The United States is a country of immigrants - and accepts more immigrants than any other country. According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 1.13 million people became permanent legal residents of the United States in 2009.
Immigration reform remains a hot button political issue. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that as of January 2009, about 10.8 million illegal immigrants were living in the United States, down from 11.6 million from the year before. Of those immigrants, 62 percent had come from Mexico.
During the spring of 2010, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, one of the broadest and strictest measures against illegal immigration in decades. One of the most controversial measures of the law was that immigrants had must have registration documents in their possession at all times. Critics of the measure thought it could lead to racial profiling, and protests were held across the country as other local governments and businesses boycotted doing business with Arizona. Despite the controversy, Arizona's law has prompted similar ones to be introduced in several other states.
In July, the United States Justice Department filed suit that the Arizona law interfered with federal regulations and requested injunctions against parts of the bill, including that the arrest and detainment of illegal immigrants based on "reasonable suspicion." A district court judge blocked parts of the law from going into effect and appeals are underway.
As economic woes became the forefront of midterm elections, discussion of immigration reform decreased - but has the potential to be a major issue in the 2012 elections. Some prominent democrats, such as Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, were reelected in part by voters who supported measures like the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal residency for young adults who came to the United States as children and complete two years of college or military service.
To read and watch the latest reports on immigration, see below.