March against US immigration bill
03/08/2006 – Thousands of people have protested outside the US
Congress against an immigration bill ahead of a Senate debate on the
Demonstrators demanded that all illegal immigrants be granted residency.
Research released on Tuesday suggests there are 11.5 million undocumented migrants in the US.
The Pew Hispanic Center says illegal immigration has
been rising steadily since 2000, despite increased security on the
More than half the undocumented immigrants come from
Mexico, but there have been large increases in illegal migration from
South and East Asia, the study says.
It adds that, in 2005, about 7.2m unauthorised migrants were employed, accounting for about 5% of the civilian labour force.
In certain occupations, such as farming, cleaning,
construction and food preparation, they are reported to account for a
large proportion of the work force.
The report is based on a March 2005 population survey.
The controversial bill which is being debated by the
Senate on Wednesday includes proposals to use of troops and police to
halt migrants, and tighter employment controls.
The bill – which has already been passed by the House of
Representatives – also proposes the construction of a 1,130-km
(700-mile) fence on the Mexican border.
Washington has accused Mexico of not doing enough to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the US.
But Mexican President Vicente Fox has described the fence plan as “shameful”.
He recently told the BBC in 10 years’ time the US would have to “beg for Mexican workers” to cover its needs.
An estimated 1,500 Latin Americans, mostly Mexicans, are believed to cross into the US illegally every day.
President George W Bush has said that “border security must adapt to the nation’s changing needs”.