• 12 July 2018

The American Dream is still alive, and we still welcome visitors and immigrants from other countries. People from all over the world want to come to the U.S. as students, skilled and unskilled workers, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Many come on temporary visas. Others hoping to obtain permanent residency.

Naturalization statistics

This is confirmed by the fact that more than 14,000 people from other countries became U.S. citizens in nearly 175 naturalization ceremonies across the nation between June 28th and July 10th in 2018. The ceremonies took place in USCIS field offices and several iconic venues including Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello, George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon, the New York City Public Library, and onboard the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor.

America still welcomes immigrants

Forgive us if the news makes us look like we do not want immigrants. That is simply not true. What was once a “melting pot” where immigrants fled to blend into the American experience, has now become more like a stew of liberal, socialistic, and conservative views that cover the entire spectrum of ideology from misguided compassion to imprudent application of rules.

The problem is not the conflicting ideologies. The American spirit has always embraced the best of opposing ideas blended together in the special seasoning of the U.S. Constitution. Every great idea in America has come through compromises that promote the welfare, safety, and security of those living between sea to shining sea.

The emergence of the internet and social media now allows everyone who cares to speak out to do so at the same time when, previously, the platform and lectern accommodated only one at a time. As more noise fills the room, less attention can be paid to actual facts and reason.

U.S. visa statistics

So, in addition to the fact that we gladly gained 14,000 new citizens between June 28th and July 10th, here are a few more facts from fiscal year 2016 that give credence to the truth that we welcome immigrants.

  • The U.S. issued 10,381,491 non-immigrant visas covering 20 different categories including 482,033 student visas and 180,057 visas for highly-skilled professionals.
  • The U.S. issued 529,986 visas to relatives and family members of persons currently living here.
  • The U.S. issued more than 25,000 employment-based visas.

In 2017, the U.S. issued 559,536 immigrant visas and 9,681,913 non-immigrant visas.

From 2013 through 2017, the U.S. has issued a more than 2.6 million immigrant visas and approximately 50 million non-immigrant visas.

Does this sound like a country that is opposed to immigration? Of course not.

Illegal immigration

The emotional issue that is clouding the facts is illegal immigration – how to deal with it and how to prevent it. Every country has laws that govern immigration. The variety of laws are widely divergent but the major issue in every country is the same: the degree of enforcement of those laws.

That is the issue right here in the United States. The current administration has become more diligent about enforcing the laws that have been previously largely unenforced. This has been due largely to the issue of supply and demand to the extent that the number of people wanting to immigrate has outweighed the USCIS and Homeland Security employees necessary to process visas in a timely and convenient manner.

If you or someone you know wants to immigrate to the U.S., be sure to secure the services of a professional, licensed Immigration Attorney who is familiar with the laws and the immigration process.

Our Immigration Attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience and expertise. We are available to review your situation and advise you on the best and right way to resolve your tenuous status.