Legal Immigration to U.S. Still Declining
The number of people granted legal permanent residence in the United States in FY 2003 dropped 34 percent to just under 706,000. This included 358,000 new arrivals and 347,000 persons who adjusted their status. These figures are down significantly from the 1.06 million who became new legal permanent residents in FY 2002. The decline reflects that only half as many persons who were present in the United States adjusted their status as had done so the year before (347,000 in FY 2003 compared to 680,000 in FY 2002). DHS officials attribute the processing slowdown to new requirements for additional background checks on applicants, as well as the shifting of adjudications staff to the Special Registration program, leaving fewer officials available to process green cards.
This fact sheet is an overview of U.S. immigration based on Fiscal Year 2003 data from the 2003 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, which was released in mid-September 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics.