A Look at Homeland Security’s Latest Immigration Data
How do you feel about the state of immigration in America?
by Causes | 2.6.20
The Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released its 2018 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, which includes data on the number of people granted “green cards”, admitted as asylees or refugees, and immigration enforcement actions. Our friends at USAFacts have visualized the immigration data with some useful graphics, so let’s take a look at the numbers.
The number of people granted legal permanent resident status (commonly referred to as “green card” status) dropped slightly from 1,127,167 in 2017 to 1,096,611 in 2018. The largest number of green cards issued in a year was 1,826,595 in 1991.
For the first time in at least a decade, the number of green cards issued to refugees surpassed the number of employment-based green cards ― which has historically been the third-highest category of green cards behind those for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and family-sponsored green cards.
The number of immigration apprehensions, removals based on court orders, and returns not based on court orders all increased from 2017 to 2018, but were below all-time highs:
- Apprehensions were up 24% from 461,540 to 572,566; the all-time high was 1,814,729 apprehensions in 2000.
- Removals were up 17% from 288,093 to 337,287; the all-time high was 432,281 in 2013.
- Returns were up 8% from 100,708 to 109,083; the all-time high was 1,675,876 in 2000.
REFUGEES & ASYLEES
The U.S. admitted the fewest refugees since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980 in 2018, with 22,405 granted the ability to resettle in the U.S. The previous low was 26,785 refugees admitted in 2002.
The number of refugees admitted from several countries dropped substantially between 2017 and 2018:
- The number of refugees from Iraq dropped from 6,866 to 140.
- The number of refugees from Syria dropped from 6,557 to 62.
- The number of refugees from Somalia dropped from 6,130 to 257.
- The number of refugees from Iran dropped from 2,577 to 41.
- The number of refugees from Afghanistan dropped from 1,311 to 805.
The countries from which the U.S. admitted the most refugees in 2018 were the Democratic Republic of Congo with 7,878; Burma with 3,555; and Ukraine with 2,635.
The number of people granted asylum in 2018 was 38,687 ― an increase from 26,509 in 2017 and 20,362 in 2016. A majority of those asylees in 2018 (25,439) were classified as “affirmative” asylees who actively applied with Homeland Security’s Citizenship & Immigration Services. The rest (13,248) were classified as “defensive” asylees who requested asylum after they were facing deportation.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / welcomia)
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