DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has helped hundreds of thousands of kids who were brought to the United States to be protected from deportation and receive at least a work permit. It was first announced by President Obama in 2012, and ever since has been a target of political wars between pro and against immigrant forces. DACA was able to withstand various attacks until recently when a Texas federal judge ordered the program to be illegal. Judge Hanen stated that President Obama did exceed his authority to protect kids from deportation, and ordered that the Department of Homeland Security stops approving new DACA applications… Judge Hanen’s decision left many in frustration and dismay: thousands of kids and now young adults lost all hopes for “legalization.” With their future in the US uncertain, all hopes turned to the Senate. The vote in the Senate may help to pass American Dream and Promise Act which provided status to those who are DACA eligible and other young adults… See our proposed reform summaries here: https://www.russianspeakinglawyerny.com/immigration-reform-updates-when-will-it-happen/.
For now, all those who are currently holding DACA status remain eligible for renewals, including employment authorizations and advance paroles, but no new applications can be approved. However, those filing for the first time may file their applications with USCIS, but the applications will not be approved until Judge Hanon’s decision is changed or appealed.
Watch our video and explanation on the most recent DACA news:
Breaking Immigration News: Administrative Closure Is Back!
July 16, 2021
Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova
Today, July 15, 2021, the Biden Administration overturned Trump’s Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Castro‑Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) and returned administrative closure to the US Immigration courts.
The significance of the decision cannot be overstated: for years since Castro-Tum, immigration Judges were deprived of the ability to control their dockets and postpone cases where respondents were waiting for interim reliefs.
Administrative closure will allow resolving the US Immigration court backlog, and will be helpful to those who either cannot have relief from removal, or have to wait for USCIS to adjudicate underlying petitions.
With the new administration in the Oval Office, the Immigration system and USCIS started to change rapidly. To date, USCIS changed its policies including honoring prior decisions, granting U visa applicants work permits, extending work permits for adjustment of status applicants, and more. In one recent trend, USCIS also started to waive interviews for certain adjustments of status applicants. USCIS waives interviews for employment-based, SIJ based adjustments, as well as VAWA based adjustments, and I 730 beneficiaries.
USCIS focus on Naturalization:
In addition, USCIS announced that it would continue to focus on promoting naturalization and citizenship. In fact, President Biden hosted a naturalization event during which 21immigrants became new US citizens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUertGpv7rw
Reopening of Immigration courts:
Immigration courts are set to open next week, and you need to be prepared. Learn more on our Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBSrIQswMdYh_T1qToEZRrQ!
In the law office of Alena Shautsova, New York Immigration attorney, we help non-citizens to achieve their dreams to become US lawful permanent residents and citizens. Biden administration voiced their commitment to change the US Immigration System and do all in their power to deliver the Immigration reform. But the executive branch of the government is limited in its actions. Although changing USCIS policies will help thousands of people, the real relief can be brought by the legislative arm of the government or Congress only. Here, we will discuss some of the legislative proposals that were recently introduced or reintroduced by the President, Republicans and Democrats. I will share my thoughts regarding the possible success of the proposals and the latest news related to their status.
The US citizenship Act of 2021. This is the law that was proposed by President Biden. This proposal is very broad and if passed, would bring relief to pretty much every non-citizen who has been residing in the US since January 1, 2021. It has two main tracks: one is for those who do not have any status in the US and are not DACA, or TPS holders and are not agricultural workers. It proposes first a temporary residence for six years with an opportunity to file for permanent residence after five years. Once the person holds permanent residence for three years, he/she will be able to apply for naturalization. For DACA, TPS holders, and Agricultural workers it creates a direct path to green card. There are other significant proposals contained in this act, such as the elimination of the one-year asylum filing deadline, for example. The only update we have with regard to its current status is that on April 28, 2021, it was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. In my opinion, it is unlikely that this proposal will pass in its current form, just because it is too broad, does not contain any limitations on the length of the residency required to meet the qualifications for temporary status, and I would treat it more as a conversation starter rather than the practical proposal that can be worked on.
