Continued widespread support for DACA

July 22nd, 2018

The National Immigration Forum in April reviewed 14 polls taken between January and April of 2018 and found consistent support for protection of DACA people. They account for from 700,000 to close to 2 million of the 11 million undocumented persons in the country.

“Throughout, there was significant public consensus for allowing these immigrants to remain in the U.S. While responses sometimes varied between polls, depending on how the question was asked, overall support remained consistent throughout this period. Sympathy for the Dreamers crossed party and ideological lines, as well as race and ethnicity. Weak support can be found only in self-identified “conservatives,” and in President Trump’s strongest supporters. Even with these groups, not every poll showed weak support, such as if a legislative deal for the Dreamers included funding for a border wall.

“Voters are more inclined to blame the president and Republicans in Congress if no permanent solution for the Dreamers is passed. Voters are skeptical that the president wants the Dreamers protected from deportation.

A package with the border wall?

“The CBS/YouGov poll also asked respondents if they would support allowing DACA recipients to stay in the U.S. if there was a package that included funding for the border wall. As with the Quinnipiac poll mentioned above, support flipped. Overall, just 42 percent of respondents approved of such a package. However, Republicans (62 percent), conservatives (58 percent) and Trump supporters (62 and 63 percent), said they supported allowing DACA recipients to stay in exchange for funding for the wall. Of those who said they did not support the president, just 21 percent supported the package. When support for DACA recipients is combined with the wall, responses correlate to support or opposition to the president and his signature campaign promise.”

The Democratic Party and Latinos

July 20th, 2018

Thomas Reston, in Soul of a Democrat, addresses the national political agenda of Democrats regarding Latinos:

What we really have here is the current day test of the Democrats’ professed faith in the Jeffersonian political myth of the quality of man. The mission of the Democratic Party in America is to strengthen and stabilize the Republic in justice by recognizing and embedding new communities within the national mainstream…..You would think that the Democrats would take this job on as a political imperative of the first order. Already, the Latino community is well over 50 million strong and by the time today’s youth has retired it will amount to roughly 30% of the nation’s population

The true challenge Democrats need to grapple with is what kind of people Latinos are and what they believe in and what they have to contribute to the common culture of the United States.

Everyone is struggling now for a way to understand the relationship between Latinos and this country. Anglos who are alert are looking for useful explanation. Even Latinos are looking for the simple, clarifying narrative arc to explain their story to the country and need to explain it to themselves. Of course, the Latinos themselves must conceive this narrative in the first place. Even so this reality does not exempt political parties from the responsibilities to join in the effort to arrive a compelling explanation. This is exactly the kind of business political parties are supposed be in.

The political party that figures out how to explain this relationship by constructing a clear emotional and simple story links and Latinos to the United States is likely to have the inner track on achieving the loyalty of these communities far into the future.

(Pp. 211-213)

Three questions about refugees and asylees

July 20th, 2018

How are they the same and differ?

They are the same, drawing from one key Congressional act, with a few key exceptions. The United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol define a refugee as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.

Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international law definition of a “refugee.” A refugee applicant most apply beyond the borders and not from within the U.S.

(main source is here.)

How many are there?

Total annual asylum grants averaged 23,669 between FY 2007 and FY 2016.  Nationals of China, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras combined accounted for half (49.4%) of the 20,455 individuals granted asylum in FY 2016.

For refugees, The Trump Administration set for FY 2018 a cap of 45,000, sharply lower than in prior years.

What is the new policy about asylum seekers?

This is mostly from Immigration Impact. Again, in order to establish eligibility for asylum, an applicant must have a reasonable fear of persecution on account of a protected ground: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Membership in a particular social group is not defined in the law or regulations. It is instead shaped by case law, which is where asylum claims relating to domestic and gang violence have developed over time. Failure of the government to protect a person from private violence has been grounds for asylum awards.

The Attorney General overturned an asylum case and stated a general rule that “In general… claims based on membership in a putative particular social group defined by the members’ vulnerability to harm of domestic violence or gang violence committed by non-government actors will not establish the basis for asylum, refugee status, or a credible or reasonable fear of persecution.”

A new guidance from USCIS was issued on July 11 to comply with “Matter of A-B-“, the case which the Attorney General overturned. That was a 2016 case involving a woman from El Salvador who was granted asylum based on severe domestic violence she experienced. The A-B- case itself drew from a prior case, “Matter of A-R-C-G-“, that in 2014 had clarified years of uncertainty to firmly establish that survivors of domestic violence can be eligible for asylum under U.S. law.

