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Immigrant population could rise to new high if reform passes

We've talked in the past on our Greensboro immigration blog about the possibility of immigration reform and the effect it might have on people here. What hasn't been so apparent is that if reform is approved in Congress and approved by the president, the level of immigrants in this country could reach highs not seen for about a century.

The reason for this is that reform would speed up many outstanding applications for permanent legal status. It would also boost the number of green cards that people are issued each year by 500,000 -- from 1 million to 1.5 million. 

As a result, according to some estimates, the foreign-born population could increase to about 17 percent of U.S. residents by 2013, or a total of more than 65 million people. In contrast, fewer than 8 percent of residents in 1990 were born outside the United States.

The previous high-water marks, around 15 percent of the population, occurred in 1910 and 1890, when immigrants flooded the country, mainly from Europe. Today's immigrants are largely from other parts of the world, particularly Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Regardless of how many green cards are ultimately available, it is never enough. There are always people who are going to be on the outside looking in when it comes to receiving permanent resident status. That's why it can be important for people to have an experienced immigration attorney on their side when it comes to the massive amount of paperwork and documentation that accompanies such requests.

Source: The Hill, "A 'Second Great Wave' of immigration?" Alexander Bolton, March 2, 2014

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