The next time you hear an illegal immigrant audaciously say that the United States is THEIR country, know that such a provocative statement is not that far off the mark.
The numbers have been growing for years and we are now at an all time high for immigration numbers. We are a nation that is historically built on immigration, as such, the United States remains a popular destination attracting about 20 percent of the worlds international migrants, even as it represents less than 5 percent of the global population.
According to the United Nations, immigrants account for 14.8 percent of the total residents in the United States. If you add together the U.S. born children from these immigrants, 80 million people, or one quarter of the overall U.S. population, is comprised of immigrants and their U.S. born children. The immigration population in the United States hit a record high of 42.1 million in June of this year (The United Nations puts that number at over 45 million), according to Census Bureau data used by the Center for Immigration Studies.
It should be noted however, that the problems with our immigration system are not connected to legal immigrants having children. Prudence would dictate that the United States should encourage those who are here legally to have children as those children (like their parents) are motivated to assimilate.
The problem is that illegal immigrants are having children. According to the Washington Post, in 2012, “4.5 million children born in the U.S. lived with at least one undocumented parent.” That figure would indicate that those who are here illegally might bear a disproportionate responsibility for the ever increasing numbers and that’s a recipe for disaster.
The number of immigrants rose by 1.7 million since the same time last year. We have reached the highest levels our nation has seen in 105 years with 14.8 percent of our population being immigrants.
“Illegal immigration came up in the presidential debates, but there has been little discussion of the level of immigration; this at a time when total immigration is surging according to the latest data,” said Steven Camarota, co-author of the report and the centers director of research, in a statement. “The rapid growth in the immigrant population was foreseeable given the cutbacks in enforcement, our expansive legal immigration system and the improvement in the economy,” Camarota claimed.
The number of immigrants arriving from Asia now roughly equals the number from other countries in North, South and Central America, Forbes recently reported. But the new study by the Center for Immigration Studies suggests that the number of Latin American immigrants may be rebounding.
Immigrant populations have increasingly moved beyond traditional high-density coastal cities like New York City and Los Angeles, with the highest immigrant populations popping up in the heartland cities in the Midwest and the South.