The Dream and Promise Act of 2021, is a bipartisan
bill, that would provide conditional permanent resident status for 10 years to “dreamers”: a qualifying alien who entered the
United States as a minor (18 years old or younger on the date of the entry) and
(1) is deportable or inadmissible, (2) has deferred enforced departure (DED)
status or temporary protected status (TPS) (resided in the US since January 1, 2017
in a TPS status), or (3) is the child of certain classes of nonimmigrants. The
bill imposes various qualifying requirements, such as the alien being continuously
physically present in the United States since January 1, 2021, passing a
background check, and being enrolled in or having completed certain educational
programs. DHS shall remove the conditions placed on permanent resident status
granted under this bill if the alien applies and meets certain requirements,
such as completing certain programs at an educational institution, serving in
the military, or being employed. Furthermore, DHS and DOJ shall cancel the
removal of certain aliens who had TPS, were eligible for TPS, or were eligible
for DED status on certain dates. Such an alien shall receive permanent resident
status upon meeting certain requirements and applying for such status within
three years of this bill’s enactment.”
This Bill is much narrower in nature, is tailored for DACA holders,
and TPS holders, rather than all non-citizens. For that reason, taking the conservative
opposition, it has a real potential of being passed, perhaps with some
modifications. The last action on the bill was performed on June 15, 2021 when hearings
in the Senate took place.
Citizenship for Essential Workers Act 2021 is another great proposal that, if passed, will bring relief to millions, because it happened that millions of undocumented immigrants in the US are also essential workers, working in construction, health care and child care services, food preparation, delivery, trucking, restaurants, and retail businesses, etc. that served and saved the country during the COVID pandemic. The bill would grant adjustment of status or green card to anyone who can prove that they earned income during the pandemic, even if a person had a prior order of removal, as long as the person passes security background checks. An employer will have to confirm that the employee worked for them, facing severe sanctions in case of arbitrary refusal. The Bill would allow depends of the main applicants (sons, daughters, spouses, parents in certain situations, to benefit form it as well). The following sectors are covered by the bill:
“(G) Agricultural work, including labor that is seasonal in
“(H) Commercial or residential landscaping.
“(I) Commercial or residential construction or renovation.
“(J) Housing, residential, and commercial construction related
activities or public works construction.
“(K) Domestic work in private households, including child care,
home care, or house cleaning.
“(L) Natural disaster recovery, disaster reconstruction, and
“(M) Home and community-based work, including—
“(i) home health care;
“(ii) residential care;
“(iii) assistance with activities of daily living;
“(iv) any service provided by direct care workers (as defined in
section 799B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295p)), personal care
aides, job coaches, or supported employment providers; and
“(v) any other provision of care to individuals in their homes
by direct service providers, personal care attendants, and home health aides.
“(N) Family care, including child care services, in-home child
care services such as nanny services, and care services provided by family
members to other family members.
“(Q) Transportation or logistics.
“(S) Laundromat and dry-cleaning operators.
As one can see, it is very broad. Most importantly, it would also help a parent, spouse, son, or daughter of a member of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard. The only continuing presence requirement to meet under this bill: is that a person has to reside in the US since January 1, 2021 and until the application is approved. Ineligible individuals will include those who: “(A) departed the United States while subject to an order of exclusion, deportation, removal, or voluntary departure; and
was outside the United States on January 1, 2021; or
reentered the United States unlawfully after January 1, 2021.
