USA’s Recession, Has It Reduced Legal Immigration?

Q. Has legal immigration into the USA slowed down during the recession?
A. Well, no.

Some have proclaimed a “drop in immigration caused by the recession”, based on the shallowest possible analysis: that numbers are down from the 2006 peak. Looking at the bigger picture, we see a different story.

New “Legal Immigrants” (foreigners acquiring permanent-residency by “purely legal” means: Not counting legalizations of adult illegals, or anchor-babies, which combined added 0.5 million more to 2009’s total):
.1990-1999: 0.70 million (avg/yr.)
2000-2004: 0.82 million (avg/yr.)
2005 : 1.02 million
2006 : 1.12 million
2007 : 0.92 million
2008 : 0.97 million [Recession Year]
2009 : 1.00 million [Recession Year]

Family-Based Chain Migrants: Rising
Note that most legal immigrants are “chain-migrants”.
Family-based visas averaged:
— 559,977/year during 2000-2007.
— 611,016/year during the period 2008-2009. [Recession years].

Employment Visas: Slight Decrease
Employment visas averaged:
— 158,044/year during 2000-2007.
— 155,273/year during 2008-2009. [Recession years].

Refugees: Rising
Refugees/Asylees averaged:
— 113,530/year during 2000-2007.
— 171,880/year during 2008-2009. [Recession years].


Source: All data is from the U.S. Federal government: 2000-2009 (.xls); 1986-1999 (.xls).

Note on Illegals: Estimates are that in early 2010 there were 11-million illegals in the USA, down from 12-million in 2007.

Thanks to Statsaholic for inspiring this post, and the previous one.

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