The number of green card or legal permanent residents from Latin America and the Caribbean has showed a slight decline over 2009 totals.
That’s according to latest statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security and analysed by News Americas. The data shows that over 300,000 migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean became permanent residents last year, compared to almost 400,000 who entered the US or became LPRs in 2009.
Of that number, the majority were from Mexico, a whopping 139,120, while over 87,000 were from South America. The South American nation with the most new green card holders was Colombia with 22,406.
In the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic led the way with 53,870 new LPRs. Cuba with 33,573 was second followed by Haiti with 22,582 and Jamaica with 19,825.
Overall, the number of individuals granted LPR status in 2010 decreased 7.8 per cent from 1,130,818 in 2009 to 1,042,625 while LPR adjustments of status decreased from 667,776 in 2009 to 566,576 in 2010.
Fifty-four per cent of green card holders in 2010 were adjustments of status and 46 per cent were new arrivals. The leading regions of birth of new LPRs last year were Asia (41 per cent) and North America (32 per cent).
In 2010, 13 per cent of all persons becoming LPRs were born in Mexico. The second leading country of birth was China (6.8 per cent), followed by India (6.6 per cent), Philippines (5.6 per cent), and the Dominican Republic (5.2 per cent).
California was the state of residence of one-fifth (20 per cent) of persons granted LPR status in 2010. Other leading states of residence included New York (14.2 per cent), Florida (10.3 per cent), Texas (8.4 per cent), and New Jersey (5.5 per cent).
Family-sponsored immigrants (immediate relatives of US citizens and family preference classes of admission) represented 66 per cent of the total LPR flow in 2010. Immediate relatives of US citizens accounted for 46 per cent of all individuals granted LPR status in 2010. Spouses of US citizens represented 57 per cent of immediate relative LPRs. Parents of US citizens accounted for 24 per cent, and children of US citizens, including adopted orphans, comprised 19 per cent.
Nearly 21 per cent of new LPRs in 2010 were admitted under a family-sponsored preference. The second preference (spouses and children of alien residents) accounted for 43 per cent of family-sponsored preference LPRs, and the fourth preference (siblings of US citizens) comprised 29 per cent.
Immigrants admitted under an employment-based preference accounted for 14 per cent of the LPR flow in 2010.