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NEW YORK, NY, Aug. 31, 2016 – The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) today issued a detailed analysis of immigration to the United States in 2014 and 2015. CMS’s analysis, authored by Robert Warren, CMS’s Senior Visiting Fellow and former director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Statistics Division, is available at http://cmsny.org/publications/warren-immigration-surge-illusory/.

After closely examining a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), CMS concluded the following:

  • Any increases in arrivals and foreign-born population growth in 2014 and 2015 are well within the bounds of normal annual fluctuations observed in Census Bureau survey data over the past 15 years.
  • Any increases were the result of: (1) an increase in temporary admissions, mostly students and temporary workers and their families; and, (2) the arrival of immigrants (overwhelmingly those with legal status) who resided in the United States in previous years, left for some period, and returned. The movement of the latter group is quantified in the CMS report for the first time.
  • Legal immigrant arrivals accounted for all of the reported increase (by CIS) in total arrivals in 2014, and therefore undocumented immigration has remained unchanged.

Earlier this year, CMS reported that the total US undocumented population fell below 11 million in 2014 for the first time since 2004. CMS also offered evidence that the Mexican-born undocumented population continued to decline, falling by more than 600,000 between 2010 and 2014. The CMS paper is available at http://jmhs.cmsny.org/index.php/jmhs/article/view/58.

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“CMS’s most recent analysis demonstrates that the gradual increase in the number of arriving immigrants in each of the past few years is accounted for by arrivals of legal non-immigrants (admitted temporarily) and of returning (legal) immigrants,” said Donald Kerwin, CMS’s Executive Director. “At a time when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is claiming that the US undocumented population could be as large as 30 million persons, it is important to emphasize that this population of 10.9 million is not growing and, in fact, has declined by one million persons since 2007.”

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) is a New York-based educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. For more information, please visit www.cmsny.org.