680,000 US Green Cards issued to Muslim immigrants since 2009

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According to data from the 2013 Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) 'Yearbook of Immigration Statistics', 680,000 US green cards were issued to immigrants from Muslim-majority nations between 2009 and 2013. Among those receiving the green cards were refugees, sparking calls from one anti-immigration US senator for a reduction in the number of green cards being granted. However, the statistics may be misleading in that about half of immigrants may actually already be in the US and are changing status to permanent residence.

Religion and Terrorism Statistics in US

There has been a focus by the Media on terrorist incidents by "muslims" which some have said is due to "Islamophobia" (perhaps similar to antisemitism). The shocking terrorist incidents we have seen in the US and around the World are rightly condemned. However, scaremongering by both politicians and the media about muslims is unfair.

The Pew Research Center an independent Think Tank says that about one percent of the total population in the US is muslim. However, despite being only one percent of the population the muslim community attracts a great deal of attention. You would think from media coverage that a much higher percentage of the population in the US is "muslim".

According to the FBI 94 percent of terrorist attacks committed between 1980 and 2005 in the US have been committed by non-muslims. According to the same FBI report there were more "jewish" acts of terrorism than "muslim" acts of terrorism. But actually most acts of terrorism were committed by Latinos, and extreme left wing groups. There is however a greater focus on terrorism by "muslims". Most terrorism in the US does not appear to have anything to do with religion.

US Immigration Statistic Data

According to the Migration Policy Institute in 2014, 1.3 million foreign-born individuals moved to the United States, representing an increase in 11 percent from the 1.2 million in 2013. The biggest Countries of origin for new immigrants are as follows:

  1. India: 147,500

  2. China: 131,800,

  3. Mexico: 130,000,

  4. Canada: 41,200

  5. Philippines: 40,500.

The data from the DHS's Yearbook of Immigration Statistics identifies Bangladesh, Iraq and Pakistan as the top countries for US green cards received by nationals of muslim majority Countries. Over a five-year period, 83,000 green cards were granted to citizens of Pakistan and Iraq, while 75,000 were issued to nationals of Bangladesh. This is an average of 31,600 a year which is less than annual immigration from the Philippines.

Documents detailing the number of US green cards issued to Muslim-majority countries were submitted to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest in November 2015. They were subsequently released to the press by anti-Immigrant Republican Senator for Alabama, Jeff Sessions, who is also the Senate Subcommittee chairman.

In a press release, Sessions said: "Among those receiving green cards are individuals admitted to the United States as refugees, who must apply for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident (green card) status within one year of admission."

"Refugees have instant access to federal welfare entitlements, along with local benefits and education services; these costs are not offset," he added.

US can expect to issue another 680,000 green cards to those from muslim majority Countries over five years

Immigration hardliner Sessions, who recently endorsed Republican Party presidential frontrunner Donald Trump (who seems to be pro-immigrant some of the time) in February and joined Trump's team of foreign policy advisers, said that 'if nothing changes concerning green card policy, the US can expect to issue green cards to another 680,000 immigrants from these countries in the next five years.'

"To control this extreme level of future immigration growth, as a supermajority of voters wish, will require Congress to take up and pass a bill to reduce the number of visas issued on autopilot each and every year," Sessions added.

Further analysis of immigration Statistics

According to the Migration Policy Institute - an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide – data for one particular year tells a very different story. In 2013, 54 per cent of the 530,802 people issued with green cards were in fact 'status adjusters' – those people already living in the US prior to 2013, but whose green card applications were approved that year.

The Migration Policy Institute identified that 44 per cent of recipients were immediate relatives of US citizens, a further 21 per cent had received a green card via a family-sponsored route, while 16 per cent were granted an employment-based green card such as the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3. Additionally, 12 per cent were adjusted from refugee or asylum status and another 5 per cent were diversity lottery winners.

In 2013, the top five nations of birth for new US green cards were Mexico (14 per cent), China and India (7 per cent each), the Philippines (5 per cent), and the Dominican Republic (4 per cent).

Terrorism fears exploited by anti-muslim extremists

According to some anti-immigration commentators the data demonstrates why the US has a 'problem with terrorism.' Those commentators claim that with Muslim-majority nations receiving twice as many green cards than Europeans between 2009 and 2013, it's not surprising that terrorist threats in the US are rife.

Daniel Greenfield, a writer at FrontPage Magazine , an extremist muslim bashing online magazine criticised by the Southern Poverty Law Center (whose President is jewish) - published by the David Horowitz (a former top communist) Freedom Center– writes: "This data, in a nutshell, highlights why the US has a terrorism problem. To have a major problem, you need a base recruiting population inside your borders." Frontline magazine has been linked to various groups that have been referred to as "hate groups".

Between 2009 and 2013, DHS data shows that approximately 270,000 greens cards were issued to European migrants, well short of the 680,000 issued to Muslim immigrants. However, as can be seen above there is actually a lot more immigration from India, China and Mexico than from Europe and muslim majority Countries.

US green cards entitle migrants to legal permanent residency in the US along with work authorization, federal benefits, and the chance to apply for citizenship. On average, the US issues one million green cards each year.