It is too soon to know how strictly this guidance will be implemented and whether asylum claims based on domestic violence or fear of gangs will continue to be viable based on specific or different articulations of a victim’s fear of persecution.

For extensive information from the State Department, published in October 2017, go here.


Displaced persons rising fast in the world

July 18th, 2018

The UN reports that as of the end of 2017 about 23 million persons are outside their country of origin as refugees from persecution, conflict, or generalized violence. About ten countries account for the great majority of these refugees. Of these 3.1 million are seeking asylum under guidelines of the United Nations agreed to originally in 1951 and administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The UN reports for the first time unaccompanied and separated children among the registered refugee and asylum-seeker population.

There are 68.5 million displaced persons in the world due to persecution, conflict, or generalized violence. 40.0 million are internally displaced. 19.9 million are refugees under the mandate of the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, plus another 5.4 million Palestine refugees. In addition, 3.1 million are asylum-seekers, meaning that they make a case that they have been persecuted by race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group with governmental involvement or connivance.

During 2017, 16.2 million people were newly displaced, including 4.4 million who sought protection abroad 6 and 11.8 million who were forced to flee but remained in their own countries.

As in previous years, Syria continued to account for the largest forcibly displaced population globally. As of the end of 2017, there were 12.6 million forcibly displaced Syrians, including 6.3 million refugees and 146,700 asylum-seekers. Colombia had the second-largest displaced population with 7.9 million victims of conflict, almost all internally displaced. The Democratic Republic of Congo was the third-largest displacement situation with 5.1 million Congolese forcibly displaced, comprising 620,800 refugees and 136,400 asylum-seekers.

Other large displaced populations include people from Afghanistan (4.8 million), South Sudan (4.4 million), Iraq (3.3 million), Somalia (3.2 million), Sudan (2.7 million), Yemen (2.1 million), Nigeria (2.0 million), and Ukraine (2.0 million).

The situation in Myanmar deteriorated rapidly in the second half of 2017. The flight of refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh occurred at a particularly rapid rate. Over 2017, 655,500 arrived in Bangladesh, mainly concentrated in 100 days from the end of August.

In terms of returns, some 667,400 refugees returned to their countries of origin in 2017 — only 3% of the refugee population.

Which children do better than their parents, by race/ethnicity

July 16th, 2018

We study five racial and ethnic groups: people of Hispanic ethnicity and non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians, and American Indians. By analysing rates of upward and downward mobility across generations for these groups, we quantify how their incomes change and predict their future earnings trajectories.

Hispanic Americans have rates of upward income mobility across generations that are slightly below those of whites. Hispanics are therefore on a path to moving up substantially in the income distribution across generations, potentially closing much of the present gap between their incomes’ and those of white Americans.

Asian immigrants have much higher levels of upward mobility than all other groups, but Asian children whose parents were born in the US have levels of intergenerational mobility similar to white children. This makes it more difficult to predict the trajectory of Asian Americans’ incomes, but Asians appear likely to remain at income levels comparable to or above white Americans in the long run.

In contrast, black and American Indian children have substantially lower rates of upward mobility than the other racial groups.

From: Race and economic opportunity in the United States, by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie R. Jones, Sonya R. Porter 27 June 2018


Religious affiliation of immigrants

July 14th, 2018

86% of immigrants express a religious affiliation. This is much higher than for the United States as a whole, where 77% say they are affiliated. In other words, immigrants increase the number of persons who practice a religion.

According to Pew Research, while Christians continue to make up a majority of legal immigrants to the U.S., the estimated share of new legal permanent residents who are Christian declined from 68% in 1992 to 61% in 2012. Over the same period, the estimated share of green card recipients who belong to religious minorities rose from approximately one-in-five (19%) to one-in-four (25%). This includes growing shares of Muslims (5% in 1992, 10% in 2012) and Hindus (3% in 1992, 7% in 2012). The share of Buddhists, however, is slightly smaller (7% in 1992, 6% in 2012), while the portion of legal immigrants who are religiously unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular) has remained relatively stable, at about 14% per year.

Unauthorized immigrants, by contrast, come primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean, and the overwhelming majority of them – an estimated 83% – are Christian. That share is slightly higher than the percentage of Christians in the U.S. population as a whole (estimated at just under 80% of U.S. residents of all ages, as of 2010).

