For nearly 700 miles along the American border with Mexico, a wall already exists ... The border spans 1,900 miles across four states – California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas ... About 40 miles past Ciudad Juárez, the wall of metal mesh abruptly ends, like a half-finished thought. The remaining border is marked by the Rio Grande. But hundreds of miles in rural Texas, including Big Bend National Park, are unfenced and lack any man-made barriers or walls whatsoever.

deportation promises, if fulfilled, would ripple far beyond the lives of illegal immigrants. Deportations would affect vast swaths of the economy — with a particularly dramatic impact on agriculture. ... Undocumented workers account for 67 percent of people harvesting fruit, according to the Agriculture Department. They make up 61 percent of all employees on vegetable farms, and as many as half of all workers picking crops.

California’s multi-billion dollar restaurant industry...employs roughly one out of every 10 people in the state. Data show that of the 40,000 workers who submit wage claims annually about 10 percent are restaurant employees ... Collecting on a claim is rare. Unscrupulous employers can operate outside the law for years with few consequences, while others turn to legal loopholes and corporate shell games to avoid paying workers what they’re owed.

The Supreme Court decision...effectively blocking President Obama’s immigration programs also comes as a blow to California legislators who have been fighting to offer health insurance to people living in the country illegally. Immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization can’t enroll in Obamacare and make up a large portion of those who remain uninsured in California ... those granted temporary relief from deportation to sign up for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health program.

California stands out for the many rights state lawmakers have granted to an estimated 3 million undocumented residents. The suite of policies goes far beyond driving privileges, providing freedom of movement, work opportunities and protections, access to healthcare coverage and financial assistance for higher education.Research suggests that ...undocumented immigrants in California contribute more than $3.1 billion annually in state and local taxes.

Though the act had the noble goals of eliminating racism and prejudice from the U.S. immigration system ... in 1965 when Congress enacted landmark reforms to our immigration law ... it was enacted without a clear understanding of how and why people migrate to the United States from particular countries, or how the anticipated congressional action might affect those patterns ... This in turn set in motion a cycle of border enforcement that produced more, rather than fewer, undocumented migrants

A recent report by researchers at the University of Southern California, for example, says immigrants who are in California illegally make up nearly 10 percent of the state’s workers and contribute $130 billion annually to its gross domestic product...The study found that the estimated 2.6 million immigrants who are living in California illegally account for as much as 38 percent of the agriculture industry. Farming insiders put the figure at over 50 percent.