An estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants live and, in many cases, work in the United States.
The debate over immigration has focused on ways to better secure the border with Mexico, such as building a fence, and on ways to reform immigration and deportation policy. There's disagreement over whether efforts to improve border security should be coupled with reforms or move forward on their own.
Proposed DREAM Act legislation would provide a path to legal status for many young illegal immigrants. After it failed in Congress, President Barack Obama issued a directive to exempt from deportation for two years immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children, if they apply and receive work permits.