The last action on this bill
was undertaken on May 12, 2021 when Committee on the
Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety held
Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021. This is another bill that has a lot of potential due to its limited
nature. Under the bill, DHW would grant a status an applying alien who “
(1) performed at least 1,035 hours of agricultural labor during the two-year
period prior to March 8, 2021; (2) on that date was inadmissible, deportable,
or under a grant of deferred enforced departure or temporary protected status;
and (3) has been continuously present in the United States from that date until
receiving CAW (certified agricultural worker) status. The bill imposes additional
crime-related inadmissibility grounds on CAW applicants and makes some other
grounds inapplicable.” The status shall be valid for 5.5 years and may be
extended. DHS may grant dependent status to the spouse or children of a
principal alien. An alien with a pending application may not be detained or
removed by DHS and shall be authorized for employment until DHS makes a final
decision on the application. A CAW alien (and dependents) may apply for lawful
permanent resident status after meeting various requirements, including
performing a certain amount of agricultural labor for a number of years. The
last action on the bill was March 22, 2021 when it was received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on
Among the main points is that this proposal created
a long-term path to a green card, includes a fine as a part of the application
process, and provides a temporary status first for 10 years, with an opportunity
to qualify for a green card later.
There are the main proposals with real potentials to be adopted, at least in parts. As one can see, so far the latest action on any of them was performed in mid-June. Taking into consideration Democrats’ voiced attempts to try to pass some Immigration provisions as a part of the budget voting, it can be expected that any future meaningful actions shall be undertaken no earlier than Fall of 2021.
In the meantime, one can try to benefit from
the ICE/DHS prosecutorial discretion and changed USCIS policies that may bring
at least temporary relief.
f you need help with Immigration
challenges in the US, book a confidential consultation by calling 917 885 2261.
(Consultation fees apply).
Alena Shautsova, New York Immigration lawyer helps her clients to understand the United States Immigration laws and navigate the complex Immigration system.
There are thousands, or perhaps millions of asylum applications that have been filed in the United States in the past decade. Many of those applications are so-called “affirmative” asylum applications: applications filed before USCIS Asylum office. In the affirmative asylum process, a person may wait for their Asylum interview for years, and in very rare instances decades. At times, during the wait time, a person’s personal situation may change: a person may divorce and remarry, a person may marry, etc. The question many ask is if it is possible to receive a marriage-based green card if a person has “asylum pending status”.
The answer depends on several factors, related to a person’s admissibility because different qualifications are used by USCIS to determine if a person qualifies for asylum and if a person qualifies for adjustment of status based on marriage. When a person files for asylum, it does not matter if he/she crossed the border or entered the United States legally: the manner of entry is not an issue for the asylum qualifications. But it matters a lot for adjustment of the status case: only a person who can demonstrate that he/she was inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled may adjust status in the United States (with some very few exceptions).
Another important consideration to keep in mind is if a person will need waivers for adjustment: for example, a person who files for asylum may qualify for it even if he/she entered the country with fraudulent documents, or has certain criminal convictions. But an applicant for adjustment of status, in a similar situation, may require a waiver, which may be hard to qualify for.
Finally, the marriage must be of course bona fide and with a US citizen due to the fact that the adjustment is possible only if a person maintains non-immigrant lawful status throughout his/her time in the United States. There is only one exception from this rule: it is the adjustment of status for immediate relatives (spouses of US citizens, children of US citizens under 21, and parents of US citizens).
There may be some other important factors to keep in mind while trying to adjust status in the United States, and for that reason, a person should at least consult with an attorney before submitting their Immigration petitions and applications to USCIS.
What if you can adjust and you are married? In this case, if you are still under the jurisdiction of the USCIS (most cases whose interview has not been scheduled yet), you will need to prepare and submit to USCIS the adjustment package (usually, includes forms I 130, I 130A, I 485, I 765, I 864). USCIS will issue the receipts and with time, will call the couple for the interview.
Many are asking: is it possible to withdraw the asylum application in such a situation. Of course, you always have a right to withdraw your asylum application. But you cannot erase it from your history. Normally, a person would wait for the green card to be approved and then would ask USCIS to withdraw or dismiss their asylum case. But each person’s situation is different, and he/she should consult with an attorney prior to submitting the request for withdrawal.
