Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Some Central American counties depend on remittances

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Remittances, mainly from the U.S., are vital to millions of Latin American households, reaching a record $80 billion last year, according to the World Bank. While more than a third of that went to Mexico, the smaller Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the so-called Northern Triangle, rely on remittances even more.

In Honduras and El Salvador, remittances account for nearly one-fifth of economic output, according to the World Bank. Cutting the migrant flow risks further economic deterioration that could spark even more migration, experts say.

Honduran immigrants in the U.S. totaled almost 600,000 in 2017, from 109,000 in 1990, according to the U.N.’s Statistics Division.

In Honduras, where two-thirds of the country’s nine million people live in poverty, about one in four families receive remittances, said Manuel Orozco, a migration expert at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank. Last year, they received on average 16 transfers of $281 each, Mr. Orozco said.

The money transfers soared in 2017 as migrants fearful of deportation sent home more of their savings, according to the World Bank. In El Salvador, remittances rose nearly 10% to $5.1 billion, and in Honduras 12% to $4.3 billion. In Guatemala they rose 14% to $8.5 billion, or 12% of GDP.

Why high skilled immigration is so strong

Friday, December 21st, 2018

The overall number of high-skilled migrants to OECD countries increased by 120% from 12 million in 1990 to 27 million in 2010.  Most OECD destination countries show greater skill selection in 2010 than 1990. The immigration policies of many destination countries are becoming increasingly selective (e.g., de Haas et al. 2014). For example, we see that Canada is consistently selective, while the United Kingdom demonstrates the largest increase in selectivity. The United States is a notable exception, along with Italy, Portugal, and New Zealand.

The emigration rates of college-educated individuals are always greater than their lesser-educated compatriots across all countries and at every level of development. Why?

First, high-skilled people are more likely to be endowed with skills that are both in demand and globally transferrable. They are able to obtain job offers in advance of emigrating and clearing migration policy hurdles that favor higher levels of human capital. If they are using other migration channels (such as family preferences or lotteries), they know they will find employment or assimilate more easily upon their arrival. In addition, high-skilled migrants generally integrate into the host societies more easily as they are more likely to have better linguistic and cultural as well as professional knowledge of the destination society.

They have better access to global information sources through their social and professional networks. They can better access financial resources and credit. As a result, they are able to meet the financial costs of migration more easily. The highest skilled emigration rates are observed from middle income countries.

This report shows that 20%-50% of migrants leave within five years of arrival, with some variability by country pair and time period. High-skilled migrants appear more likely to leave than low-skilled migrants. At the very highest skill levels, return rates from the United States become substantially lower.

A migrant is defined as high-skilled if he or she has completed at least one year of tertiary education.

From here.

Demographic transformation of the U.S. workforce

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Hispanic and Asian workers are largely responsible for labor force growth especially since the mid 2000s.

The Hispanic share of the labor force will grow from 9.1% in 1994 to 19.8% in 2024. Its numerical growth from 2004 to 2024 will be 69%. Asian share will from 4.2% in 1994 to 6.6% in 2024. Its numerical growth from 2004 to 2024 will be 72%. But the size of the white non-Hispanic labor force will absolutely decline from 2004 to 2024 by 4%. The black labor force will increase from 2004 to 2024 by 25% but by 2024 will be less than half the size of the Hispanic+Asian workforce.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why Trump is fighting over The Wall

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

The Wall is smack dab in the center of the movement of voters switching between the two parties in successive Novembers. People who voted for Obama, then Trump, and then voted Democratic in November 2018 are the “switcher” voters today.  A poll reveals that Trump’s Wall is not just aimed at his base, but at the relatively small band of voters who switch.

David Leonard of the NY Times interpreted a poll of switchers this way: “People who voted for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump are closer to loyal Republicans on immigration and gun control — but much closer to loyal Democrats on health care, jobs and education.”

The poll categorized voters along a spectrum of loyal Democrats to loyal Republicans, with switchers in the middle (those who switched in any direction the past few elections. It asked about building The Wall:

“Our preliminary results suggest that many voters who swung to Democrats in 2018 are to the right on the issue of border security. While straight Democratic voters oppose increasing border security, including “building a fence along part of the US border with Mexico” by a 66-7 margin, Obama-Trump voters who swung Democratic support increased border security by a 63-12 margin, up to a 73-13 margin for Romney-Trump voters who swung Democratic in 2018.”

I assume that Trump understands this dynamic, which is why he has raised building a wall to the level of a national crisis. the switchers want The Wall, by a not overwhelming majority.

Abolishing ICE

Switchers do not want to abolish ICE: “Respondents across the political spectrum opposed abolition of ICE. While loyal Democrats narrowly supported outright abolition of ICE, every other group of voters on net opposed abolition. We note that while abolition of ICE is typically couched with a reminder that border-related crimes in fact remain crimes with or without ICE, and would be pursued as such by traditional law enforcement agencies at the Federal, state, and local levels, here we simply asked respondents whether they approved or disapproved of outright abolition. That said, there is not presently widespread political support for abolishing ICE.”

Have immigrant workers stopped reporting work injuries?

