US admits more legal migrants than any other world country

Published:  27 May at 6 PM
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A statement that more immigrants are legally allowed into the US than a combination of all other migrants across the entire world has been proved technically correct.

Following a comment made by Republican Greg Walden in an interview, Politfact Oregon investigated his claim by contacting the US State Department. The department replied with a fact sheet which stated that the USA accepts more migrant permanent residents than the rest of the world combined.

Initial research unearthed a piece printed in the New York Times, written by law professor at Temple University Jan C. Ting. The paper reiterated the claim and, on contacting Prof Ting for his comments, received the answer that Canada, New Zealand and Australia combined recorded a total of 530,000 permanent migrants in 2010 whilst the US recorded around one million.

Further research came up with the numbers allowed into several EU states, with the UK in 2010 accepting 414,000 on their equivalent of a US green card, Italy recording 330,000, Spain 300,000 and Germany 220,000. European Union countries don’t break down data in the same manner as the US, so their figures must be regarded as provisional.

The researchers were keen to connect permanent residency with human rights as in the US, which excluded countries such as the UAE, other Arab states and China, all of which allow a high number of permanent resident visas but give expats few rights. Altogether, 23 diverse countries admitted over three million permanent residents in 2010, compared with the USA’s one million, leaving Walden, Prof Ting, the New York Times and the US State Department in somewhat of a dilemma.

Polifact Oregon, smirking slightly, let Walden et al off the hook by saying that the comment obviously referred only to a small number of countries with a similar green card-based immigration system. However, they graded Walden’s statement as Mostly False.
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