The number of green cards the Obama administration granted to migrants from the Middle East increased dramatically over a single year, according to a new analysis of recently published government data.
In a chart slated for release later today, the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest highlight a 32 percent increase in the number of migrants from Middle Eastern countries granted Legal Permanent Resident status from Fiscal Year 2013 to FY 2014.
Namely, in FY 2014 DHS granted green card status to 103,901 migrants from countries in the Middle East — nearly a third more than the 78,917 green cards it issued to Middle Eastern migrants in FY 2013, and more than double the 66,415 green cards it issued in FY 2001. According to the subcommittee, from FY 2001 to FY 2014 DHS granted 1,114,453 Middle Eastern migrants green cards. DHS has yet to release the statistics for FY 2015.
Notably, the countries that saw the greatest increases in green cards issued over that single year timeframe included Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. The number of green granted to migrants from Afghanistan, for instance, increased 379 percent from 2,196 green cards in FY 2013 to 10,527 in FY 2014. The number of Iraqis and Pakistanis granted green cards in that timeframe also increased by over 100 percent (from 9,552 in FY 2013 to 19,153 in FY 2014) and over 40 percent (13,251 in FY 2013 to 18,612 in FY 2014), respectively.
As the Subcommittee noted in its analysis, green cards enable the beneficiary to access lifetime residency, work authorization, federal benefits, and eventually citizenship in the U.S.
“Among those receiving green cards are individuals admitted to the U.S. as refugees, who must apply for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident (green card) status one year after admission. Refugees have immediate access to Federal welfare benefits, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), and Medicaid,” the Subcommittee writes in its analysis.
Notably, as the subcommittee points out, welfare use by refugees from the Middle East is high with “with 39 percent using TANF, 76 percent using Medicaid or RMA, and nearly 90 percent using food stamps.”