Now, even if you were transferred to court, and you marry a US citizen, you still may have a chance to adjust your status, but the way you submit your applications with USCIS and EOIR (Immigration Court) now will be different. Also, your burden of proof for the real marriage will be higher.
If you need a consultation on how to change your asylum pending status, give us a call at 917 885 2261 to reserve your confidential appointment. (Note, all appointments are subject to a fee).
Throughout his time in office, President
Trump has been waging war with anyone who dares attempt to claim refugee status
in the United States. Whether it has been his policy of detaining and
separating children from their families, in what can only be described as
concentration camps; or his administration’s attempt to strip asylum seekers of
their humanity by detaining them almost indefinitely, after they had passed
their ‘credible fear’ interview. Trump’s administration has presided over the
purposeful disregard for international law and its moral responsibility to
protect those who arrive at its door seeking safety.
If we were to list every legal and
regulatory wall erected by this administration we might be here all day. So,
let’s skip to Trump’s cherry on top – his almost wholescale ban on asylum
claims in July 2020 via changes to the regulations around the so-called
‘credible fear’ screening that new self-referrals are subjected to upon entry
to the country.
Upon entry to the US, an asylum officer
from the USCIS conducts an interview designed to identify whether there is a “significant
possibility” that the person in question has a “well-founded fear of
persecution or harm on account of his or her race, religion, nationality,
membership in a particular social group, or political opinion if returned to
his or her home country.” Since July, the interpretation of what kind of
applicant might meet this set of criteria has been severely narrowed.
Changes made by the Department of Homeland
Security’s Chief Executive, Chad Wolf to the regulatory framework governing the
interpretation of US law and, consequently, the operation of ‘credible
fear’ interviews, have lead to the denial of almost all asylum cases since
July. In a letter to the DHS, Human Rights Watch state that Chad Wolf’s
intervention has changed the way that “a particular social group” is defined,
putting it at odds with the pre-established legal definition.
Now, when a ‘credible fear’ interview takes
place, interrogators no longer understand “a particular social group” in the
broader sense in which it was prior understood. Self-referring refugees must be
seeking sanctuary from persecution as a consequence of just their race,
religion, nationality or political opinion – without consideration of the fact
that being part of other types of ‘social groups’ might cause a ‘credible fear’. According
to Human Rights Watch, this will weigh heavily against applications from Central
America, where, for some, gang culture is a necessary means of existence. It
will hamper applicants seeking refuge due to their gender or sexuality. In some
parts of Uganda, to be openly gay is to sign a death warrant. After being
publicly shamed, a gay man, or woman, can be maimed or murdered. The changes in
interpretation as to what should constitute a “particular social group” by law,
will mean almost certain deportation for these people back to the snake pit
from which they have fled.
Now the U.S. District Court Judge, James
Donato has placed a block on the further operation of this rule.
He explained that the regulatory change
sought to seriously alter the grounds on which people were able to qualify for asylum.
And, if rejected asylum applications did find themselves before a court,
the government’s measures had greatly broadened immigration adjudicators’ scope
for dismissing their case. Thanks to this administration, winning the
possibility of staying in the US has become incredibly unlikely.
Donato’s block was sought on procedural
grounds, on the basis that Homeland Security Chief, Chad Wolf wasn’t properly
appointed and, therefore, had no legal prerogative to issue the rule. Judge
James Donato highlighted
the arguments made on the government’s side in prior cases in defense of
Wolf’s legitimacy: “In effect, the government keeps crashing the same car into
a gate, hoping that someday it might break through.”
