Illegal immigration is the migration of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country. As such it may be criticized even by those who support a high legal immigration.
Individuals claiming to be refugees and demanding refugee status in another country are technically not illegal immigrants while this claim is processed, even if they entered the country illegally before making this demand.
Large scale illegal immigration is frequently discussed in the United States but exists also in other countries. In 2017, an estimate was that there were 1.2 million illegal immigrants living in Britain. Every year, up to 250,000 dropped off the radar and ended up as illegal immigrants. These were predominantly students and others who overstayed their visas, but also those who come to the UK illegally in the back of lorries, and those who were refused asylum (around 26,000 last year). People were stated to not be aware of the scale of the problem because official figures were not published and Home Office estimates for illegal immigrants were kept secret by ministers because they were "embarrassing", according to experts.
- ↑ Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants drop off radar in the UK every year according to secret figures http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/hundreds-thousands-illegal-immigrants-drop-radar-uk-every-year/