The news is doing a pretty good job of painting a grim picture when it comes to immigration. Some people in Louisiana might think that everyone hoping to come to the United States is facing unimaginable barriers. Even though U.S. immigration law can be complicated, this is not true. For example, immigrants from Africa are now the fastest growing population of immigrants.
Information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that immigration from the continent of Africa grew 50% between 2010 and 2018. It was not a steady growth either. A lot of that increase is from just the past several years. This rapid rise in immigration rates is also much higher than the increase in rates from South America, the Caribbean and Asia.
Students furthering their education are a large reason behind the rise in African immigration. These are students who are studying for post-secondary degrees. In 2006, there were only 343,000 U.S. college students from Africa. By 2014, there were 427,000.
The U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery — also called the Green Card lottery — is also another reason that the African immigrant community is thriving and growing. In 2016 alone, citizens from Ghana submitted approximately 1 million applications. Every year, the U.S. State Department sets quotas for different regions, and in 2017, it allocated around 19,000 visas to citizens of various African countries. This was the most of any region that year.
There are often barriers to immigration. With the right help, it is possible to overcome those barriers or to find a more appropriate — and easier — path. An attorney who is experienced in U.S. immigration law might be able to help people who are hoping to study or work in Louisiana. Starting a conversation about a person’s options early on in the immigration process could be very helpful for some people.