A recent Census Bureau report states that one in five married couples in the United States include one spouse that was born in a different country. Mid-Atlantic and Western states have been reported to have the highest rates of foreign spouses, a number that is only expected to increase as more people make their way to the United States from overseas.
“As the immigrant population has grown, so has the chance that a native-born person will meet and marry a foreign-born spouse,” says the Census Bureau’s Foreign-Born Population Branch chief, Elizabeth Grieco. 61 percent of foreign-born spouses have gained citizenship, while 39 percent are still not citizens of the United States.
Immigration trends have resulted in an increase in foreign residents, according to USA Today. The national average for couples that feature at last one foreign-born partner is 7.4 percent, but that figure increases significantly in states such as California, Hawaii, Nevada and the District of Columbia. A minimum of 12 percent of married couples in those states have at least one foreigner. The states that have the lowest number of foreign-born spouses include Mississippi, South Dakota and West Virginia.
As more people from overseas enter the United States, meet life partners, and settle down, some citizens are finding themselves in difficult predicaments. Texas resident Edgar Falcon is coping with complications that arose when his 16-year-old wife attempted to enter the US, resulting in a lifetime ban. He and others are urging Congress to come up with legislation to help US citizens with immigration reform.