2009-2014: 831,221 Green Cards to Migrants from Muslim-Majority Countries, 322,882 to EU Countries

Patrick Goodenough | June 13, 2016 | 6:02pm EDT
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A green card is issued to lawful permanent residents of the United States. (Image: U.S. Green Card Office)

(CNSNews.com) – Between fiscal years 2009 and 2014 the federal government issued green cards to 831,221 migrants from Muslim-majority countries, compared to 322,882 from European Union member-states.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s latest annual Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, the U.S. issued green cards (lawful permanent residence status) to 148,736 migrants from Muslim-majority nations in FY 2014 – a 26.7 percent increase from 117,336 in FY 2013.

The Muslim-majority countries accounting for the largest numbers of migrants getting green cards during FY 2014 were Iraq (19,153), Pakistan (18,612), Bangladesh (14,645), Iran (11,615), Egypt (11,477) and Afghanistan (10,527).

Of the Muslim countries, the biggest increases between FY 2013 and FY 2014 applied to migrants from Afghanistan (from 2,196 to 10,527, a jump of 379 percent), from Iraq (from 9,552 to 19,153, a 100.5 percent increase), and from Pakistan (from 13,251 to 18,612, an increase of 37.6 percent).

Over the six year period from FY 2009-FY 2014, the Muslim countries from which most migrants issued with green cards came were: Iraq (102,172), Pakistan (101,962), Bangladesh (89,626), Iran (84,951), Egypt (56,359), Somalia (36,557), Uzbekistan (29,595), Turkey (25,984), Jordan (25,500), Morocco (25,456), Afghanistan (21,170) and Syria (17,702).

According to the DHS, green card recipients may live and work permanently anywhere in the U.S., own property, attend public schools and universities, join certain branches of the armed forces, and apply to become U.S. citizens if they meet eligibility requirements.

Almost half of admitted refugees from Near East/South Asia

Meanwhile the federal government during FY 2014 issued green cards to 134,242 foreigners who had earlier been admitted to the U.S. as refugees, according to the DHS yearbook. Of those from Muslim-majority countries, the biggest groups came from Malaysia (7,473), Iraq (4,669), Egypt (4,200), Jordan (3,719), Turkey (3,581) and Syria (2,329).

According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ latest report to Congress on its Office of Refugee Resettlement, a total of 402,000 refugees arrived in the U.S. between FY 2009 and FY 2014.

Of those, 48 percent (195,000) originated from the Near East/South Asia region – 98,000 of them from Iraq alone.

In FY 2014, the U.S. admitted a total of 70,000 refugees, of whom 32,000 (45.7 percent) originated from the Near East/South Asia region. They include 20,000 (29 percent of the total) from Iraq, 9,000 (13 percent) from Somalia, 3,000 (4 percent) Iran, 1,000 (1 percent) from Afghanistan and 1,000 (1 percent) from Sudan, according to the report, which uses rounded figures.

For the purposes of its ORR report the HHS lists 24 countries in the Near East/South Asia region. They include Arab and non-Arab Muslim countries as well as non-Muslim countries with large Muslim minorities, such as India, and other countries with relatively few Muslims, such as Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The 24 are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, ‘Palestine,’ Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and Yemen.

The Near East/South Asia region excludes other countries with large Muslim populations, including Indonesia, Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria.

In comparing numbers of green card-issued migrants’ countries of origin, CNSNews.com has used the 46 countries identified by the Pew Research Center as having Muslim-majority populations. Therefore countries with large Muslim populations (by number, if not by proportion to total population size), such as India, Nigeria, China and Russia, are excluded.

The 46 Muslim-majority countries are:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Chad Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

The 28 member-states of the European Union are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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