The topic of immigration has lately been a hotbed of controversy from both sides of the political spectrum. While both political parties have differing opinions about the topic, one thing remains certain. The United States may be friendly to legal immigrants, but other countries far surpass this country in immigration when the numbers are looked at as a percentage of the total population.
When looking at the total number of immigrants, this country seems like it is the most immigrant-friendly nation in the world. However, when viewed as a percentage of the population, our country actually comes in 22nd. Those numbers suggest that if we increase our immigration numbers, we would not be forced into the poor house.
Luxembourg actually takes the honor of being the most immigrant friendly country, followed by Switzerland. America ranks below Canada, New Zealand, Australia and even Israel. By the numbers compiled by this study, America could increase immigration by up to three million people per year and it still would not make the top five of friendliest countries.
These figures may be surprising to some, but several states in this country have a huge immigration population, California included, and the study authors suggest that they suffer no ill effects from their immigrant populations. In fact, those same states all rank highly in terms of median income.
With the immigration numbers of other countries compared to ours, it actually could lend credence to the argument that immigration isn’t nearly as serious a problem as some believe it to be. Perhaps the information in this study will inspire lawmakers to loosen restrictions on American immigration laws, allowing those who wish to become American citizens a more direct path to their goals.
Source: Southern California Public Radio, “By the numbers: Just how welcoming is the U.S. to immigrants?” Leslie Berestein Rojas, Nov. 19, 2012