More Hispanic and Asian men work

June 21st, 2019

Hispanic men have for decades had a higher labor force participation rate (percentage employed or looking for work) than have white men. Asian men used to have a lower rate in the 1990s but now have a higher participation rate than white men. Since the 1990s, the spread between these rates for Hispanic men and those of white men have increased, from roughly 4% to 8%. The Federal government projects that the gap will increase into the 2020s.(Go here).

The Wall Street Journal says that Labor participation among Hispanic immigrants with a high-school degree (72.2%) is nearly 20 points higher than similarly educated native whites (53.8%) and about equal to those with bachelor’s degrees (72.7%).

 

E Verify: a few facts 2006 -2018

June 19th, 2019

E-Verify is a federally designed and managed system which employers use to check if a job applicant is authorized to work in the U.S. It checks for whether the social security number is valid and does a few other checks (thus it can be fooled by a borrowed SS number).

Starting around 2007, federal contractors and, later, employers in several states were required to use the system. Otherwise, employers such as Trump properties use it voluntarily. The ACLU and other oppose its use. Criticisms are made that it is mis-designed and ineffective. Here I present some basic facts about its use.

The first graph shows, 2006 – 2018, the number of e-Verify checks in each year, the estimated number of unauthorized workers in the country, and the number of times when e-Verify made a final confirmation that the person was not authorized to work – was rejected –and presumably was not hired.

The second graph shows rejections as a percentage of the estimated size of the unauthorized workforce. This percentage is very small – just over 4% in 2018.

Data from here.

 

Mixed feelings in Canada about immigration

June 17th, 2019

76% of Canadians say that immigration is good for their economy, but other than that they have mixed feeling. (The survey results below do not include no opinion/did not answer.) As many agree as disagree that admitted refugees are not really refugees. Many think that Canadian values are not being adopted. And more say that immigrants are straining the welfare system as say they do not.

 

 

 

 

The survey is here.

 

Who voted in 2018?

June 14th, 2019

The mid-term 2018 voter population was more educated and racially diverse than those of earlier midterms. See the tables below.

Census Bureau’s estimates show that the 2018 turnout—at 53.4 percent—was the highest in midterm elections since it started collecting voter turnout numbers (voters per 100 citizens) in 1978; and for the first time since 1982, it rose above 50 percent.

All major racial/ethnic groups turned up at the polls in higher numbers, but the biggest gains accrued to Democratic-leaning Hispanics and Asian Americans—up 13 percent since 2014.

the CPS turnout data reveal that 18 to 29-year-olds of each major racial group showed substantially higher turnout in 2018 than four years prior—more than doubling for young Hispanics and Asian Americans and nearly doubling for young white citizens.

It was also younger. Turnout rates among groups are becoming more equal (see table).

Due to the higher turnout of 18 to 29-year-olds and 30 to 44-year-olds, the under-age 45 population rose to 35.4 percent of voters in 2018, up from just 30.3 percent in 2014. Most notably, those ages 65 and above made up a slightly smaller share of voters, 27.1 percent in 2018, despite the continued entry of the large baby boom generation into this age group.

From here.

Compare Canada’s plans for immigration vs the U.S.

June 12th, 2019

Canada will take in 40,000 more immigrants in 2021 than it planned for 2018. immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen (a lawyer with (Somali origin) said in December, 2018. The target for new arrivals in Canada will rise to 350,000, which is nearly 1% of the country’s population. The equivalent for the U.S. would be about three million new immigrants a year, three times current levels.

The vast majority of Canadian immigrants come under economic programs designed to address skills shortages and gaps in the labor market.

Canada also plans to increase the number of refugees it will accept from 43,000 in 2018 to reach 51,700 by 2021. The equivalent for the U.S. would be about 500,000 refugees. Trump is seeking to cap refugee settlement at 50,000 a year.

From here.

Massive increases in global remittance flows

June 10th, 2019

Remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018 of $529 billion, up 9.6% from 2017, according to the World Bank. They are expected to reach $550 billion in 2019, making them higher than all foreign aid. Remittances can be equal to one fifth of country’s gross domestic product.

The global average cost of sending $200 is around 7%. New internet money transfer systems could greatly reduce these costs.

About 80% of the remittances from the United States (total outflow $68B) goes to Mexico and Central America. Total inflow of remittances (from all countries) to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador rose 70% between 2010 and 2018 ($55.4B).

For analysis go here and for data for here.

What the U.S. – Mexico agreement says

June 8th, 2019

I am posting the language of the agreement between Mexico and the United States. This is a vindication to Trump of his confrontational tactics. It is particularly noteworthy because it involved an emerging country over which the U.S. has wielded power for 150 years. There are precedents that took place before World War 1, when Germany shoved its military into disputes in north and northwest Africa.

