As the Republican presidential candidates gear up for another debate, one big question remains for most of them regarding their immigration platform: Should legal immigration to the U.S. be reduced?
Donald Trump and former Sen. Rick Santorum have sided with the majority of GOP voters on the question, saying explicitly that legal immigration levels should be reduced, but the rest of the GOP candidates have been quiet on the subject. A September Pew poll found 67 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of all U.S. born residents polled want to see reduced immigration. (RELATED: Media Ignores Evidence Americans Want To REDUCE Legal Immigration)
Here are the five most shocking facts about current immigration levels to the United States.
- The size of the foreign-born population has increased sharply from 9.6 million to a record 45 million, since Congress revolutionized immigration law in 1965, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s a population nearly 15 times the population of Iowa, that includes legal immigrants and the estimated 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants residing in the country.
- The U.S. is set to add a bloc of new permanent immigrants in the next decade that is larger than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, if Congress does not reduce the number of green cards issued each year. Currently, Congress hands out about a million green cards to new permanent immigrants annually.
- The foreign-born population of the United States is on track to hit 78 million in 2060, a record-breaking number seven times higher than the foreign-born population levels of 1970, according to Census Bureau data analyzed by the Senate subcommittee on immigration.
- Immigration will add another 103 million people to the U.S. population — the equivalent of 25 cities the size of Los Angeles — by 2065, according to projections from the Pew Research Center. That would contribute to a century of uninterrupted record-breaking immigration growth.
- Half of the modern immigration wave is from Latin America and one-quarter is from Asia and the Middle East, compared to past waves that were dominated by European immigrants. Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants will surpass Hispanics to become the largest immigrant group in the U.S. by 2055, making up 14 percent of the total U.S. population.
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