New Changing Trends of Immigration
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics and the Congressional Research Service have released new studies highlighting important numbers and demographic trends in Immigration to the United States.
Full details of the studies are available at:
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics – Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2010
- As of January 2010, 10.8 million unauthorized immigrants reside in the United States. Although this number is down from the 11.8 million in 2007, this number has grown by 27% since 2000. The Department of Homeland Security attributes the decline of unauthorized immigrants between 2007 and 2010 to the economic recession in the United States.
- The largest amount of unauthorized immigrants, 6.6 million, came from Mexico. Other leading sources including El Salvador with 620,000, Guatemala with 500,000, Honduras with 330,000, and the Philippines with 280,000.
- The leading states of residence for unauthorized immigrants were California (2.6 million), Texas (1.8 million), and Florida (760,000).
- 62% of these unauthorized immigrants entered the United States during either the 1980s or 1990s.
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics – U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2010
- In 2010, 1,042,625 individuals became Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) of the United States. This represents a 7.8% drop from 2009. The Department of Homeland Security attributes this drop in the pending adjustment of status applications and not a decline in the number of applications received.
- 54% of LPRs in 2010 were a result of adjustment of status. 46% were from new arrivals.
- The leading countries of birth of new LPRs were Mexico – 13%, China – 7%, and India – 7%.
- 66% of the total LPR flow in 2010 was from family-sponsored immigrants (immediate relatives of US citizens and family preference classes of admission). 14% came from employment-based preference. 13% came from refugees and asylum seekers. 4.8% came from the diversity lottery program.
- Asia accounted for 41% as the region of birth for new LPRs. North America was second with 32%.
- California was the leading state of residence of new LPRs, with 20% of new LRPs residing in California.
Congressional Research Service – Asylum and “Credible Fear” Issues in US Immigration Policy
- Approximately 30% of all asylum cases in recent years that worked through USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and EOIR (Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review) have been approved.
Affirmative Asylum Cases Filed and Approved by USCIS, FY1996 – FY2009
The study noted a 79% decrease in affirmative asylum applications filed since the enactment of IIRAIRA of 1996 (Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act)
Defensive Asylum Cases Filed and Approved by EOIR
The study noted a 53% decrease in Defensive Asylum cases since the enactment of IIRAIRA of 1996 (Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act). However, the number of applications approved has risen by 99% since 1996.
Top 10 Source Countries of Asylum Seekers, FY 2009
Top 10Source Countries of Asylum Cases Approved by USCIS and EOIR
There have been several disparities by USCIS regional asylum offices and EOIR immigration courts. For example, one study (Refugee Roulette of the November 2007 Stanford Law Review) noted that the approval rate of asylum claimants from China spanned from 0% to 90% between 1999 and 2005. For the EOIR, the Immigration Court in Atlanta approved 7% of the cases from China, while the Court in Orlando approved 76%. Similar trends were also seen for Colombian asylum seekers.
This disparity has also been recognized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). According to the GAO Study, U.S. Asylum System: Significant Variation Existed in Asylum Outcomes across Immigration Courts and Judges, “affirmative applicants in San Francisco were still 12 times more likely than those in Atlanta to be granted asylum.” The GAO study also noted that asylum seekers with legal representation were three times more likely to obtain asylum than those without legal representation.
A study from Syracuse University highlighted the discrepancies of judge to judge disparities.
From 2000 to 2010, 411,972 of the 10.3 million Lawful Permanent Residents (approximately 4%) were asylum adjustments.