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The Immigrant Population Resurge in the U.S. in the U.S.



WASHINGTON, DC-The immigrant population in the U.S. is on the rise again, with nearly a million people born outside the country moving to the United States last year, reaching a record high of over 46 million, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates. This increase, though not massive in a country as large as the U.S., is significant, especially considering the previous slowdown attributed to Trump administration policies and the pandemic.

“The foreign-born population saw a substantial increase,” remarked William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, noting that the growth in 2022 equaled the total of the previous four years combined. The foreign-born segment of the U.S. population, which had remained relatively steady since 2017, rose to nearly 14% last year.

Experts suggest that this resurgence in immigration corresponds to a gradual revival of legal immigration processes, such as visa processing and refugee vetting, which had come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Biden administration has opened doors to tens of thousands of individuals from Afghanistan and Ukraine, albeit while grappling with a record influx of migrants from Central and South America at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Research Center, observed, “The immigration system is functioning somewhat better. We are admitting more people compared to the previous period when admissions were limited.”

The Census data indicate significant increases in the number of immigrants from Latin America and Asia, many of whom hold college or post-college degrees. This challenges the stereotype that immigrants are primarily low-skilled and reliant on government support.

At the state level, Florida experienced the most substantial growth in its foreign-born population, adding over 200,000 immigrants last year, more than double the second-largest increase in Georgia. Immigrants constituted 10.7% of Georgia’s population last year, an increase of nearly 0.7% from 2021. Other states, such as Maryland, New Jersey, and Iowa, also saw notable gains in their immigrant populations.

Immigrants often choose states where they already have a support system, as was the case for Nimota Salami from Nigeria, who moved to Georgia. She highlighted the welcoming environment and thriving business opportunities in her new home.

Gabriela Rivera, a long-time resident of Iowa originally from Mexico City, emphasized that Iowa’s immigrant community includes professionals like doctors, lawyers, and teachers. As the Spanish-speaking community in Iowa has grown, so has the availability of culturally significant items and foods from their home countries.



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