Data released yesterday by the US Census Bureau has revealed that there are now 42.1 million immigrants – legal and illegal – living in the United States, which is a new record. The immigration population of America has increased massively since mid-2011, when a further 4.1 million legal and illegal immigrants came into the country, a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report has revealed.
The figure includes the 1.7 million immigrants – 740,000 of whom are Mexicans ‒ who have arrived in the United States over the course of the last 12 months. The Mexican immigrant population of the United States was 12.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 ‒ the highest quarterly total recorded ‒ according to the CIS.
The immigration population now accounts for 13.3% of the total population of the United States, which is the biggest proportion for more than a century. The CIS says that some of the factors that have contributed to the increase are the current immigration system’s permissive nature, the improving US economy, and the cutbacks in enforcement that have been implemented over the last few years.
The news is likely to add further heat to the debate over immigration in Congress and between the two major political party’s would-be presidential candidates. “While the impact of illegal immigration is often the subject of intense national debate, the much larger flow of legal immigrants has seen almost no discussion, even though its impact on American society is much larger,” the report notes.