With only days until the next President’s
inauguration, this rule is likely to be replaced by a more friendly culture at
the DHS and USCIS. Joe Biden and his incoming clan have already pledged to
raise the ceiling on how many refugees are allowed in from 18,000 per year to
125,000. Biden’s camp has made platitudinal noise about ‘righting wrongs’ and
eliminating Trump policy with the finest ‘stroke of a pen.’ This might not be
as easy as the Biden Administration thinks. Without swift legislative
intervention, change may take some time. The legal and regulatory frameworks
have been severely altered. If this administration does all the heavy lifting
on immigration policy from the Oval Office, change might be slow and even
suffer legal dispute.
Latest Immigration News: Asylum Will Be Denied To Those Transited Through a Third Country
Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice
published final rules regarding barring asylum to those who on their way to the
United States transited through a different country. The new rule goes into
effect on January 19, 2021.
To qualify for asylum, an applicant will have to demonstrate that either he/she filed for asylum or similar protection in one of the countries she transited through on the way to the USA, and received a final judgment of denial; or that the alien is the victim of severe human trafficking; or that all the countries the person transited through are not part to the International treaties protecting refugees: 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.
The rule will be applied to those asylum seekers who enter or attempt to enter the United States across the southern land border. It will be applied to all asylum seekers who do not meet exceptions, including unaccompanied minors. The rule will be used in connection with credible fear screening as well, necessary limiting the number of persons who may qualify to see the judge.
A usual route for someone from Central America would include crossing Guatemala and Mexico. These countries traditionally are not considered safe for asylum seekers, and as a rule, persons who are fleeing violence would not seek protection in Guatemala, where there is a high crime rate and violence of its own.
Note that this rule will not be applied to those entering
the US via airports, or by the sea, entering the United States at other borders.
This new rule adds on to the incoming restrictions
and modifications for asylum eligibility that will go into effect on January
If you need help with an asylum case, call us at 917 885 2261 to reserve a confidential consultation.
Documentary Evidence in Asylum Cases
November 11, 2020
Author: US Asylum attorney Alena Shautsova
Alena Shautsova, NYC based, US Asylum attorney helps clients to identify potential evidence in support of their asylum claims and helps to argue that the evidence shall be admissible in cases where the evidence is challenged on the grounds of relevancy, authenticity, or weight.
What evidence can be used in support of one’s asylum claim in the US? This is one of the most popular questions I receive every day from US asylum seekers. The evidence may range from the types: letters, photos, copies of forms, applications, medical records, but also may range in the likelihood of acceptance and weight.
First, one should know that in the US Federal court system there are rules of evidence: that is written rules which all participants of the court process (people, judges, and the prosecutors) should follow. In the “regular” , non-Immigration court, such rules have strict guidelines, for example, hearsay would not be allowed to be used by any of the parties (hearsay is a statement made out of court offered for the truth of the matter asserted. ) But in Immigration court, the same rules are more relaxed, and hearsay are often used by both the respondents (person who is placed in removal proceedings), and prosecutors.
One of the types of evidence we use in asylum cases is documents or documentary evidence. When we work with documents, we need to follow the rules of evidence and be mindful that any documents that can be produced in support of one’s asylum case can be questioned by the prosecutor or the judge on the grounds of authenticity (if it is a real, unaltered document), relevancy (if it relates to the claim), weight (if it contributes to the person’s burden of proof or shall be disregarded as biased),
In support of one’s asylum claim, a person may present a variety of documents: police and medical records, declarations and affidavits by witnesses, family, and friends, country conditions reports, etc. Often, an asylum applicant is afraid that the documents will be leaked to his/her government. But how then the US government can verify the documents without showing them to the authorities of one’s country?
The US government has established criteria for determining when its own investigative documents and reports are reliable, and they have to identify: 1). the investigator and his/her qualifications; 2). the objective and extent of investigation; 3). the methods used to verify the information discovered. Memo. Cooper, G.C. “Confidentiality of Asylum Applications and Overseas Verification of Documents and Application Information.” As such, the U.S. government can and often will investigate the documentary evidence presented by the asylum applicants to verify their authenticity. Often it is done via consular reports.
