A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies says that 1.75 million legal immigrants and illegal aliens arrived in the United States in 2016, matching the previous record set in 1999. New arrivals under the study include legal permanent residents, refugees, temporary guest workers, foreign students, asylum seekers and illegal aliens.  

Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research and co-author of the report, said new Census Bureau data show a continuing rebound in new arrivals. The uptick started in 2011 after post-Great Recession immigration bottomed out. Camerota said, “The enormous number of new immigrants settling in the United States in recent years primarily reflects the nation’s generous legal immigration system. Like taxes or spending, the level of legal immigration can be changed.   But for too long the system has run on autopilot, with little regard for the interests of the American people.”  

The study found that half of the increase in new arrivals -- legal and illegal -- since 2011 came from Latin America, which doubled to 668,000 by 2016. Latin America surpassed Asia as the top sending-region in 2016. This was in part due to the large increase in migrant families and unaccompanied alien children from Central America.

Other regions showing a large increase are South Asia (Indian subcontinent), up 54 percent to 244,000 in 2016; East Asia, up 30 percent to 355,000 in 2016; and the Middle East, up 78 percent to 137,000. Although new arrivals from Mexico increased almost 50 percent since 2011, the pace is well below a decade ago when 400,000 to 500,000 legal and illegal Mexicans arrived each year.

Read the CIS study here.

Updated: Wed, Nov 14th 2018 @ 12:45pm EST