The number of Hispanics coming to the U.S. typically dominates the discussion over immigration, but new data shows an alarming number of Muslims have made it into the country virtually unnoticed.
Muslims are on-track to be the second-largest religious group in the U.S. by 2040, many of them arriving just in the past couple decades.
“If you look at predominantly Muslim countries in 1990, the total number of immigrants may have been around 800,000 but now it's close to 3 million, so that number has well more than tripled,” says Steven Camarota, director of research at he Center for Immigration Studies.
“Since 2010, just the growth from Latin America other than Mexico is up about 17 percent, or 1.6 million,” he says. “If we look at predominantly Muslim countries, the growth rate was much higher at about 31 percent, but from a smaller base.”
And many don't speak English, putting stress on schools and adding to the cultural divide.
“What the numbers indicate is we certainly need a large national and robust debate about whether letting in so many people every year makes sense,” says Camarota.
There are now more than 1.2 million U.S. residents who speak Arabic at home.