In April 2010, Arizona adopted the toughest law on illegal immigration in the history of the United States. The law's most controversial clause authorized police officers to check the ID papers of individuals stopped for even a minor infraction, if they suspected them of having illegally entered the United States. Critics called it racial profiling, and a growing number of protests were held. Since then, five other states have adopted similar laws. Contested by the Obama administration, the law wound up in the Supreme Court. In June 2012, the Court invalidated some of the law's clauses, but the most controversial portion was spared.

By the Numbers
  • Close to 11 million
    illegal immigrants live in the US
  • Roughly 60%
    come from Mexico
  • Over 20%
    come from other Latin American countries
  • 63%
    have been in the United States for more than 10 years
Sources: Center for American Progress, Pew Hispanic Center
Photo Gallery
Unauthorized immigrant population by State
Source: Pew Hispanic Center
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  • Illegal Immigration Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a controversial new bill - the so-called 'Birther Bill'-into law today. The bill is so controversial that President Barack Obama has spoken against it.
  • Arizona Vigilante Glenn Spencer, an Arizona man heading up a vigilante group called the American Border Patrol with the aim of stopping illegal immigrants from crossing over.