Surprising Facts About Immigration In The United States

Immigration is a hot topic in the United States at the moment and there are a lot of statistics floating around in various news stories and in speeches from elected officials. There is a fight happening over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that’s in the headlines almost daily at the moment. Some people think we need to make it easier for immigrants to become legal citizens and others feel it’s time to drastically cut the number of people coming into the United States each year. No matter what your beliefs are about immigration, though, how much do you really know about it? It’s a topic that we deal with every day at the Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC, and some of these facts surprised even us when we started to gather them. Take a look and see if any of them surprise you, too.

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  • There are almost 44,000,000 foreign-born people living in the United States. About half of them are legal citizens. (
  • In a five year period (from 2009 to 2014), one million Mexicans returned to Mexico from the United States, while 870,000 entered the United States in that same time period. That means more Mexicans left the country than entered it. Many of them stated that their reasons for leaving were because they wanted to reunite with their family who remained in Mexico. (Pew Research Center)
  • Out of all the countries in the world, the United States has the most immigrants, accounting for about one out of every five immigrants around the world. (Pew Research Center)
  • About 1,000,000 immigrants receive a green card every year in the United States. In 2015, the number of green card recipients reached 1,051,031. (Department of Homeland Security)
  • Legislation was introduced last August which sought to cut the number of green recipients from 1,000,000 to about 500,000. The RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) act proposed to make those cuts over a decade. (The Atlantic)
  • The number of illegal immigrants in the United States has actually decreased since 2007 when the total was estimated at 12.2 million. Estimates in 2015 put the total at 11 million. (Pew Research Center)
  • New York ranks in the top five states where undocumented immigrants settle. California takes first place, then Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois rounding out the top five. California also has the highest number of legal immigrants, with New York taking second in that regard. (CNN)
  • Many immigrants are refugees, forced to leave their home country due to war or other conflicts. Nearly 1 in every 100 people worldwide have been forcibly displaced. That’s the highest number since 1951 when the United Nations started tracking the data. (Pew Research Center)
  • Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States rank as the most difficult countries for gaining citizenship. (Investopedia)
  • In an eight-year period, between 2007 and 2015, the United States deported 226,000 non-criminal aliens, and well as about 56,000 criminal aliens every year during that same period. (New Yorker)
  • The majority of immigrants have lived in the United States since at least 2000. They intend on staying in the United States and making it their permanent home. (Anti Defamation League)
  • As of 2013, there are more female immigrants than male immigrants coming to the United States. For every 100 female immigrants, there are 95 male immigrants. Until the 1950’s, there were historically always more men coming into the country. (Migration Policy Institute)

What Does All of This Mean?

The face of immigration is changing. Today’s immigrants are likely to be educated female homeowners, and there are no more likely to be on benefits than a native-born American citizen. No matter what the “average” immigrant looks like, though, it’s likely going to continue to be a hot-button issue in the United States. It has been since our country was founded. It’s important that all citizens stay informed about the facts about immigration so they can make informed choices with their voices and their votes.


While there are calls to drastically cut the number of immigrants allowed to come to the United States, the number of immigrants is likely to climb. There are so many educational, financial, and work opportunities in within the country that it’s going to be tough to keep people from wanting to move here. According to Pew Research, there will be an estimated 441 million immigrants in the United States by 2065. They also predict that “about one-in-three Americans would be an immigrant or have immigrant parents, compared with one-in-four today.” Further, the group predicts that the “slowed Hispanic immigration also will have a longer-term impact: In 2065, Asians will outnumber Hispanics among all immigrants — 38% to 31%.”

What sort of impact will this have on immigration in the future? It’s hard to tell, but polls show that most Americans have more favorable views of Asian immigrants as opposed to Hispanic immigrants. That wasn’t always the case, though; around the time of World War II, there was a very anti-Asian sentiment in the country, particularly towards Japanese immigrants. Only time will tell how public opinion could change on the matter.


These facts may answer some of the questions that you have about immigration, but they may not be the only answers that you need, especially if you are currently seeking to be an immigrant yourself. If you have questions about the immigration process and the best course of action for your current immigration status, get in touch with our office. We offer free, confidential consultations on immigration cases. You can give us a call or contact us via the form on our website to schedule your free consultation with an immigration attorney today.

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