Illegal Immigrants

This week’s column on illegal immigration is provoking some interesting mail. Among the replies is this excellent question from Theo:

Your current column states that there are “nine million illegal immigrants… living and working in the United States.” And that “ten percent of the U.S. workforce is currently undocumented.” Is that a typo? It can’t be true that only ninety million Americans work, out of a population of 280 million, can it? Perhaps I am mistaken. But if you are in error, please correct your column. You know that the right-wing

morons are always looking for some way to twist your words… let’s not give them any ammunition, even by way of an honest mistake.)

No, let’s not. Theo is quite right; the US workforce is significantly larger than 90 million. You get to 10 percent by adding the 9 million undocumented illegals who live here permanently to the migrants who go back and forth betweem the U.S. and their nations of origin (usually Mexico).

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