This Just In! Mexico Is Immigration Numero Uno…Again
September 27, 2004, 05:00 AM
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Despite the best efforts of the immigration industry to portray American immigration as some sort of evenly-balanced multi-cultural pie, the truth is that, no matter how you slice it, virtually all aspects of immigration—legal and illegal— are dominated by one country: Mexico.

One of the most recent offerings from the Department of Homeland Security`s press room showcases the department`s best efforts to perpetuate the myth of balanced international immigration.

Thus a DHS press release on "Citizenship Day" [USCIS to Welcome More Than 20,000 New Citizens During Citizenship Day Celebrations, September 17, 2004] burbles happily:

"The 102 new Americans naturalized on Ellis Island, including two U.S. Army soldiers, are originally from the following 44 countries: Albania, Antigua, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, United Kingdom."

But this made-for-TV moment is misleading.

For the truth of the matter, we need only turn to the Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), which just so happens to have released its annual Yearbook of immigration statistics for 2003 — [PDF]. This states clearly, on page 134:

"Mexico was the leading country of birth for persons naturalizing in 2003, accounting for 56,093 new citizens. Other major countries of birth for persons naturalizing in 2003 were India (29,790), the Philippines (29,081) Vietnam (25,995), the People`s Republic of China (24,014), Korea (15,968), the Dominican Republic (12,627), Jamaica (11,232), Iran (10,807), and Poland (9,140). These ten sending countries (including Mexico) represented 49 percent of new naturalized citizens in 2003."

And when you run the numbers some more, a very different picture emerges. [number fans, click here]

Mexico has been "numero uno" in U.S. citizenship naturalizations every year for the past ten years. It beat out perennial runner-ups India and the Philippines hands down every time – often combined.

In 2003, approximately 12.1 percent of newly-minted citizens in the United States were Mexican nationals—that is, more than one in ten.

And over the past ten years, one in five naturalized American citizens hailed from Mexico. An incredible 1.3 million Mexicans became American citizens in this period.

Also during 2003, Mexico was numero uno in these other statistical categories listed in the DHS yearbook:

  • New lawful permanent resident aliens [LPRs]—115,864 new green card holders came from Mexico. In comparison, all of Europe combined brought only 102,843 LPRs to the U.S.

  • Deportable aliens "located" by immigration law enforcement —956,963 Mexicans, of whom 882,012 were "located" by the U.S. Border Patrol. [Translation: "located" does not necessarily mean "and removed" from the U.S.", though a majority were probably sent back through "voluntary departure."]

  • Aliens Apprehended [DHS-speak for "located"]—92 percent Mexicans.

  • Expedited Removals—81 percent Mexican. A total of 35,038 Mexican aliens were actually sent back in this category.

  • Formal Removals [i.e. after EOIR proceedings]—137,819 formal removals to Mexico, including 62,518 criminal aliens.

  • "Required To Depart"—4,618 Mexican aliens "required to depart" under docket control [Translation: although required, there`s no evidence they did, i.e. are probably fugitives.]

  • "Parolees" and "Deferred Inspection"—28,467 Mexican "parolees" at border Ports of Entry, with 1,670 more admitted for "deferred inspection." [Translation: these are suspect aliens who are nevertheless let into the U.S. for various reasons—including, amazing as it may sound, for subsequent removal proceedings.] Plus there are probably Mexicans among the staggering total of 109,643 "other" aliens also paroled in at Ports of Entry.

  • Non-Immigrant Admissions [A nonimmigrant is "an alien admitted to the United States for a specified purpose and temporary period but not for permanent residence." This includes tourists, students, and of course, terrorists.] — The only major category where Mexico was beaten. But its 4,307,144 non-immigrant admissions in 2003 were second only to the U.K (4,534,947). And no-one knows for sure who is really numero uno in this non-immigrant category, since the figures do not include an additional 264,777 parolees to the U.S. (apparently without listing a country of origin.)

Mexico`s prolonged domination of our recent immigrant inflow is quite contrary to U.S. experience—historically, national origin groups rotated quickly and did not combine to form a single foreign-language bloc. Plus, needless to say, this Mexicanization is completely contrary to Edward Kennedy`s assurances, while piloting the 1965 Immigration bill, through the U.S. Senate, that

"Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area…"

But what else is new?

When it comes to American immigration statistics, the picture is not multicultural at all.

The reality: Mexico is the undisputed immigration numero uno. The DHS` numbers speak for themselves—in Spanish.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.