Inter-racial inter-ethnic marriage in U.S.

July 12th, 2018

One-in-six newlyweds (17%) were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity in 2015, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This represents a more than fivefold increase from 3% in 1967, the year in which the Supreme Court ruled in the Loving v. Virginia decision that interracial marriages were legal.

While intermarriage is generally more common in metropolitan areas than in more rural non-metro areas (18% of newlyweds vs. 11%), there is tremendous variation within metro areas in the shares of newlyweds who have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.

Honolulu has by far the highest share of intermarried newlyweds of any metro area analyzed – 42%. The same is true of about three-in-ten newlyweds living near Las Vegas or Santa Barbara, California.

Honolulu is made up of 42% Asians, 20% non-Hispanic whites and 9% Hispanics. In the Las Vegas area, 46% of people in the marriage market are non-Hispanic white, while 27% are Hispanic, 14% are non-Hispanic black and 9% are Asian; and around Santa Barbara, 52% of people in the marriage market are non-Hispanic white and 37% are Hispanic.

Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the area around Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida, have high intermarriage rates as well. Both are located near military bases likely contributes to the high rates of intermarriage, since intermarriage is typically more common among people in the military than among civilians.

At the other end of the spectrum, about 3% of newlyweds in Jackson, Mississippi, and Asheville, North Carolina, are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. The same is true of 5% of newlyweds around Chattanooga, Tennessee, and 6% of those around Greenville, South Carolina, and Birmingham, Alabama. Intermarriage is relatively uncommon in the Youngstown, Ohio, area as well.

From here.



How to de-toxify the immigration issue

July 11th, 2018

U of California-Hasting law professor Joan Williams says in the WSJ (gated) there are three steps to reduce the anti-immigration fears and retentments of blue collar America:

One: The first is to recognize that the nation-state matters greatly for nonelites in developed countries. Dismissing national pride as nothing more than racism is a recipe for class conflict and more racism. Better by far to embrace national pride, balance it with concern for those outside the nation, and refuse to allow racism to pose as national pride.

Two: The second step is to highlight the ways President Trump’s immigration and trade policies are hurting red-state constituencies that voted for him. Critics can point to farmers unable to find farmworkers, small-business owners unable to find dishwashers, and construction workers hit hard by steel tariffs.

Three: The third step is to fight the scapegoating of immigrants by ensuring that hardworking Americans without college degrees can find good jobs.

Immigrants in construction — key facts

July 10th, 2018

In 2015, there were 25.7 million foreign-born workers in the U.S., making up 17.1% of the U.S. workforce. Among the major industrial sectors, the construction industry employed the highest percentage of foreign-born workers outside of agriculture. About 2.4 million construction workers, nearly a quarter (24.7%) of the industry workforce, were born in foreign countries

The majority (84.3%) of foreign-born workers in construction were born in Latin American countries in which 53.1% were born in Mexico, 6.6% in El Salvador, 5.4% in Guatemala, 4.7% in Honduras, 2.4% in Cuba, 2.1% in Ecuador, and a small percentage in other countries in that area. Europeans made up 7.3% of foreign-born workers in construction, and 6.4% came from Asia.

About 74% of foreign-born construction workers reported they were not U.S. citizens when the survey was conducted. In 2015, nearly 30% of construction workers spoke a language other than English at home. Among foreign-born construction workers, about 86% reported they spoke Spanish at home. Other languages spoken at home among foreign-born construction workers included Portuguese (1.8%), Polish (1.5%), and Russian (1.1%). In fact, less than 9% of foreign-born construction workers spoke English at home. Overall, more than 33 million workers in the U.S. spoke languages other than English at home in 2015.




Why do Central Americans migrate?

July 8th, 2018

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a global fellow at the Wilson Center who has interviewed hundreds of Central American migrants in the field, said that they are primarily motivated to leave their countries by violence and lack of economic opportunities, phenomena which she described as closely connected.

She said these migrant families choose the United States because they often have networks in the country already and know that there are many job opportunities. “There are push and pull factors. The push factors are the lack of economic opportunities and the security problems in their countries. It’s a mix of these conditions. The pull factors are of course the jobs and the families.”

Even with steep drops in the number of recorded murders in the past year, El Salvador and Honduras, the home countries of many migrants, are still among the most dangerous countries in the world. Poverty is hammering away at livelihoods in much of Central America, and for some, the decision to leave is a gamble on a better life.

From here.