The joint statement by the United States and Mexico released by the State Department on Friday night:

“The United States and Mexico met this week to address the shared challenges of irregular migration, to include the entry of migrants into the United States in violation of U.S. law. Given the dramatic increase in migrants moving from Central America through Mexico to the United States, both countries recognize the vital importance of rapidly resolving the humanitarian emergency and security situation. The Governments of the United States and Mexico will work together to immediately implement a durable solution.

“As a result of these discussions, the United States and Mexico commit to:

Mexican Enforcement Surge

“Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks. Additionally, the United States and Mexico commit to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including information sharing and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border.

Migrant Protection Protocols

“The United States will immediately expand the implementation of the existing Migrant Protection Protocols across its entire Southern Border. This means that those crossing the U.S. Southern Border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims.

“In response, Mexico will authorize the entrance of all of those individuals for humanitarian reasons, in compliance with its international obligations, while they await the adjudication of their asylum claims. Mexico will also offer jobs, health care and education according to its principles.

“The United States commits to work to accelerate the adjudication of asylum claims and to conclude removal proceedings as expeditiously as possible.

Further Actions

“Both parties also agree that, in the event the measures adopted do not have the expected results, they will take further actions. Therefore, the United States and Mexico will continue their discussions on the terms of additional understandings to address irregular migrant flows and asylum issues, to be completed and announced within 90 days, if necessary.”

poorly educated workers sort into different jobs by origin

June 7th, 2019

If  you are concerned about demographic isolation and low mobility of low wage immigrants, look here. Among those in the American workforce with low formal education, you find that immigrant and native-born workers are sorted into different jobs. On the whole, immigrants without a high school degree fill jobs that are relatively (1) not customer facing, hence do not demand high English proficiency and American cultural know-how, and (2) more dangerous. I suspect also lower mobility potential.

I looked at 20 jobs that do not require a high school degree, totalling 31 million jobs (2014 data). Five were jobs requiring a lot of communication and imposed little or no injury risk, such bar tending, waitress and cashier. 15% of these jobs were filled by immigrants. Compare that with 15 jobs requiring limited communication and generally higher injury risk, such as construction laborers, cooks, and inventory workers. Immigrants filled 30% of these jobs. Nationwide, 17% of jobs are filled by immigrants.

One job does not fit in: personal aide jobs have high communication demands, but 24% are filled by immigrants. A large percentage of immigrant direct care workers emigrate from two English speaking areas: the Philippines and Jamaica (go here).

A poorly educated immigrant worker tends to take a job which has double the injury risk of that of poorly educated native born worker.

Trump goal: Increase the cost of migration to the U.S.

June 5th, 2019

Many of the Trump administration’s practices regarding immigration focus on one aim: to increase the cost of migrating to the United States. If we see the practices in this light, we can see how they mirror fundamental trends worldwide in migration.

Since the 1960s, the costs of migration from one country to another have dropped. The costs of movement have declined. The costs of settling have declined. The costs of staying in touch with the country of origin have declined.

First, the costs of movement. Air flights have reduced the cost, delays and uncertainties of travel. As more persons in developing countries gain more income, air travel is more affordable.

Second, the costs of settlement. As immigrant communities in destination countries increase in size, the ability of would-be and arriving migrants to to find housing, get jobs and fit in grows. This applies perhaps most to unauthorized migration – how to avoid deportation. But it also applies to legal immigration when channels such as refugee migration broaden. The Trump administration wants to stop the catch-and-release practices when people cross the Mexican border and then meet up with earlier migrants. This most recently has enabled unaccompanied minors to cross the southern border.

Third, the costs of keeping in touch with the host country. The most obvious improvement is in phone calls. It also includes air travel. Many immigrants today return for temporary visits. And consider remittances. Immigrant households in developed can probably better afford to share incomes in ways that can be used meaningfully in the country of origin. Methods of sending remittances have improved over the decades, and still are.

Trump’s practices form an overall strategy of aversive messaging to would be immigrants: don’t come. This applies to professionals as well as low wage workers: the spouses of temporary workers are not allowed to work.

Much of this is spelled out in Paul Collier, Exodus: How Migration is Changing our World.

What states are people deported from?

June 3rd, 2019

The United States deported 4.6 million people between 2003 and 2018, for an average of about 300,000 per year. The highest years, of about 400,000, were during the Obama administration. The two years under Trump were 225,000 or less. The Bush years averaged about 250,000, but went up in 2008.

Compare these deportations with the stock and flow of unauthorized persons. On average, about one person was deported for roughly every 40 unauthorized persons who were in the U.S. at the end of the year.

The total number of unauthorized persons in the country in 2003 was probably about 12 million. That has declined modestly to about 11 million. During this time, several hundreds of thousands of persons, each year, either entered illegally or over-stayed their temporary visas, while a hard to estimate number of unauthorized persons ever year left voluntarily and undetected.

This graph shows the distribution of deported persons by state, 2003 – 2018. The numbers for Arizona, California and Texas are very high due to their borders with Mexico.

Data from here.