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.
Every year under current policy the U.S. issues an average of 1 million green cards, according to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, which examined Department of Homeland Security statistics.
Green cards guarantee immigrants a lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges and the immigration of their close relatives.
If federal law is not changed, the U.S. is on track to issue 10 million green cards over the next decade — a massive new permanent resident bloc illustrated by this subcommittee chart released Monday.
The foreign-born population has increased 325% since 1970, and is on track to reach 51 million by 2023, according to the Congressional Research Service and U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the largest share of total population ever recorded in American history.
Nearly one in five U.S. residents will be an immigrant by 2060, a Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the Census data found. And immigrants will account for 82% of population growth in the U.S. from 2010 through 2060.
While that population exploded over the past 40 years, wages and share of income for the bottom 90% of American wage-earners has declined.
The most recent comprehensive immigration reform bill considered by Congress, “Gang of Eight,” would have tripled the number of green cards issued annually. A Senate bill with bipartisan sponsors, including Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, would allow for a virtually unlimited number of university-based green cards.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.