he also worked towards attaining residency in the U.S. Finally, in 2000, Millan was able to become a permanent resident and then a citizen in 2009.


In an ideal world, all families would be able to stay together and there would be equal job opportunities for all, but unfortunately this is not the reality.
It is still a big concern in America, and it often leads to larger issues coming up into question. I hope that I was able to shed some light onto this heavy topic about undocumented citizens in America.