Whoa! New Census Data Show Big Immigration Spike

An estimated 1.8 million legal and illegal immigrants entered the U.S. in 2016, according to the Center for Immigration Studies

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show legal and illegal immigration spiraled by 53 percent during the first six months of 2016, compared to 2011, the low point following the Great Recession of 2007-2009, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

“The analysis shows that 1.03 million immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the United States in the first six months of 2016. Based on prior patterns, a total of 1.8 million immigrants likely came in all of 2016,” said Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler of CIS in a report made public Thursday.

“The new data shows a dramatic rebound in immigration after 2011, when new arrivals fell after the Great Recession,” they said. The new arrivals “include new green card holders (permanent residents) and long-term ‘temporary’ visitors, such as guest workers and foreign students, many of whom eventually become permanent residents.”

Also prominent among the 2016 arrivals in the U.S. from other countries are “new asylum seekers, as well as new illegal immigrants who cross the border surreptitiously or overstay a temporary visa,” according to Camarota and Zeigler.

The data for the first half of 2016 represent a 13 percent hike over the same period of the year before and a 21 percent increase over all of 2015.

Related: Immigration Hawks Offer DACA Compromise

Are you embarrassed that Joe Biden is our "president"?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

New immigrants from Central America were up 132 percent, while new arrivals from South America increased 114 percent, according to the report. Middle Eastern and South Asian immigrants were both up 52 percent.

Despite the swelling numbers from other regions around the world, Mexico is still the top-sending country, “with 190,000 immigrants (legal and illegal) settling in the United States in 2015, and with 216,000 likely coming in through all of 2016.”

The totals for Mexico are roughly doubled compared to 2011, but they’re still significantly lower than levels seen during the first decade of the 21st century.

Camarota and Zeigler attribute much of the increases to “the nation’s generous legal immigration system for both long-term temporary visa holders (e.g., guest workers and foreign students) and new permanent residents (green card holders).”

Mexico is still the top-sending country, “with 190,000 immigrants (legal and illegal) settling in the United States in 2015, and with 216,000 likely coming in through all of 2016.”

Also on Thursday, the Census Bureau projected that the total U.S. population as of New Year’s Day 2018 will be 326,971,407, for an increase of 2,314,238 people, or 0.71 percent, from New Year’s Day 2017.

“In January 2018, the United States is expected to experience one birth every eight seconds and one death every 10 seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person to the U.S. population every 29 seconds. The combination of births, deaths and net international migration will increase the U.S. population by one person every 18 seconds,” the Census Bureau said.

Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at mark.tapscott@lifezette.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.