Magazine, Immigration, Forbes

The number of immigrants to the United States from China, India and Mexico declined sharply between FY 2016 and FY 2018. If current immigration policies continue, then further reductions from these and other major immigrant-sending countries to America are likely.

Recently released data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show legal immigration declined by almost 87,000, by more than 7%, between FY 2016 and FY 2018. A National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis found, “Excluding refugees means 122,412 fewer legal immigrants became lawful permanent residents in FY 2018 than in FY 2016, a decline of 11.5%.” Refugees apply for and become permanent residents typically a year or more after physically arriving in the United States, meaning many of the refugees counted as obtaining permanent residence in the FY 2018 statistics were approved prior to the start of the Trump administration (which has admitted a low number of refugees).

Immigrants from the largest-sending countries showed the most significant declines in immigration to the United States. The number of immigrants from Mexico fell by 7.3%, from 174,534 in FY 2016 to 161,858 in FY 2018. Immigration from China decreased from 81,772 in FY 2016 to 65,214 in FY 2018, a drop of more than 20%.

The number of immigrants from South Korea fell by 4,125, or 18.9%, between FY 2016 and FY 2018. Immigration from Vietnam went from 41,451 in FY 2016 to 33,834 in FY 2018, a drop of 18.4%. Looking at other countries: Compared to FY 2016, immigration in FY 2018 declined by 7.5% from India, by 6.1% from the Dominican Republic and by 11.3% from the Philippines. While the number of individuals counted as new permanent residents also declined from Iraq and Burma, the number of refugees approved in prior years for these countries complicates the data.

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