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  by  Eric Ruark

Immigrant admissions in 2016 were 1,183,505, according to the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics released by DHS earlier this month. This is an increase of 132,474 from 2015. This increase is due to an uptick in family-based immigration, including Chain Migration, or the admission of extended family members.

Immigrant Admissions to the U.S., 2007 - 2016

Total Admissions: 1,183,505
Family-based: 804,793
Employment-based: 137,893
Refugees: 120,216
Asylees: 37,209
Visa Lottery: 49,865

Admissions in 2016 were the most in a decade. You can see a detailed table here:
Persons Obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident Status By Type And Detailed Class Of Admission

For our Chain Migration video, we calculated that over 250,000 immigrants are admitted annually in those categories. The breakdown of Chain Migration numbers is below.

Parents of U.S. citizens: Unlimited (ten-year average): 120,286
Unmarried Adult Children of U.S. Citizens and their children: 23,400
Unmarried Adult Children of LPRs: 26,300
Married Children of U.S. Citizens and their spouses and children: 23,400
Siblings of Adult U.S. Citizens and their spouses and children: 65,000
TOTAL: 258,386

In 2016, the number of immigrants who received green cards in Chain Migration categories was 307,197.

Parents of U.S. citizens: Unlimited: 173,854
Unmarried Adult Children of U.S. Citizens and their children: 22,072
Unmarried Adult Children of LPRs: 16,523
Married Children of U.S. Citizens and their spouses and children: 27,392
Siblings of Adult U.S. Citizens and their spouses and children: 67,356
TOTAL: 307,197

For employment-based immigration, 59,728 green cards were handed out to immigrants for work in the United States, or for investments made in the United States. This number was calculated by only including the initial immigrant who qualified for a green card in one of the employment-based preference categories, and not counting spouses and wives. This means that only 5 percent of immigrants, or one out of every 20, were admitted in 2016 due to economic or employment considerations.

The RAISE Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), would award green cards through a merit-based points system, and would eliminate Chain Migration categories and the Visa Lottery, and would cap annual refugees admissions at 50,000. Immigrants would still be able to sponsor their spouses and minor children, and foreign-born parents of U.S. citizens would be eligible for a renewable 5-year non-immigrant visas.

ERIC RUARK is the Director of Research for NumbersUSA

Updated: Wed, Jan 10th 2018 @ 12:55pm EST

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