A huge boom in immigration, legal and illegal, over the past 16 years has jumped the immigrant population to over 43 million in the United States, according to a new report.
And when their U.S.-born children are added, the number grows to over 60 million, making the immigrant community nearly one-fifth of the nation's population, according to federal statistics reviewed by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Steven Camarota, the Center's director of research and co-author of the report, said, "The enormous number of immigrants already in the country coupled with the settlement of well over a million newcomers each year has a profound impact on American society, including on workers, schools, infrastructure, hospitals and the environment. The nation needs a serious debate about whether continuing this level of immigration makes sense."
Concerns about the explosion of immigration, especially of illegals, helped Donald Trump win the presidency and has prompted his administration to crack down on illegal immigration and refugees.
The new report does not break down the percentage of legal and illegal immigrants in the U.S., although there are an estimated 12 million undocumented aliens in the country.
It found that since 2000, the U.S. immigrant population has increased 8 million and a sizable number came from Mexico and Latin America, the source of most illegal immigrants.
- The nation's immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit a record 43.7 million in July 2016, an increase of half a million since 2015, 3.8 million since 2010, and 12.6 million since 2000.
- As a share of the U.S. population, immigrants (legal and illegal) comprised 13.5 percent, or one out of eight U.S. residents in 2016, the highest percentage in 106 years. As recently as 1980, just one out of 16 residents was foreign-born.
- Between 2010 and 2016, 8.1 million new immigrants settled in the United States. New arrivals are offset by the roughly 300,000 immigrants who return home each year and annual natural mortality of about 300,000 among the existing foreign-born population. As a result, growth in the immigrant population was 3.8 million 2010 to 2016.
- In addition to immigrants, there were slightly more than 16.6 million U.S.-born minor children with an immigrant parent in 2016, for a total of 60.4 million immigrants and their children in the country. Immigrants and their minor children now account for nearly one in five U.S. residents.
- Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) were by far the largest foreign-born population in the country in 2016. Mexico is the top sending country, with 1.1 million new immigrants arriving from Mexico between 2010 and 2016, or one out of eight new arrivals. However, because of return migration and natural mortality among the existing population, the overall Mexican-born population has not grown in the last six years.
- The states with the largest numerical increases in the number of immigrants from 2010 to 2016 were Texas (up 587,889), Florida (up 578,468), California (up 527,234), New York (up 238,503), New Jersey (up 171,504), Massachusetts (up 140,318), Washington (up 134,132), Pennsylvania (up 131,845), Virginia (up 120,050), Maryland (up 118,175), Georgia (up 95,353), Nevada (up 78,341), Arizona (up 78,220), Michigan (up 74,532), Minnesota (up 73,953), and North Carolina (up 70,501).
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org