While nearly 3 million Americans lost their jobs in 2009, the federal government issued more than 1 million new Green Cards over the same period of time. According to a new DHS report, 1,130,818 new Green Cards were issued to legal immigrants last year - the highest single-year number since 2006 and the fourth highest in history.
Of the new Green Cards issued, 47,879 new arrivals won their Green Cards through the Visa Lottery. The lottery awards new Green Cards without consideration of an individual's financial or social situation. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has offered H.R.2305, which would eliminate the Visa Lottery and is one of NumbersUSA's 5 Great Immigration-Reduction Bills.
Nearly 750,000 of the new Green Cards were issued to family members of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) has offered H.R.878, which would eliminate certain categories of the family sponsored visas and is also one of NumbersUSA's 5 Great Bills. The bill would reduce the total number of extended family-based Green Cards by more than 100,000.
Residents from Mexico received the most Green Cards with 164,920 (14.6%). The next three biggest recipients came from Asia with China receiving 64,238, the Philippines receiving 60,029, and India receiving 57,304. Overall, Asia received the largest amount with more than 400,000.
For more information, see the Department of Homeland Security's website.
Visit our Change the Numbers interactive tool that allows you to see the impact that high levels of legal immigration have on our future population.
Updated: Fri, Apr 9th 2010 @ 1:43pm EDT