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Office of Immigration Statistics

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) leads the collection and dissemination to Congress and the public of statistical information and analysis useful in evaluating the social, economic, environmental, and demographic impact of immigration laws, migration flows, and immigration enforcement. The Office establishes standards of reliability and validity for the Department’s immigration statistics. And the Office develops other immigration-related reports and conducts research at the direction of the Secretary. Learn more about OIS’s mission, vision, and current lines of work by reading the office’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

Our History

In fulfilling this mission, OIS builds on a nearly two-century legacy of collecting and summarizing data on immigration into the United States. Such reporting began with the “Steerage” (or “Passenger”) Act of March 2, 1819, which required the Secretary of State to report to each session of Congress on the age, sex, occupation, and origins of passengers on arriving vessels. The Department of State performed these duties until the early 1870s, after which responsibility shifted to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Statistics, followed by the Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903, and then the Department of Labor in 1913. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was transferred from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice in 1940, where it resided until 2003, when the components of INS were subsumed under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Section 103 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 establishes OIS’s modern mandate: in consultation with interested academics, government agencies, and other parties, to provide Congress and the public, on an annual basis, with information about immigration and the impact of immigration laws. Section 701 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred these duties from the Statistics Branch of the Office of Policy and Planning of the INS to the DHS Undersecretary for Management, and charged OIS with establishing standards of reliability and validity for immigration statistics. OIS currently sits within DHS’s Office of Policy, and collects data from DHS’s various operational Components, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as from other Federal agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

OIS meets these reporting mandates primarily through its flagship publication, The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. The Yearbook reports on five immigration topics: lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, naturalizations, nonimmigrant admissions, and enforcement actions. In addition to the yearbook, OIS publishes annual flow reports and population estimates that provide additional details on trends within each of these areas, and the office publishes additional reports and fact sheets on special topics as the need arises.

Mission

The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) develops, analyzes, and disseminates statistical information needed to inform policy and assess the effects of immigration in the United States. Our goal is to provide high-quality statistical information that is relevant, timely, cost-effective, and customer-oriented.

In alignment with this mission, OIS has five core strategic goals:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Lead the DHS effort to integrate immigration-related data across the Federal Government.
  • Strategic Goal 2: Improve the quality, timeliness, and utility of DHS immigration statistical data and analysis.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Improve the dissemination of OIS products to inform policy-makers, Congress, and the public.
  • Strategic Goal 4: Serve as an in-house DHS think-tank on immigration issues.
  • Strategic Goal 5: Maintain a high-quality, motivated workforce and provide the environment to support it.

To learn more about the Office of Immigration Statistics, read the OIS Strategic Plan.

Contact Us

For statistical questions relating to the data on our website please email us at: immigrationstatistics@hq.dhs.gov

For questions regarding your status, call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

To report suspicious immigration activity, call the ICE Hotline at 1-866-347-2423.

Key Data Sets & Resources

Last Published Date: February 16, 2018

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