Monday, December 17th, 2018

I asked Bruce Goldstein, executive director of Farm Worker Justice, if the administration’s actions against immigrants has deterred injured workers from reporting injuries and filing workers’ compensation claims. He responded:

We have been told for many months from sources all over the country that undocumented farmworkers, due to the ramp-up of immigration enforcement and the highly-publicized anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Administration, are living and working in fear of arrest and deportation, and do not want to take any risks of detection by bringing attention to themselves.

To reduce their risk of detection farmworkers often avoid being in public places and raising an issue with their employers about their conditions, even if they are illegal.  The fear of retaliation and deportation has made it difficult for farmworkers to speak with advocates who seek to help them with legal claims unless they have proven to be trustworthy.  Even when they are willing to speak, the workers are usually unwilling to press their claim.

There have been a few publicized undocumented farmworkers who have stepped forward and been quite public about it, but that is rare.  And because many documented farmworkers have family members and friends who are undocumented, the documented workers often are reluctant to step forward to challenge employer conduct for fear of the repercussion on their co-workers.

A Comprehensive immigration policy: Dreamers

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

A New Center immigration policy about Dreamers:

Dreamers should receive green cards immediately, while those who serve in the military should receive citizenship on an expedited basis. For those who are not in the military, a process needs to be developed to determine their place in the queue alongside other immigrants who wish to receive American citizenship. Assuming an otherwise clean criminal record, misdemeanors should not be a bar to citizenship.

A Comprehensive Immigration Policy: undocumented immigrants

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

A New Center policy on undocumented immigrants:

Undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. should have access to a path to citizenship, but the criteria must be exceptionally rigorous. Citizenship must be earned.

Unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. would first apply to become Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPIs). To become RPIs, they would be evaluated based on their history of continuous presence in the U.S. since December 31st, 2011, their payment of application fees, their outstanding tax payments, and their criminal backgrounds. (Their criminal backgrounds must be clean.) After three years of LPR status, immigrants would be able to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Under Registered Provisional Status, persons can both work in the U.S. and return to the U.S. after traveling abroad.  They can renew their status as RPIs in 6-year periods. They can transition to become LPRs after ten years of RPI status, continuous presence in the U.S., regular employment or educational enrollment or completion of a course in English and U.S. history.

increase in American workforce due to immigration

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Starting in about 2015 and going forward, the net growth in the American workforce will be entirely due to immigration. The total working age population in 2015 was 173 million. Without immigration, that would decline by 2035 by 4%. With immigration, it will increase by 6%.

Between 2005 and 2014, the native-born American working age population increased by 4.8 million workers. The first generation immigrant workforce increased by 6.1 million and the second generation immigrant workforce by 2.4 million.

After 2015 and through 2035, the native-born working age population will decline by 8.1 million, the first generation immigrant workforce will increase by 4.7 million, and the second generation immigrant workforce will increase by 13.6 million.

From Pew Research


Unauthorized immigrants today are fewer, longer tenured

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Pew Research reports that there were 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007. In 2016 there were 5.4 million unauthorized Mexicans, 1.5 million less than in 2007.

Between 2007 and 2016, the unauthorized population in the U.S. shrank by 13% while the legal immigrant population rose by 22%.  In Arizona, which introduced a tough law to discourage unauthorized persons, the unauthorized population declined by 44%. (Requiring employers to use a federal electronic database called E‑Verify to check the legal status of employees; requiring law enforcement to inquire about immigration status during a lawful stop; and making unauthorized immigrant students ineligible for in-state college tuition rates.)

In 2007, the immigrant population was 28.2 legal (70%) and 12.2 million unauthorized (30%). In 2016, the legal population was 76% of the total; unauthorized, 24%.

The decline is due almost entirely to a sharp decrease in the number of Mexicans entering the country without authorization.

Important segments of the unauthorized population:

Of the 10.7 million unauthorized persons, one half are from Mexico. 700,000 are legally protected as Dreamers (DACA). Two-thirds of adult unauthorized immigrants have lived in the country for more than 10 years. A rising share of unauthorized immigrant adults – 43% in 2016 compared with 32% in 2007 – live in households with U.S.-born children. The great majority of children living with an unauthorized person was born in the U.S. (5 million born in U.S. vs 0.7 million born outside the U.S.)


Most unauthorized immigrants live with spouses, partners, their children or other relatives. In 2016, 5.6 million children younger than 18 were living with unauthorized immigrant parents





Numbers of birthright births have declined.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

About 250,000 babies were born to unauthorized immigrant parents in the United States in 2016, the latest year for which information is available, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. This represents a 36% decrease from a peak of about 390,000 in 2007. The analysis follows President Donald Trump’s announcement that his administration may seek to end “birthright citizenship.”

The estimate is for any birth for which at least one parent was unauthorized. In the 1980s the annual number of these births was about 50,000. It rapidly grew in the 1990s. This was due in part to large numbers of women who crossed the border illegally and joined their male partners who had been given legal status due to the immigration act of 1986. Also, the total numbers of unauthorized entries and visa overstays in the U.S. grew greatly until the 2008 recession.

The number of babies born to unauthorized immigrant parents represented about 6% of the 4.0 million total births in the U.S. in 2016, compared with 9% of all births in 2007

From Pew Research