2016 Immigrant Arrival Numbers Match Highest Level In U.S. History …

by Steven Camarota –
Center Immigration Studies –

… 53% increase since low point in 2011

Washington, D.C. (December 28, 2017) – An analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of newly released Census Bureau data shows that 1.03 million immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the United States in the first six months of 2016. Based on prior patterns, a total of 1.8 million immigrants likely came in all of 2016. The data comes from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and shows a dramatic rebound in the number of new immigrants settling in the country, since bottoming out in 2011, when new arrivals fell after the Great Recession. Newly arrived immigrants include new green card holders (permanent residents), long-term term “temporary” visitors (e.g. guest workers and foreign students), new asylum seekers, as well as new illegal immigrants.

As Steven Camarota, the Center’s Director of Research and co-author of the report observes, “These dramatic increases are truly extraordinary. Our generous legal immigration system allows in a huge number of immigrants and then permits them to sponsor their relatives creating a multiplier effect. This chain migration has contributed to nearly 14 million immigrants settling here between 2006 to 2016. The numbers have profound implications for American schools, taxpayers, workers as well as our culture and national security. Yet the whole system is allowed to run largely on autopilot with few asking whether any of this makes sense for our country.”

View the entire analysis at: https://cis.org/Report/18-Million-Immigrants-Likely-Arrived-2016-Matching-Highest-Level-US-History

• More than one million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the country in the first six months of 2016. This represents a 13 percent increase over the same period in 2015, a 24 percent increase over 2014, and a 53 percent increase over the first half of 2011.

• Based on past patterns, it seems almost certain that when data becomes available for all of 2016 it will show 1.8 million new immigrants arrived in 2016, matching 1999 —the highest level of new immigration in a single year in American history.

• The 1.8 million immigrants who likely came in 2016 and the 1.6 million who came in 2015 are a continuation of a dramatic rebound in immigration since 2011. In 2014, 1.5 million came, in 2013 1.3 million arrived, in 2012 it was 1.2 million and in 2011 1.1 million new immigrants settled in the country.

• Regions showing the most dramatic increase in new arrivals between 2011 and 2015 are Central America (up 132 percent), South America (up 114 percent), the Caribbean (up 64 percent), and the Middle East and South Asia both up 52 percent. South Asia includes Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

• Mexico remains the top sending country, with 190,000 immigrants (legal and illegal) settling in the United States in 2015, and 216,000 likely coming in all of 2016. While the number of new arrivals from Mexico has roughly doubled since 2011, the number coming remains well below the annual level more than decade ago.

• The dramatic increase in new immigrants settling in the United States in recent years is primarily driven by the nation’s generous legal immigration system, both long-term temporary visa holders (e.g. guest workers and foreign students) and new permanent residents (green cards).

• There is also evidence that the arrival of new illegal immigrants may have also rebounded in the last few years. The number of new less-educated younger immigrants arriving each year from Latin American roughly doubled between 2011 and 2016. However, the level remains well below what it was before the recession.

• The decision to admit large numbers of unaccompanied minors at the southern border, along with the adults traveling with them, likely accounts for some of the increase in new illegal immigration, particularly from Central America.

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