Fact Check: Hillary Clinton Claims U.S. Is a ‘Nation of Immigrants’

AP Photo/Matt York

Hillary Clinton used the third presidential debate to claim that the United States is “a nation of immigrants.”

In fact, the United States is a nation of 280 million Americans, who have almost 45 million foreign-born people to live alongside them in their own country.

The federal U.S Census Bureau reports that the national population is 324.7 million.

The population of immigrants was about 42.4 million in 2014, according to federal data presented by the Center for Immigration Studies. That leaves a population of 280 million native-born Americans. 

If the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants are discounted, then this is a nation of 280 million Americans and 33 million invited immigrants. 

That’s nine Americans for every foreign-born person, living in what Clinton describes as a “nation of immigrants.”

According to the CIS,

data from the Census Bureau shows that 42.4 million immigrants (both legal and illegal) now live in the United States …   The nation’s 42.4 million immigrants (legal and illegal) in 2014 is the highest number ever in American history. The 13.3 percent of the nation’s population comprised of immigrants in 2014 is the highest percentage in 94 years. Between 2000 and 2014, 18.7 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the United States …

A large share of immigrants have low levels of formal education. Of adult immigrants (ages 25 to 65), 28 percent have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives. The share of immigrants (25 to 65) with at least a bachelor’s degree is only slightly lower than natives — 30 percent vs. 32 percent.

However, the federal government is rapidly increasing the inflow of immigrants. For example, the federal brings in one immigrant for every four Americans who turn 18.

According to the Census Bureau, one new American is born every eight seconds, and a new immigrant arrives every 29 seconds. That’s one new immigrant for every three or four new-born Americans.