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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 1, 2011: The number of green card or legal permanent residents from Latin America and the Caribbean has showed a slight decline over 2009 totals.

That’s according to latest statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security and analyzed by News Americas. The data shows that over 300,000 migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean became permanent residents last year, compared to almost 400,000 who entered the U.S or became LPRs in 2009.

Of that number, the majority were from Mexico, a whopping 139,120, while over 87,000 were from South America. The South American nation with the most new green card holders was Colombia with 22,406.

In the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic led the way with 53,870 new LPRs. Cuba with 33,573 was second followed by Haiti with 22,582 and Jamaica with 19,825.

Overall, the number of individuals granted LPR status in 2010 decreased 7.8 percent from 1,130,818 in 2009 to 1,042,625 while LPR adjustments of status decreased from 667,776 in 2009 to 566,576 in 2010.

Fifty-four percent of green card holders in 2010 were adjustments of status and 46 percent were new arrivals. The leading regions of birth of new LPRs last year were Asia (41 percent) and North America (32 percent).

In 2010, 13 percent of all persons becoming LPRs were born in Mexico. The second leading country of birth was China (6.8 percent), followed by India (6.6 percent), Philippines (5.6 percent), and the Dominican Republic (5.2 percent).

California was the state of residence of one-fifth (20 percent) of persons granted LPR status in 2010. Other leading states of residence included New York (14.2 percent), Florida (10.3 percent), Texas (8.4 percent), and New Jersey (5.5 percent).

Family-sponsored immigrants (immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and family preference classes of admission) represented 66 percent of the total LPR flow in 2010. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens accounted for 46 percent of all individuals granted LPR status in 2010. Spouses of U.S. citizens represented 57 percent of immediate relative LPRs. Parents of U.S. citizens accounted for 24 percent, and children of U.S. citizens, including adopted orphans, comprised 19 percent.

Nearly 21 percent of new LPRs in 2010 were admitted under a family-sponsored preference. The second preference (spouses and children of alien residents) accounted for 43 percent of family-sponsored preference LPRs, and the fourth preference (sib-lings of U.S. citizens) comprised 29 percent.
Immigrants admitted under an employment-based preference accounted for 14 percent of the LPR flow in 2010.

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