Migrants to America Since 1986
David M. Reimers
A chapter in Immigration, 2007, pp 9-42 from Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Since 1986, when the immigration Reform and Control Act was passed, migration to the United States has grown steadily. This includes immigrants, nonimmigrants, undocumented immigrants, and border crossers. Immigration averaged nearly one million annually from 1990 to 2002, with family unification accounting for over 70 percent of the new immigrants. The number of nonimmigrants topped 30 million by 2002, most of whom were tourists. Estimates for undocumented aliens topped 400,000 by the turn of the 21st century, in spite of large increases in funding from the Immigration and Naturalization Service and substantial new positions along the Mexican-United States border. The exact number of border crossers is not known, but the federal government has noted that well over 200 million crossings (mostly along the Mexican border) are recorded each year. In response to tighter controls on migrants after 9/11 the numbers coming to the United States dropped in 2003. However, they increased again in 2004. It appears that the figures will increase in the future.
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