Syn: Undocumented alien. A person residing and often working in a country without official permission. Economic imperatives, political persecution, wars, evasion of law enforcement agencies, and other factors impel an estimated several million in the United States and comparable numbers in the European Union and other rich countries to cross international borders from their homelands to seek work, usually in the underground economy. There is also illegal immigration into low-income countries. In all countries, illegal immigrants include girls and women pressed into the sex trade and hourly rate wage earners in sweatshops and in unskilled occupations, e.g., in the hospitality industry. They are at high risk of many health problems and may carry and transmit communicable diseases to those they contact in their work or lodgings.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.