Right Hooks

Presidential Executive Orders on Immigration

Nov. 21, 2014

Just for the record, Barack Obama’s immigration executive order is nothing like those of Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush.

The following data is from a 2014 American Immigration Council summary of Executive Orders related to immigration:

  • 1956 – Eisenhower – 923 orphans adopted by military families
  • 1956-8 – Eisenhower – 31,914 Hungarians escaping Soviets
  • 1959-72 – Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson & Nixon – 621,403 Cubans (legislation pending or passed)
  • 1962-65 – Kennedy & Johnson – 15,100 Chinese
  • 1975-79 – Ford & Carter – 360,000 Indochinese (via 10 authorizations & extensions)
  • 1976 – Ford – 14,000 Lebanese granted work authorization
  • 1977 – Carter – 250,000 “Silva letterholders”; expulsion suspended
  • 1977-82 – Carter & Regan – 15,000 Ethiopians; extended voluntary departure
  • 1977-80 – Carter – 50,000 Soviet refugees
  • 1978 – Carter – unknown number of Ugandans
  • 1979 – Carter – 3,600 Nicaruaguans; extended voluntary departure
  • 1979 – Carter – unknown number of Iranians
  • 1980 – Carter – unknown number of Afghans
  • 1980 – Carter – 123,000 Cubans & Haitians (Mariel boatlift)
  • 1981-87 – Reagan – 7,000 Poles; extended voluntary departure
  • 1987 – Reagan – Up to 200,000 Nicaraguans (legislation pending)
  • 1987 – Reagan – More than 100,000 unauthorized children/families
  • 1989 – Bush Sr. – 80,000 Chinese
  • 1989 – Bush Sr. – 2,225 Indochinese; 5,000 Soviets
  • 1990 – Bush Sr. – 80,000 Chinese (1989 action extended)
  • 1990 – Bush Sr. – 1.5 million (legislation passed by Senate)
  • 1991 – Bush Sr. – 2,227 Persian gulf evacuees
  • 1992 – Bush Sr, Clinton – 190,000 Salvadorans; DED extended until 1994
  • 1994 – Clinton – 28,000 Cubans
  • 1997 – Clinton – 40,000 Haitians (legislation pending)
  • 1997 – Clinton – unknown number of immigrants under Violence Against Women Act (legislation pending)
  • 1998 – Clinton – 150,000 Central Americans; deportations suspended in response to Hurricane Mitch
  • 1999 – Clinton – 10,000 Liberians deportation delayed for one year
  • 2002 – Bush – unknown number granted expedited naturalization
  • 2005 – Bush – unknown number of foreign academic students deferred deportation due to Hurricane Katrina
  • 2006 – Bush – 1,574 doctors under Cuban Medical Parole program
  • 2007 – Bush – 3,600 Liberians deferred departure
  • 2009 – Obama – unknown number of Liberians under DED
  • 2009 – Obama – unknown number of widows and widowers of U.S. citizens and their unmarried children
  • 2010 – Obama – unknown number of spouses, parents & children of U.S. citizen military members
  • 2010 – Obama – unknown number of Haitian orphans
  • 2011 – Obama – 3,600 Liberians under DED (extended from 2007)
  • 2012 – Obama – Up to 1.8 million under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • 2013 – Obama – Unknown number of spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizen military members

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