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Immigration to the U.S. increases after hurricanes

Hurricanes bring destruction to Florida as well as to islands that are located in the ocean. When hurricanes destroy property on island nations, migration to Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. increases from the devastated areas.

Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed information from the U.S. Census Bureau over a period of 25 years. The information concerned 159 countries during that period of time. They then looked at migration from those countries and whether or not migration from them to the U.S. increased following major storms. Finally, they looked at how the migrants entered the country.

The researchers found that immigration from the Caribbean countries and Central America to the U.S. greatly increased after major hurricanes. They also found that the majority of the migrants entered the countries with green cards. The largest number of migrants had extended family members who were already living in the U.S. and who were willing to sponsor them on family-based immigration visas. For instance, in 1996, Hurricane Cesar struck Nicaragua, causing deaths and widespread destruction. During that year and 1997, there was a corresponding increase in immigration from Nicaragua to the U.S. of 50 percent.

Permanent residents and U.S. citizens are allowed to petition to sponsor a specified number of family members who meet the relationship criteria. People who have family members who they want to sponsor might want to talk to experienced immigration law attorneys. In addition, others may be able to petition to enter the U.S. under refugee statuses if their home countries are unreasonably dangerous because of the conditions. Immigration lawyers may advise their clients about the different ways that they might immigrate to the U.S. They may also help them to gather the documentary evidence that they will need to submit with their applications.

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