The standard for documents’ credibility is the same as for the testimony: and any adverse decision must be based on specific, cogent reasons that bear a legitimate nexus to the finding.” Zahedi v. INS, 222 F3d 1157, 1165 (9th Cir. 2000). However, if an applicant present forged documents, that affects his/her credibility in the absence of explanation or rebuttal. The use of fraudulent documents to escape the country of persecution has been recognized as not fatal to one’s asylum claim. Matter of Pula, 19 I&N Dec. 467, 474 (BIA 1987).
Moreover, hearsay documents cannot be the basis for adverse credibility findings. (Consular report that the Russian’s birth certificate did not conform to the Russian records failed DOS’ own standards and lacked the name and title of the investigator, Balachova v. Mukasey, 547 F3d 374, 382-383 (2d Cir. 2008).
Now, the judge may not exclude the documents and then rule that the lack of the documents is a basis for adverse credibility findings. Notably, in the US, a document may be authenticated via various means:
Certification procedure stated in 8 CFR 287.6;
Fed R. Evid. 902(3)
Fed R. Civ. P. 44
An expert may authenticate a document; and
The inherent reliability of the document (business record exception to the hearsay rule, for example).
A common question herein would be: must affidavits be notarized? Notably, no. Affidavits may not be notarized. First, a person may use an exception to the notarization requirements: under the US Federal law, a sworn declaration may have the same weight as a sworn affidavit. But Immigration courts also may accept unsworn letters as authentic statements: an author may be in grave danger and would not risk his/her life going to the notary public to authenticate his/her signature. Note, however, that the judge would be the ultimate ruler regarding the admissibility of the evidence: at least one judge refused to accept letters by friends and family members stating that such letters were not objective. Djadjou v. Holder, 662 F3rd 265, 276 (4th Cir. 2011).
Finally, statements and reports, by both the applicant and the government, may be challenged for factual inaccuracies or because they represent highly unreliable hearsay. Grigoryan v. Barr, 959 F 3d 1233, 1240-43 (9th Cir. 2020).
That is where the skill and knowledge of your attorney may be particularly helpful and may bring that victory which every applicant for asylum is hopeful for.
If you need help with an asylum claim, please call our New York office to reserve a confidential consultation at 917-885-2261.
Aging-Out Children and Cancellation of Removal
September 17, 2020
Author: USA Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova
At the law office of Alena Shautsova, we help our clients to
use complicated US Immigration laws to achieve their Immigration goals: the US
immigration law governing one’s case and affecting one’s life in the US, can be
extremely complicated and not obvious. A times, an “obvious” assumption
may actually be disputed by various
Immigration bodies controlling one’s case: Immigration Judge, Board of
Immigration Appeals, or a prosecutor. Consider this example that deals with
aging out children and cancellation of removal.
Cancellation of removal for non-permanent resident is a
relief available to some persons who have accumulated 10 years of continuous
presence in the US, possess good moral character, and can demonstrate that
their removal would result in extreme hardship to their qualifying relatives. A
qualifying relative for the purposes of cancellation of removal can be a USC or
LPR, spouse, parent or a child (under 21 years old). To learn more about qualifications for
cancellation of removal, please visit our blog: Cancellation of Removal: https://www.shautsova.com/law-publications/simplified-eligibility-requirements-cancellation-removal.html
Imagine that a person, who is not married and who does not
have parents in the USA, has a US citizen
child. That child, is the person’s only qualifying relative for the purposes of
cancellation of removal. Further, by now, almost everyone knows that cases take
a very long time to process in US Immigration courts. It takes even longer to
get a final result in an Immigration case for a relief in the form of cancellation of removal.
Will a person who filed for cancellation of removal while the child was under
21, but whose child turned 21 while the case was pending, be still eligible for
cancellation or removal? This is an important question one Federal Court gave
an answer to in Martinez-Perez v. Barr, No. 18-9573, (Ca. 10th Cir, Jan. 17, 2020).
respondent-father submitted his application for cancellation of removal well
before his daughter’s 21st birthday. In fact his daughter was only
16years old. But, as the fate and the court had it, Mr.
