U.S. Foreign-Born Population Booms With Biden



The U.S. immigrant population increased 1.6 million during the past year, driven by loosened border security and easing COVID restrictions. Reversing a 2019-2020 decline, legal and illegal migration rebounded to raise the foreign-born population to 45.4 million, with more to come.

Census data analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies reflect a surge of illegal crossings at the southern border, the restarting of visa processing at American consulates overseas and increasing returns of international travelers in recent months.

Illegal immigration grew dramatically in the last year, as apprehensions at the southern border soared to all-time highs. But apprehension does not necessarily mean removal. FAIR has reported how expansive migrant classifications currently used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allow formerly “inadmissible” aliens into the country. “Gotaways” who elude Border Patrol altogether have also increased, while interior arrests and deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plummet.

Further, the Biden administration’s failure to fully utilize Title 42 regulations to expel migrants on health grounds has swelled immigrant numbers, with unknown consequences. 

Before COVID-19 hit, and during the early stages of the pandemic, growth in the legal and illegal immigrant population slowed, reflecting a decline in new arrivals and a substantial increase in out-migration.

Now that consulates have resumed issuing visas and border enforcement is being constrained by administration fiats, America’s foreign-born population is on track to hit record highs. That might be Team Biden’s idea of Building Back Better, but a growing number of Americans (including some Democrats and even immigrants themselves) now say excessive immigration is making the U.S. worse off.

COVID may be ebbing (for the moment), but new surges in immigration, especially the illegal variety, come with plenty of unhealthy conditions for national security and American workers.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.