Muslims now fastest growing immigrant group in US; 2.6 million arrive in 2014

A young Muslim immigrant holds an American flag in the company of other new immigrants from Muslim countries.Reuters

As immigration and religion continue to become controversial campaign issues for the 2016 US presidential elections, a recent study showed that Muslims have become the fastest growing bloc of immigrants entering the United States.

Using data from the Census Bureau, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found out that over 2.6 million immigrants from nations whose populations are dominated by individuals who follow the Islamic faith moved to America last year.

This number indicates a significant increase from the 2.2 million immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries in 2010.

The figure also ballooned in 2010 since only 1.5 million Muslim immigrants were previously recorded.

According to Pew Research, Muslim Americans are one of the most reliable Democrat voting blocs in the country, with only 11 percent of them identifying themselves as Republican or leaning-Republican, Breitbart News reported.

Politico recently reported that the Obama administration is urging more Muslim green card holders to register in the polls so they can vote in US elections.

Although only 11 percent of Muslim voters are known to have expressed a "leaning" towards the Republican Party, many GOP presidential candidates would also like to see an increase in the number of Muslim immigrants, according to Breitbart News.

For instance, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced a new foreign worker bill which would significantly increase Muslim immigration. The bill seeks to lift green card limits for foreign students and triple the number of foreign workers admitted on visas. This initiative will reportedly help businesses, such as Disney in Rubio's home state of Florida, increase their profits by getting foreign workers paid with salaries lower than those received by local workers.

The Muslim immigrant population, however, is just part of the constantly growing number of immigrants entering the US, both through legal and illegal means.

The CIS reported that the US hit a record high number of immigrants last year, which totaled to 42.4 million. This means that one in every eight American citizens is an immigrant.

The new data also illustrated the rapidly accelerating growth in the immigrant population in the United States. Immigrant population growth averaged 430,000 people a year between 2010 and 2011, but grew to 520,000 annually between 2012 and 2013.

And that's not all: immigrant population grew by 1.04 million from 2013 to 2014.

In terms of countries, the following contributed the most to the US immigrant population: India (up 426,000), China (up 353,000), the Dominican Republic (up 119,000), El Salvador (up 101,000), Guatemala (up 85,000), Pakistan (up 72,000), Colombia (up 70,000), Cuba (up 68,000), Honduras (up 66,000), Iraq (up 57,000), and Bangladesh (up 56,000).

The following countries, meanwhile, registered the highest growth in the number of immigrants in the US: Saudi Arabia (up 93 percent); Bangladesh (up 37 percent); Iraq (up 36 percent); Egypt (up 25 percent); Pakistan, India, and Ethiopia (all up 24 percent); Nigeria and Ghana (both up 21 percent); Venezuela (up 17 percent); and China (up 16 percent).