How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Illegal immigration from Mexico is down, but legal immigration isn't

Photo by Nathan Gibbs/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A family looks north into the United States from Playas de Tijuana, January 2009

Photo by Nathan Gibbs/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A family looks north into the United States from Playas de Tijuana, January 2009


In a short piece in The Atlantic today, Council on Foreign Relations fellow Shannon K. O'Neill points out that as net migration to the U.S. from Mexico has dropped sharply in recent years, there's an interesting wrinkle to the northbound migration that continues.

While illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. has decreased, legal immigration from Mexico is holding steady. And compared with the level of unauthorized vs. authorized migration from Mexico a decade ago, the percentage of those coming legally is way up. O'Neill writes:

Another migratory change has also occurred: of the Mexicans that still come to the United States, many more do so legally. At the start of the twenty-first century, less than 10 percent came with papers. A decade later, it is 50 percent.

What the piece links to is a lengthy U.S. State Department

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Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

Source: Visa Bulletin for April 2012, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed petitions.

Illegal immigration to the U.S. may have slowed, but the long line for legal entry that many blame in part for driving some to take the illegal route doesn't seem to be moving any more quickly.

Now that it's May, it's time to take a look once more at the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists the wait times for hopeful immigrants waiting to come to the U.S. legally on family-sponsored visas. And as is the norm, the longest waits continue to be endured by those being sponsored by U.S relatives in the Philippines, followed by people waiting in Mexico.

Until recently, hopeful immigrants from the Philippines in this visa category had been waiting in line since 1988. Now, those who filed petitions in January 1989 are finally up to receive immigrant visas - which means that people who remained in line all this time have had to wait 23 years.

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Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

Source: Visa Bulletin for April 2012, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed petitions.

It's April and time for another look at the wait times for family-sponsored visas, for whom some people wait a very, very long time. We skipped a month in March, but the line hasn't budged much. According to the U.S. State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin, the longest waits continue to be endured by the siblings of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, as is the norm.

Until recently, hopeful immigrants from the Philippines in this visa category had been waiting in line since 1988. This has now moved up to 1989, with those who filed petitions in January of that year finally up to receive immigrant visas for the U.S. Here are this month's top four categories of immigrants who have faced the longest waits:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed January 8, 1989).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait that's coming up on 20 years (petitions filed July 22, 1992)

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed December 1, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed January 15, 1993)

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Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?


The line for many immigrants hoping to enter the United States legally remains, as ever, a very long one. So now that the U.S. State Department has posted whose turn is up this month to receive an immigrant visa, let's take a look once more at who has been waiting the longest.

According to the monthly Visa Bulletin, that distinction goes once more to the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, as is the norm. Those whose turn it is to receive visas this month filed petitions to come legally as immigrants back in November of 1988.

Here are the top four categories of immigrants who have endured the longest waits this month:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed November 1, 1988).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed July 22, 1992)

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed December 1, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of just over 19 years (petitions filed January 1, 1993)

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Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed petitions. (Source: Visa Bulletin for January 2012, U.S. Department of State)

It's the start of a new month and a new year, but the line to enter the United States legally is as long as ever. According the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists the categories of hopeful immigrants whose turn is up to receive visas, there are some relatives of U.S. citizens in the Philippines and Mexico who have been waiting roughly two decades.

As in recent months, those who have had the longest waits as relatives sponsor them to come as immigrants are the siblings of U.S. citizens in the Philippines. Those whose turn is up this month to receive visas filed their petitions back in October of 1988.

Here are the top four categories of immigrants who have endured the longest waits this month:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed October 8, 1988).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed July 15, 1992)

It's a close tie for third and fourth place:

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of just over 19 years (petitions filed December 1, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, also a wait of just over 19 years (petitions filed December 22, 1992)

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