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New Lawful Permanent Residents 2008 – 2011

July 15, 2012

DHS Statistics: Lawful Permanent Residents 2008 – 2011

It’s always a danger to rely on immigration statistics.
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Due to the wide divide between supporters and opponents of immigration reform, the same data has been used to two conflicting opinions. Of course, the manipulation of information to prove one’s position is not unique to immigration issues.

Still, when government statistics are used properly, they provide valuable insights about the issues being studied.

By streamlining data, statistics can help illuminate trends and patterns, which can highlight clues regarding potential solutions for our nation’s most perplexing problems.

This is why, as a San Bernardino immigration lawyer, I find the government’s annual reports on lawful permanent residents a helpful planning tool in predicting future legislative actions which Congress may undertake in future years.

Below you’ll find a summary of the government’s data for the past years, 2008 – 2011.

New LPR Roots 2008 – 2011

First things first, the total number of new green card holders shows a slightly shrinking number over the past two years.

2008
2009
2010
2011
1,107,126 1,130,818 1,042,625 1,062,040

According to the Los Angeles Times, a recently released Census Bureau report shows the nation’s Asian population grew faster than any other racial or ethnic group over the last decade, surging almost 46% between 2000 and 2010. The number of Americans who identify as Latino rose 43%, the second largest growing ethnic population in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security annual reports on the number of new lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are directly linked to the Census Bureau findings.

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Country Of Birth

Where do the new LPRs come from?

Viewing figures for new lawful permanent residents, the ten countries with the biggest influx of immigrants have not changed over the past four years. Approximately 50% of all new U.S. green card holders come from just these 10 countries.

2008
2009
2010
2011
Mexico 17.2 14.6 13.3 13.5
China 7.3 5.7 6.8 8.2
India 5.7 5.1 6.6 6.5
Philippines 4.9 5.3 5.6 5.4
Dominican Republic 2.9 4.4 5.2 4.3
Cuba 4.5 3.4 3.2 3.4
Vietnam 2.8 2.6 2.9 3.2
S. Korea 2.3 2.3 2.1 2.1
Colombia 2.7 2.5 2.1 2.1
Haiti 2.4 2.1 2.2 2.1

When you look at the Visa Bulletin prepared by the U.S. Department of State, you’ll notice that four countries have the biggest backlog of applicants waiting for their green card interview dates: Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines.

As a green card lawyer, it seems if Congress revamped the immigration quota system and reduced the backlog from these four countries, the efficiencies would spill over to other areas of the immigration bureaucracy.

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Immigration Process

Immigrants who seek to become permanent residents through either a family-based petition or an employment-based petition follow one of two paths.

Some can receive their new lawful status without leaving the United States. This is called Adjustment Of Status.

Others have to go back to their home country and seek to become a lawful permanent resident through Consular Processing. In the latter situation, it is often necessary to file an I-601 hardship waiver if the immigrant entered the U.S. without permission.

2008
2009
2010
2011
LPRs By Adjustment Status 57.9 59.1 54.3 54.6
LPRs By Consulate Processing 42.1 40.9 45.7 45.4

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Admission Category

As can noted below, the most common form of an immigrant earning green card benefits is through the sponsorship of a U.S. citizen family member.

Surprisingly, more immigrants become permanent residents via the asylum and refugee process, as well as by the employment route, than through the sponsorship of a lawful permanent resident relative. Of course, it is possible some lawful permanent resident sponsors became U.S. citizens before completing the green card process, and the government’s statistics reflect this situation as a U.S. citizen sponsored, not an LPR sponsored, case.

2008
2009
2010
2011
U.S.Citizen Petitions 55.4 57.4 57.5 54.6
LPR Petitions 9.3 8.7 8.8 10.2
Employment-Based Petitions 14.9 12.5 14.2 13.1
Refugees and Asylees 15.0 15.7 13.1 15.9
Diversity Lottery 3.8 4.2 4.8 4.7
Other 1.6 1.5 1.7 1.5

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Age

The biggest cluster of new permanent residents by age fall between the ages of 25 to 34. When you think about the process for winning a green card, guessing this statistic seems like a matter of common sense.>

2008 2009 2010 2011
Under 5 years old 3.5 3.4 3.6 3.6
5 to 14 years 11.5 11.6 11.4 11.4
15 to 24 18.0 18.5 18.4 18.7
25 to 34 23.6 24.6 24.3 23.8
35 to 44 19.6 18.7 18.7 18.6
45 to 54 11.2 11.0 11.3 11.4
55 to 64 7.2 7.1 7.3 7.3
65 years and older 5.5 5.2 5.0 5.0

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Gender

This figure is not easy to decipher. What does it mean, in terms of future immigration flows into the United States?

2008
2009
2010
2011
Female 54.2 54.6 54.7 54.7
Male 45.8 45.4 45.3 45.3

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Marital Status

This is not a surprising statistic, especially since most new lawful permanent residents have to be sponsored by another person or employer.

2008
2009
2010
2011
Married 57.6 57.9 57.3 56.4
Single 37.1 36.9 37.5 38.1
Other/Unknown 5.3 5.2 5.2 5.5

2008 – 2011 Permanent Residents By Residence

Last but not least, where do the new LPRs choose to live?

2008
2009
2010
2011
California 238,444 227,876 208,446 210,591
New York 143,679 150,722 147,999 148,426
Florida 133,445 127,006 107,276 109,229
Texas 89,811 95,384 87,750 94,481
New Jersey 53,997 58,879 56,920 55,547
Illinois 42,723 41,889 37,909 38,325
Massachusetts 30,369 32,607 31,069 32,236
Virginia 30,257 29,825 28,607 27,767
Georgia 27,769 28,396 24,833 27,015
Maryland 27,062 36,722 26,450 25,778

By Immigration Law, Policy, And Politics

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