No matter your viewpoint, immigration is a hot topic in America, especially in recent years. It is also an ever-present issue all around the world. People in general are concerned with their borders, who is crossing them, and why. But not many people can really get into the details of immigration law, history, and policies. We have compiled a list of some of the most interesting but least well-known immigration facts to help you get a wider perspective on immigration as a whole, and to start some intriguing conversations at your next get-together. Of course, if you need the help of our Montgomery County immigration attorneys for a legal issue, you are encouraged to contact USILaw at any time.
FIVE INTERESTING IMMIGRATION FACTS
- Seven century wait list: The United States only allows a certain number of employment-based visas to exist and be issued each year. Every country also has its own cap that reflects a small portion of the total number. India in particular has a 3,000 yearly cap but roughly 210,000 people waiting for EB-3 visas. Assuming no one else is added to the queue and takes priority, it would still take the last person in line 70 years to gain approval.
- Bring your family: Congress allows a total number of 140,000 permanent residence immigrant visas to be granted each year. You might understandably think that is a huge amount of foreign workers coming into the country. But the reality is that half or more of those visas are actually granted to the dependents of the worker, such as spouses and children.
- In the dark ages: If you are following the trend so far in fact 1 and 2, you might be thinking that immigration law is unreasonably restrictive, and that more visas could make a lot of people have much better lives. You wouldn’t be alone in that thought process. The 140,000 cap – and 65,000 cap for H-1B visas in particular – was established in 1990, well before the great technology bloom. Despite the massive changes to the global economy and the social sphere of the world, immigration law has not been changed to keep up.
- Watering the STEM: Companies that fill out an H-1B petition get taxed $1,500 each time. Since this tax was enacted in 1998, it has collected close to $4 billion in revenue that goes straight into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) scholarships and in-depth job training based here in the States.
- Tired, poor, and brilliant masses: A plaque at the Statue of Liberty famously welcomes immigrants of all kind to the United States where they can find safe harbor and start new lives. And it is a good thing, too. More than half of the American “startup” companies that are valued at more than $1 billion were founded by immigrants; another 70% of those same companies have immigrants in key executive positions or leading R&D teams.