Skip to Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO developed projections concerning future legal immigration using information from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Bureau of the Census to: (1) describe past legal immigration flows; (2) forecast future legal immigration flows; (3) improve understanding of the immigration process concerning immediate relatives of U.S. citizens exempt from the annual numerical limits; and (4) assess the effect of the emigration of legal immigrants on net immigration.

Skip to Recommendations


Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Justice The Attorney General should direct the Commissioner, INS, to consult with the Director of the Bureau of the Census to develop and implement a uniform methodology for estimating net immigration to the United States by adequately accounting for the emigration of non-U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens. This measure of the net immigration should reflect the policy objectives and requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act and other immigration laws.
Closed - Implemented
Congress is not willing to allocate funds at this time for INS to develop and implement a methodology for estimating net immigration.

Full Report