Much in life and government is refined guess-work. Thus, huge numbers of illegals entered the United States in the years before the financial crisis and “Great Recession” slammed the brakes on the economy. Thus, in 2000, Border Patrol agents arrested 1.6 million people trying to cross the Mexican-American border. An estimated 12 million entered in 2007. Then the economic slow-down greatly reduced job opportunities in the United States, so illegal immigration slowed precipitously. Only an estimated 188,000 entered in 2015.
Since the economic slow-down, illegal immigration has slowed. Generally, estimates on the number of illegal immigrants currently in the United States converge around the figure of 11 million. Of these, an estimated 8.1 million are working or looking for work. Another estimate holds that two-thirds have been in the United States for at least 10 years. Yet another estimate holds that 60 percent of the illegals are to be found in California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. Basically, where there is work for lots of industrious, low-skill people. Farms, construction sites, and the hospitality-industrial complex provided a lot of work.
About 5.5 million are Mexicans; about 40 percent over-stayed a legally-obtained visa.
In 1992 the US had about 4,000 Border Patrol agents along the frontier with Mexico. The rest made the dangerous crossing of the border. A fence now blocks about one-third of the 1.954 miles-long border. In 2010 the US had about 21,000 Border Patrol agents along the frontier with Mexico.
Proof of citizenship is required for Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare, so the illegals don’t qualify for these taxpayer-funded benefits. On the other hand, the children of illegals do attend the public schools, and—if they themselves were born in the United States—as American citizens, they qualify for some medical care and welfare benefits. The Heritage Foundation calculates that the illegals cost American taxpayers almost $15,000 a year.
The illegals have become a political football. Democrats want them to be granted a “path to citizenship” without any further hindrance. Oh, sure, there are the “criminal immigrants” who should not be granted citizenship. About 7.5 (NOT 75 percent) percent of the illegals are criminals. Virtually all of these—91 percent—were deported. However, under the Obama administration, “your chances of getting deported are close to zero” if you have not committed a serious crime. In contrast, Republicans demand a “securing of the border: before any legalization occurs.
 “The illegal immigrant population,” The Week, 30 September 2016, p.11.
 Personally, I think that trying to run this broke-ass country without illegals is just like trying to run it without fat black ladies. It can’t be done. As the witchy thug girl says to Marcus in “About a Boy,” “Are you taking a piss? ‘Cause if you are, your gunna get a slap.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lssgt-nJ2sY