Nearly 1 million immigrants became U. S. citizens this year
In fiscal year 2022, which ended on September 30, 967, 400 adult immigrants completed the process to become citizens by taking the oath of allegiance at naturalization ceremonies around the country. This is the third greatest number of people who became citizens in one year with fiscal years 1996 and 2008 being the only other years in which more individuals became citizens.
Additionally, after steep pandemic-related declines, legal immigration to the U.S. is returning to previous levels. Final data has not yet been released for fiscal year 2022, but it appears that the United States has accepted 1 million immigrants as lawful permanent residents, close to the 1.1 million yearly average over the last 20 years. This is a much higher number than the 707,000 permanent residents permitted in FY 2020, which is the lowest number reported since FY 2003. This sharp increase contradicts predictions that the pandemic allowed the Trump administration to permanently lower legal immigration levels.
The temporary reduction in the number of permanent residents has had a negative impact, however. Approximately 750,000 fewer green cards were issued and fewer temporary workers and students were allowed to enter the U. S. in the past two years, all of which has likely impacted the labor shortages in a number of industries, affecting the United States’ ability to recover economically from the pandemic. In addition, U. S. Immigration systems and agencies have suffered due to office closures and other changes made during the previous presidency, resulting in years-long wait times for visa interviews and a major backlog for application processing for the USCIS.
Sanctions and the pandemic are leading to migration that threatens Cuba’s future
Over the last year, nearly 250,000 Cubans have arrived in the U.S. with the majority of them coming over land to the southern border. The historic exodus is largely due to tightening sanctions by the U. S. and the Covid-19 pandemic, which decimated the tourism industry, an industry that is vital to the Cuban economy. In contrast to previous periods of mass migration from Cuba in 1980 and 1994, this time there appears to be no end in sight and further threatens the country’s stability.
Sheriff calls on federal agents to remove Arizona Governor Ducey’s illegal border wall equipment
Since August, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has been illegally placing shipping containers at gaps in the border wall. Sheriff David Hathaway is calling on federal agents to remove the containers but faces the reality that the containers are in Cochise County which is just outside of his jurisdiction of Santa Cruz County. Governor-elect Katie Hobbs is exploring her options to remove the containers when she takes office in Arizona in January.