The U.S. tied its all-time record for new immigration — both legal and illegal — in 2016, with 1.75 million arrivals, according to a new study Wednesday.
The Center for Immigration Studies, which is releasing the report, says the increase is part of a post-Great Recession rebound that’s quickly changing the demographics of the U.S.
The surge was driven chiefly by Latin America, which saw its numbers double from about 335,000 in 2011 to 668,000 in 2016, pushing it past Asia as the top-sending region.
“The dramatic increase in new immigrants settling in the United States in recent years is primarily driven by the nation’s generous legal immigration system, both long-term temporary visa holders (e.g. guest workers and foreign students) and new permanent residents (green cards),” wrote Steven A. Camarota, research director at the center.
Mr. Camarota used data from the American Community Survey to calculate the numbers. The 2016 data is the most recent available.
The 1.75 million tied with 1999 — just before the tech-bubble recession — as the highest year of all time. It was up from 1.62 million in 2015, and just 1.08 million in 2011, the trough of the Great Recession dearth.