300,000 Migrants Got Flights To America… Secretly

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The largest immigration increase in U.S. history.

The foreign-born or immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit new record highs in March 2024 of 51.6 million and 15.6 percent of the total U.S. population. Since March 2022 the foreign-born population has increased 5.1 million, the largest two-year increase in American history. The foreign-born population has never grown this much this fast. Although many think of immigrants only as workers, less than half of those who arrived since 2022 are employed. This analysis is based on the government’s monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), which like any survey has a margin of error, so there are fluctuations in the data. But the increase in the last two years is unlike anything seen before and is statistically significant.

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Among the findings:

  • In March 2024 the foreign-born population reached 51.6 million, 5.1 million more than in March 2022 — the largest two-year increase ever recorded in American History.
  • The 51.6 million foreign-born residents in March of this year were 15.6 percent of the total U.S. population, also record highs in American history.
  • Since President Biden took office in January 2021 the foreign-born population has increased by 6.6 million in just 39 months.
  • We have previously estimated that nearly 58 percent of the increase under President Biden is due to illegal immigration.
  • If present trends continue, the foreign-born population will reach 62.5 million in 2030 and 82.2 million by 2040 — larger than the current combined populations of 30 states plus the District of Columbia.
  • Many observers think of immigrants solely as workers, but only 46 percent of the foreign-born who arrived in 2022 or later were employed in the first part of 2024 — similar to the share of new arrivals employed during previous economic expansions.
  • As in any human population, many newly arrived immigrants are children, elderly, disabled, caregivers, or others with no ability to work or interest in doing so.
  • Only about 8 percent of the 2.5 million new arrivals who are not working say they are actively looking for work.
  • The dramatic recent increases in the size of the foreign-born population represent net growth. The number of new arrivals was much higher but was offset by outmigration and natural mortality among the foreign-born already here.
  • There also is some undercount in this data, so the actual number of foreign residents in the United States is larger.
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