Martinez’ final hearing was scheduled about six years later, when his daughter
turned 21 years old. Mr. Martinez’ as such, seemed to have lost his eligibility
for cancellation of removal. So ruled the Immigration Judge, and the Board of
Immigration Appeals. The issue here was, of course, that the statute or the law
regarding qualifications for cancellation of removal, is written so that it is
not clear, what it actually means: shall the hardship be established at the
time of the final decision, or at the time of the application? Imagine that
there are two identical cases A and B. Both A and B’s children are under 21 at
the time they file for the cancellation of removal. But A’s case is decided within
1 year, and B’s case is postponed for 8 years, without his request, and his
child turns 21 before the decision is made…
After careful analysis, the Court came to a conclusion that if
an immigrant suffered an unfair delay that resulted in violation of his/her due
process rights, he, may qualify for the relief nevertheless. It does not mean,
that in every case of aging out child, an immigrant may win the argument that
his/her application should nevertheless be granted. But it does give hope for the
cases stuck in the processing backlog.
As you can see, you never “know” how a case may turn out… If you need help with your Immigration case, please call to schedule a consultation at 917-885-2261.
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New York Immigration Statistics
July 16, 2020
I would like to share excellent research by the Immigration Council related to immigration in New York: the number of immigrants, their origins, their contributions to society! Below are the quotes from their report:
“New York is often considered one of the greatest cultural hubs in the country, having welcomed immigrants long before the days of Ellis Island. Immigrants now account for nearly one-quarter of the state’s total population and make up more than one-fourth of its labor force. As neighbors, business owners, taxpayers, and workers, immigrants are an integral part of New York’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.
Nearly a quarter of New York residents are immigrants, while almost one-fifth of residents are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent.
In 2018, 4.4 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 23 percent of the population.
New York was home to 2.3 million women, 2 million men, and 206,980 children who were immigrants.
The top countries of origin for immigrants were the Dominican Republic (11 percent of immigrants), China (9 percent), Mexico (5 percent), Jamaica (5 percent), and India (4 percent).
In 2018, 3.6 million people in New York (18 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.
Nearly three in five immigrants in New York are naturalized U.S. citizens.
2.6 million immigrants (58 percent)had naturalized as of 2018, and 890,099 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2017.
Three-fourths (75 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”
Immigrants in New York are distributed across the educational spectrum.
One-third (33 percent) of adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2018, while nearly a quarter (24 percent) had less than a high school diploma.
Share (%) of All Immigrants
Share (%) of All Natives
College degree or more
High school diploma only
Less than a high school diploma
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.
Over half a million U.S. citizens in New York live with at least one family member who is undocumented.
725,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 15 percent of the immigrant population and 4 percent of the total state population in 2016.
1.2 million people in New York, including 547,802 U.S. citizens, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
During the same period, about one in 12 of children in the state was a U.S. citizen living with at least one undocumented family member (351,146 children in total).
New York is home to over 28,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
28,910 active DACA recipients lived in New York as of 2019, while DACA has been granted to 118,860 people in total since 2012.
Undocumented immigrants in New Yorkpaid an estimated $2.3 billion in federal taxes and $1.4 billion in state and local taxes in 2018.
New York DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals paid an estimated $113.4 million in state and local taxes in 2018.
As consumers, immigrants add well over a hundred billion dollars to New York’s economy.
New York residents in immigrant-led households had $120.5 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2018.
Immigrant entrepreneurs in New York generate billions of dollars in business revenue.
348,547 immigrant business owners accounted for 34 percent of all self-employed New York residents in 2018 and generated $7.8 billionin business income.
In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area in 2018, nearly one-third (31 percent) of business owners were immigrants.”