Illegal immigration is the crossing of international borders without documentation. In the United States, the issue has created a massive political controversy best summed up by the following image:
Illegal immigrants come to the United States for one reason and one reason only: money. As pathetic as it is the peanuts they get paid for fourteen hours' worth of backbreaking labor here, it's still more peanuts than they would get paid back home. Experts believe that the money illegal immigrants send back home to their families is more than Mexico gets yearly in oil, business, or even tourism. Remembering how many rich white people and college douchebags go to Cancun every year, that's quite a bit of money.
Long ago, farmers and homeowners had to worry about annoying things like "minimum wage," and "unions" and "payroll tax" when looking for faceless manual labor to pick their fields and lay their driveways. Then, in the early 1990s, a magical new workforce started pouring in. Suddenly you could redo your entire kitchen for only three hundred dollars cash and a couple six packs of beer. Suddenly you could buy produce for half as much, because that was how much they were paying the workers.
Of course, the government hates illegal immigrants, because on paper they don't exist - and for bureaucrats, if something doesn't exist on paper, it doesn't exist.
Years ago, the immigrant debate was actually about immigrants. Legitimate issues were raised on both sides: Is it right to deport people from what has become their homes? How can the country give them free access to social services if they don't pay taxes? How do all these unregistered workers affect the US economy? Will Americans even do the jobs that illegal immigrants "take?"
Today, however, the immigration "debate" is about one thing and one thing only: votes. The Democrats want to grant amnesty and citizenship to all illegals living in the United States in order to get the precious "Latino Vote." Meanwhile, the Republicans, knowing they will never get the Latino Vote, want nothing more than to make the fence electric.
Average citizens may have differing opinions, but as we all know, the opinions of average citizens mean nothing. Only two solutions will ever come out of Washington: give them all free everything, or start pouring volts into the fence.
On a side note, how do you make a vaguely racist sign tolerable for mainstream society? Make the people look Jewish:
The culture of the USA's illegal immigrant population varies from location to location. For the most part, traditional Mexican food (beans, tortillas, enchilada) has been bastardized into a market-friendly American menace (tacos, burritos, margaritas). In California and other Pacific states, most illegal immigrants try to hold onto aspects of their culture such as religion and family life, while adopting certain American cultural values, such as rampant consummerism. This creates a sort of hybrid Mexican-American culture that adapts to the American way of life while maintaining something distinctly Mexican.
Or, you know, they march against White America and declare the Nation of Aztlan.
Of course, that's California. In Texas, illegal immigrants are too busy running from armed rednecks to have a culture.
While most of the illegal population keeps to itself, Los Angeles and other major cities have seen the rise of the so-called "cholo" culture. For all the information you could possibly need to understand cholodom, see the music video Lean Like a Cholo, by the fucktastically named Down.
Yes. You wish you were as cool as Down.
With coyotes, drug smugglers, ranchers, and NASCAR-loving citizen border patrolmen, there are few locations on Earth with more potential for insanity.
You can monitor the border from your own home! See the links at the bottom of the page.
There is a drug war going on here. See Wikipedia: Mexican Drug War to find out which evil Hispanic drug lord you're financing with your cocaine purchases.
For a tale of heroism and selflessness in the Mexican desert, see Cracked: For God's Sake, Let Him Come Pick Strawberries Already.