Immigration Levels in Historical Perspective
The present level of immigration is far above historical levels and is not consistent with our immigration tradition. A few comparisons help to put the present level of legal immigration into perspective.
During the first 50 years after Independence,the United States received about 710,000 immigrants. In 2001 alone, we admitted one million.
During the first century or so of our country (1776 to 1884),we received about two immigrants a day; since the 1990s, we have been admitting two immigrants a minute.
In the last 20 years,the United States has admitted more immigrants than it did in the previous 65 years.
The level of legal immigration has doubled in the last 30 years
Since the 1990s,we have admitted enough new immigrants to make a new city larger than Washington D.C., every year.
The 1990 Immigration Act increased legal immigration by 40 percent.
There are 31 million immigrants already living in the United States; this is more than 11 percent of the nation’s population. In 2001, the following nine countries supplied over half of all immigrant visas: