Sunday, February 18, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact Florida: Marco Rubio says U.S. admits 1 million immigrants a year, far more than any nation

During a Fox News interview last week, Sen. Marco Rubio discussed immigration and said that "a million people a year come into the U.S. legally. No other country even comes close to that figure."

Both parts of Rubio's claim seemed worthy of a fact-check.

First, we'll look at the numbers.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the United States accepted 1,062,040 legal permanent residents in fiscal year 2011, a number that has been fairly steady over the past few years. Of this number, roughly 45 percent were new arrivals and about 55 percent were people already in the United States whose status was upgraded to "permanent."

Separately, the United States admitted more than 4.4 million people in 2010 on a long-term temporary basis, either for employment or study. This number does not include a much larger total (roughly 42 million people) admitted for shorter stays, including visitors for pleasure or short-term business.

So while one could say that 46 million people actually "come into the U.S. legally," we'll give Rubio the benefit of the doubt that he was referring to the 1 million who were granted permanent resident status, not those admitted on a temporary basis.

On Rubio's other claim — that "no other country even comes close to that figure" — we looked at immigration statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a research group for advanced industrialized nations.

Using 2009 statistics, the only nation that came close to the United States in permanent immigrant inflows was Germany. That year, the United States had 1,130,800 permanent immigrants, compared with 606,314 for Germany. So the United States had numbers about twice as big. The third-place finisher, Spain, had 469,300.

So Rubio's correct on this point, too.

Without taking away from the accuracy of Rubio's statements, we thought it would be worthwhile adding a bit of context.

There are actually many other countries that absorb immigrants at a higher rate than the United States does once you factor in the size of each nation's population.

Using the measurement of permanent, annual immigrant inflows per overall population, the United States in 2009 ranked only 11th out of a selection of 28 advanced industrialized nations, trailing such countries as Australia, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway and Ireland.

And using United Nations data on the cumulative number of resident immigrants as a share of total population, the United States ranks only 25th in the world. Some of the nations with higher immigrant percentages are small, oil-rich Arab countries with large foreign-worker populations, but others with higher rankings include Israel, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Spain and Sweden.

On the other hand, the United States does diverge from most of the rest of the world on the rights granted immigrants once they are made permanent.

"Where the U.S. differs from most European countries is that the immigrants we admit are generally eligible for full membership in society through naturalization, and that the immigrants' U.S.-born children are automatically citizens with full rights," said Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer with the Pew Hispanic Center. "Neither of these is generally the case in Europe."

Our ruling

Rubio is right that "a million people a year come into the U.S. legally" and that "no other country even comes close to that figure." We rate his statement True.

PolitiFact Florida is partnering with 10 News for the 2012 election. See video fact-checks at PolitiFact.com/Florida.

Comments
Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

One of the quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign that has stuck with me came from an unidentified Donald Trump supporter who shared his appraisal of the "Access Hollywood" tape on an episode of Showtime’s "The Circus."Having heard Trump boast on...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

PARKLAND, Fla. — Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger Sunday at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. "You're the president. You're supposed t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Published: 02/17/18
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Published: 02/17/18
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Published: 02/17/18
Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

It’s been five years since the guns and immigration debate collided at the same time on Capitol Hill. This time, the results were even more unproductive.In early 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at an elementary school ...
Published: 02/17/18
Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

TAMPA — Well, that was fast.Adult film actress Stormy Daniels made her first appearance at Thee Dollhouse on Friday evening, the first of several shows planned this weekend at the Tampa strip club.She took the stage about 7 p.m. dressed in a pink, fl...
Published: 02/16/18

3 things we just learned from the indictment of 13 Russians in the Mueller investigation

We have the first indictment in Robert Mueller’s investigation that actually has to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The special counsel on Friday indicted 13 Russians in connection with a large-scale troll farm effort aimed at influenc...
Published: 02/16/18
Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

NEW YORK — Under pressure over his handling of abuse allegations against a top aide, White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday ordered sweeping changes in how the White House clears staff members to gain access to classified information, acknow...
Published: 02/16/18
Romney officially announces run for Utah Senate seat

Romney officially announces run for Utah Senate seat

Associated PressSALT LAKE CITY — Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is running for a Utah Senate seat, officially launching his political comeback attempt Friday by praising his adopted home state as a model for an acrimonious national governmen...
Published: 02/16/18