DHS: More than one million green cards issued in 2010

More than one million people were granted permanent residency in the United States in fiscal year 2010, which ended in September, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said recently.

Approximately 54 percent of the 1,042,625 new green card holders were people who were already living in the US when they were issued these documents, and two-thirds of them were able to obtain permanent residency because a family member was already granted US citizenship or a green card, the AFP reports. Family sponsored applicants are limited by the Immigration Act of 1990 to be between 226,000 and 480,000 per year.

Mexico was the most common country of birth among the new green card holders of the year, with 13 percent of them having been born there. Like the DHS data, figures released recently from the 2010 U.S. Census also point to a rapidly growing Hispanic population in the US – growth in the Hispanic population accounted for 56 percent of the country’s population growth over the past decade, Census data found.

The DHS also produces estimates of the population of undocumented aliens in the country, which currently stands at approximately 10.8 million, the news provider reports.