5 Crazy Immigration Facts That Will Shock You

As you can imagine, there are many crazy and unbelievable American immigration facts and stories. Below you can read about some interesting facts that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Federal court system and others have revealed. 

Fact #1 – Arrests

The majority of immigrants arrested in the United States were for Driving Under the Influence. In the year 2017 alone, there were over 59,000 immigrants that were arrested for traffic offenses alone. Most of these traffic offenses were Driving Under the Influence charges. Immigration offenses were the third-largest category of arrests. One of the lowest arrest charges was for the classification of Commercialized Sexual Offenses, which includes human sex trafficking. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the number of immigrant murder and conviction charges were 1,500. It is slim in comparison to the number of Driving Under the Influence charges. Studies have shown that American-born citizens are more likely to commit violent crimes and serious criminal offenses than undocumented immigrants. 

Fact #2 – Donald Trump – Coincidence

During the year 2017, the removal or deportation of Haitians rose from 310 in 2016 to 5,578 in the year 2017. That is a huge increase. During the year 2016, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 109,000 criminals and 46,000 immigrants that did not have criminal records. It was Donald Trump’s first year in office and resulted in an 174% increase compared to the year 2016. 128,000 Latin Americans were deported in 2017, and 149,000 were deported under Obama’s presidency. Fewer Salvadorans and Guatemalans were deported in 2017 than in 2016. 

Fact#3 – How Do Most Immigrants Illegally Enter the United States

Recently over two-thirds of immigrants arrived in the United States on valid legal visas for employees, tourists, or students. The fact that they stayed in the country when their visa expired is one of the most common ways the immigrants remain in the States illegally. That means that only approximately one-third of immigrants entered the U.S. illegally by crossing over the Southern border. Therefore a wall being constructed across the southern border would not have stopped the two-thirds of immigrants that stayed illegally that were admitted into the country on valid visas. According to U.S. data, in 2016,  approximately 10.7 and 11.3 million illegal immigrants were living in the United States. It was a 12 year low due to stricter security enforcement at the southern border and the changing economy. 

At the end of September in 2018, there were approximately 396,579 people caught crossing the border into the United States illegally. In 2016 46% of refugees entering the United States were Muslim, and 44% were Christian. The number of babies born to illegal immigrants while in the United States is approximately 275,000 a decrease from previous years. Before the 70s, there were far more male immigrants in the United States than there were female immigrants. Almost 904,000 individuals that have immigrated to the United States are LGBT. The first major legislation on immigration law in the United States occurred in 1819 when a law was passed by congress to record all names, occupations, and ages of people arriving in the country.

Fact #4 – Asylum

Asylum is an immigration process that is available for immigrants that fear they will or have suffered persecution due to religion, race, political views, membership in a social group, or nationality. Asylum is not a form of illegal immigration in the United States. You may be permitted to stay in the states if you are eligible for asylum, but it is not a pleasant or easy process. The Asylum process can take many years. Recently and a record high in 2018, approximately 100,000 immigrants started the asylum process. The following steps are involved in the Affirmative Asylum Process:

  • Arrive in the United States
  • Apply for Asylum
  • Security, Background checks and fingerprinting
  • Interview Notice Issued
  • Interview
  • Eligibility Determination
  • Eligibility Decision reviewed by Asylum Officer of Supervisory status
  • Issue Decision to Applicant

Immigrants can be placed into the Defensive Asylum Process when:

  • When they are not eligible for Affirmative Asylum and are referred to an Immigration Judge 
  • When they are in removal proceedings. If they were caught trying to gain entry into the United States illegally or violated their status of immigration or were caught trying to gain access into the country illegally and were found to have a credible fear of torture or persecution. 

The Defensive Asylum Process involves the case being heard by an Immigration Judge. The individual and his or her lawyer (if they have one) and the U.S. Government, an ICE attorney, will present their arguments to the judge. The judge decides either to order asylum or deny asylum. The immigration judge will determine if there are any other forms of relief that the immigrant may be eligible for. If the immigrant is denied, and there are no other forms of assistance, the immigrant will be removed from the United States. The decision the Immigration Judge makes can be appealed by both the immigrant and ICE. 89% of the time, immigrants that have applied for asylum show up to their court hearings. 

Fact#5 – U.S. Government Welfare Programs

Illegal immigrants are not eligible for any U.S. government welfare programs. Legal immigrants, including those granted asylum, green card holders, and refugees, must have resided in the United States for five full years before becoming eligible for U.S. federal government benefits. Most undocumented immigrants are not allowed access to food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or regular Medicaid. However, some exceptions may apply to protect life or guarantee safety in dire situations. 


At the end of the day, if an individual wants to immigrate to the United States, the best route to take is the legal route. Many immigrants that try to migrate to the United States illegally end up going through very unpleasant processes and may result in being deported anyway.