Legal and illegal immigration surges in US

The level of immigration into the United States over the course of the last two years ‒ legal and illegal alike ‒ has now soared past previous levels, and is at a higher point than it was before the recession in 2007, according to new data analysis from the Census Bureau.

On Wednesday, the Center for Immigration Studies released a new report revealing that the United States saw 3.1 million immigrants settle in the country in 2014 and 2015, a rise of as much as 39 per cent over the previous two years. The report, which was authored by Steven Camarota, the director of research for the Center, states that the rebound in figures is likely the result of a number of different factors including an improved economy, the expansive nature of the legal immigration system in the US, and cutbacks in the enforcement of immigration laws.

The Center’s report estimates that of the 3.1 million new immigrant arrivals, around 1.1 million were undocumented immigrants, including those released from detention, US visa overstays and recent border crossers. The 550,000 new undocumented immigrants’ annual average is almost twice as much as the figure of 350,000 recorded back in 2012 and 2013, the Center says.

There has also been an increase in legal immigration. The report from Camarota estimates that the number of legal immigrants arriving in the United States rose by around 30 per cent to two million across 2014 and 2015, in comparison to 1.6 million across 2012 and 2013.