The records are being broken every year in the 21st century in terms of immigrants deciding to pack up and live the dream. But how many people have really immigrated to the U.S. in past years? Why is it growing? What are the advantages of living here legally, and of U.S. citizenship? Let’s find out.
How many immigrate to the U.S. ever year?
The numbers vary, but a recent government study said over 1 million people became legal residents of the U..S in 2009. And over 1 million legal residents of the U.S. became naturalized U.S. citizens in 2009.
Where are they going?
Historically, New York was the big draw for immigrants, and it still is. However, since the majority of new legal residents and naturalized citizens come from Mexico, they often live in California. That does not mean Mexicans are immigrating in the hundreds of thousands to just one state, but Mexico sends the most immigrants too the U.S. ever year. And because of this, and for other reasons, California has been the #1 place for new immigrants and citizens to live.
How many illegal immigrants are there?
This is a tough subject, but it bears a consideration in the current debate over illegal immigration. Some estimates are that about 20 million illegal immigrants are in the U.S. However, other studies consider that too high and the real number currently over 10 million. Also, still more studies have pointed out illegal immigration is declining.
Why are they coming to the U.S.?
The U.S. has been an open door country throughout its time. Immigrants have come to the land of opportunity for, well, opportunities. Some fled from persecution, others wanted better jobs, others simply wanted the better system of government, and some wanted to simply live in a better area for their children to grow up.
Immigration has always had an impact economically, socially, and politically on the U.S. Even back in the 19th century, when Irish immigration was considered a problem, there were calls for closing borders.
Why leave borders open?
Since this country is technically all immigrants, that’s one argument. The other one is that immigrants are taking jobs, breaking laws, and have no understanding of how the country works. Still others point out illegal immigration is costing in other ways.
Why naturalize citizens?
For immigrants, becoming naturalized U.S. citizens is the dream. If you want a better life for your family, it’s a dream. For those of us who are already U.S. citizens, it may be easy to say these citizens are taking opportunities, school desks, and money away from us. They are also spending money, creating jobs, studying to get better jobs, paying taxes, and serving in the armed forces.
Need immigration help?
Finally, you want to live in the U.S. — you want the dream. What’s the first step? You hire an immigration lawyer to first help you earn a green card and then apply for U.S. citizenship.