The United States continues to welcome record numbers of Muslim immigrants. And an increasing majority of Americans view Muslim Americans favorably.
Here are the facts:
- About 100,000 Muslims arrive in America each year.
- The Muslim share of immigrants granted permanent residency in the U.S. doubled from 1992 to 2012.
- A majority of Muslim Americans are immigrants.
- A December poll reports that nearly 6 in 10 Americans hold favorable views of American Muslims, a figure that has increased since 2001.
Here’s another fact: The sources of new immigrants are always changing. It’s the oldest of American stories. At first the new faces arrived from different parts of England and then from Germany. Many more followed, from Ireland and from southern and eastern Europe. More recently, immigrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America predominated. Today immigrants increasingly come from East Asia and the Muslim world.
As in other nations, anti-immigrant sentiment sometimes flares up, even in the United States. But every group has been accepted as full-fledged citizens and made its distinctive contributions to our national identity.
President Obama put it best in December: “Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America.”
So what do today’s Muslim Americans look like?