General Immigration Statistics in the United States

Personas caminando y datos sobreimpresos.

By the end of the yearño 2018 thereía in the United States about 44 million immigrants, including legal and illegal immigrants. This figure implies that 13.5 percent of the populationón comes from other parts of the world, with one in five immigrants choosing the United States as their final destination.

The Countries with the Highest Number of Immigrants

According to studies by the Pew Research Center, in 2016 the percentages of immigrants by countryñs were distributed as follows:

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  • México with 11.6 percent
  • India with 2.4 percent
  • China, Taiwan and Hong Kong with 2.7 percent
  • Philippines with 1.9 percent
  • El Salvador with 1.4 percent

For the yearño 2018, Mexico, Cuba, China, India, Dominican República, and the Philippines were the countries of origin of the largest númber of new legal permanent residents.

Legal Immigration ón According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

According to the Department of Homeland Securityñs 2018 report, 264,000 immigrants obtained legal residency during the first half of the yearñs. The númber of new immigrants to arrive in the countryís felló by 18 percent from año 2017, with total new arrivals at 124,000.

The largestía of new lawful permanent residents were made to their green card throughés of a U.S. citizen immediate family member (nearly 44 percent); another 18 percent were made to their green card by belonging to a family preference categoryía.

Another way to access legal residency status was throughés petitionón for refuge and asylum.For the year 2018, the countries of origin with the highest number of refugees were Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Ukraine, Eritrea, and Russia. Bhutanese and Congolese nationals made up 29 percent and 22 percent of asylum admissions. By yño 2018 President Trump hadía decreased the number of asylum admittees to 45,000, with restrictions on citizens from Chad, Irán, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Yemen, and Venezuela.

Theís main feature is that asylum can be applied for at the border or within the countryís interior.

Other paths to legal residency were through an employment-based petition, the diversity visa lottery, the U visa for victims of violence, and VAWA programs for women victims of domestic violence.

By October 2018, a total of around 5,668,000 petitions to acquire legal status hadían been received, with an approvalón of 4,901,000. For more details on the breakdown by category, see the format on the Department of Homeland Security’s FY18 fiscal year page.

Temporary legal income

The majorityía of income to the United States that is not immigration-relatedón, occurs from tourism, labor, sports, investmentón, entertainment, and studies. In the tourism area, there are 38 countries with a visa-free travel authorization (in addition to Canadian citizens). For the rest, a B2 or combined B1/B2 visa is required. In additionás, for Mexicans residing along the U.S. border it is possible to use a special access card.

The second most popular way of entry, with ten percent, is business, for which the B1 visa is used.

In third place are temporary work visas, such as the TN for Mexicans and Canadians, the L-1 for transfer within a multinational and the H-1B for professionals.

Lastly, there are the F-1 and F-3 student visas


Illegal Admissions, Detentions and Removals

There are an estimated eleven million undocumented migrants in the United States, 800,000 of whom benefited from the DACA program created by Obama, which preventedítheir deportationón and allowed themía work permit. 

To regularize the situationón of the undocumented there are very complex processes, and each case must be analyzed depending on the particular circumstances. Since January 2017, when President Trump enteredó office, the detentionón of undocumented illegals has increased by 42 percent, especially in Florida, North Texas and Oklahoma.

In the same vein, there has been a decrease in the number of arrests at the border with Mexico of migrants crossing the border illegally, as fewer and fewer are attempting to do so. Así, in the first three months of FY2018 (October to December 2017), a total of 109,544 migrants were expelled at the southern border.

The wall and the border

Más of 3,000km of border separates the U.S. and Mexico, a third of which is separated by a separating fence. The constructionón of the wall along the entire border is one of Trump’s electoral promises but has not, at least for now, fundingón and isá being strongly contested by organizations defending migrants and alsoén by the environmental effects, for the detrimental effects it is estimated to haveía.

This articleía is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal adviceía for anyún particular case.

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