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Report: U.S. Migrant Population Reaches Largest Share In History 

U.S. Border in California, wooden sign reading 'Border Control Only."
Image CreditGreg Bulla/Unsplash

Since Biden took office, the foreign-born population has grown by 4.5 million, which is in itself greater than the populations of 25 states.


A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows that the foreign-born population in the United States has grown to 49.5 million, or 15 percent of the total population — the largest share ever recorded in American history. 

A higher percentage of migrants reside in the United States now than in 1890, when they made up 14.8 percent of the population. Researchers from the Census Bureau did not expect the share of the foreign-born population to reach 15 percent until 2033.  

Since Biden took office, the foreign-born population has grown by 4.5 million, which is in itself greater than the populations of 25 states. More than half of this growth likely comes from illegal immigration, with researchers pointing to the expiration of Title 42 and President Biden’s lax border policies as explanations for the unprecedented growth. 

The report also found migrants from Latin America accounted for 63 percent of the total increase in the foreign-born population.

Under President Barack Obama, the foreign-born population grew on average 68,000 a month; under the Biden administration, that number has jumped to 137,000. As the CIS report clarifies, while legal migration still accounts for 75 percent of the total population of the foreign-born, “a large share of the recent foreign-born growth is due to illegal immigration.”

Between January 2021 and July 2023, 7 million “encounters” were recorded at U.S. national borders. But according to the CIS report, the number of “got-aways,” or “subjects observed entering illegally but not stopped or turned back,” more than doubled in 2021 compared to the pre-Covid levels of 2019. What’s more, as indicated on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) websites, at least 2.6 million inadmissible aliens have been let loose into the United States since Biden took office.

Part of this mass release can be attributed to the DHS’s CBP One mobile app. Migrants seeking asylum can typically schedule appointments to either walk or fly in for quick parole in the United States. However, a DHS report revealed that from January to September of this year, only 0.31 percent of total applicants from the CBP One mobile app were denied. 

This means more than 224,000 immigrants with dubious asylum claims from Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela have been granted access into the United States this year — only 698 were denied.

What’s more, since October 2022, the Biden administration has approved 221,456 migrants to fly directly into the United States but refuses to share where those migrants end up. In an effort to keep track of them, the administration announced it will be issuing identification cards.

Meanwhile, sanctuary city New York City has borne the brunt of the migrant crisis. According to the New York Post, “66,400 migrants are in the city’s care across more than 200 shelters.” This past week, the city welcomed 2,600 new migrants. To make room, thousands of migrants are being forced out into the cold, having capped out the city’s 30-day shelter stay policy.

So far this year, the city has spent $1.45 billion to cover migrants’ shelter, food, and other services, and Mayor Eric Adams’ pleas for federal support amid the crisis have fallen on deaf ears. To deal with the migrant crisis, the city is expected to spend $12 billion through 2025. 

Because of the financial toll the crisis is taking on the city, Adams is slashing the New York Police Department’s budget. A hiring freeze is in place to reduce the force from 33,000 to 30,000 by fiscal year 2025. 

“For months, we have warned New Yorkers about the challenging fiscal situation our city faces,” Adams said in a statement. “To balance the budget as the law requires, every city agency dug into their own budget to find savings, with minimal disruption to services. And while we pulled it off this time, make no mistake: Migrant costs are going up, tax revenue growth is slowing, and COVID stimulus funding is drying up.”

If Biden is elected for a second term and current policies and trends go unchanged, the Center for Immigration Studies predicts that the foreign-born population will only continue to increase, reaching 58.9 million, 17.3 percent of the total population, after 2028. This would be an increase of 14 million migrants, a significant portion of which would be illegal.

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