1 In general, the terms "noncitizen" and "immigrant" are used interchangeably in this report, unless otherwise specified. At the broadest definition, immigrants are foreign-born people who reside in the U.S. with the intent to stay, regardless of whether they were legally admitted or came in on an undocumented (illegal) basis. Legally admitted immigrants may eventually become citizens through the naturalization process. There are many categories of immigrants (e.g., refugees, asylees), who are classified based on how they were admitted to the U.S., in accordance with immigration law.
2 Exemptions are available for those with 40 or more quarters of Social Security earnings and for soldiers, veterans or their dependents. However, almost no regular immigrants will meet one of those two exemptions in their first five years.
3 In addition, the Balanced Budget Act of 1977 provided $25 million to be distributed to twelve states to help pay for the costs of emergency medical care provided to undocumented aliens.
4 For example, new rules require that those who sponsor immigrants' entry to the U.S. have incomes of at least 125 percent of poverty, which will restrict the ability of low-income citizens to bring family members into the country.