Home / Reports / 2020 State of the Union / Immigration


We are again increasingly a nation of immigrants.

Fourteen percent of people in the US are foreign born, up from a low of 5% in 1970 and near the high of 15% in the early 1900s.


Excluding tourism, most people who come to the US on visas or green cards are temporary workers, students, or coming to be with their families.


The number of non-tourist visas and green cards granted as well as the number of refugees and asylees admitted fell from 2017 to 2018

The number of refugees and asylees admitted fell 24%, while the number of green cards and non-tourist visas granted fell 3% and 1%, respectively.


In 2015, the federal government estimated there were 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the country.

The total foreign-born population was 43 million.


Border apprehensions more than doubled from 2018 to 2019.

In fiscal year 2019, 860,000 people were apprehended at the border — nearly 460,000 more than in 2018, but 800,000 fewer than the recent peak in 2000.


In 2018, immigration officials removed 337,000 people from the US.

This is less than the 2013 peak of 433,000 but higher than any year before 2007.

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