A Closer Look at Who is Immigrating to the U.S.

Ben Casselman of 538 contends that the make-up of our immigrants has changed significantly.

“The immigration debate … focuses primarily on illegal immigration from Latin America. Yet most new immigrants aren’t Latinos. Most Latinos aren’t immigrants. And, based on the best available evidence, there are fewer undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today than there were in 2007. ”

“In the past five years, the number of new immigrants (those in the country less than a year) from China has risen 37 percent, to more than 70,000. Immigration from India and other Asian countries is also increasing, though at a more modest rate.”

“As a result, Asia has surpassed Latin America as the dominant source of new immigrants to the U.S. Asia accounted for 45 percent of all new immigrants in 2012, compared to 34 percent for Latin America.”

“Almost by definition, illegal immigration is difficult to track. But Pew has developed a well-regarded methodology for calculating the size of the unauthorized population, which essentially involves subtracting the number of legal immigrants from the total foreign-born population, subject to certain adjustments.”

“The number of undocumented immigrants remains high, but illegal immigration — the number of new undocumented workers entering the country each year — has fallen close to zero.”

casselman-feature-immigration-4

 

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