8% of children in the U.S. have at least one unauthorized parent

Trump has stated his interest in mass deportation of authorized immigrants, including the National Guard.

In 2013, there were about 5 million U.S. born children of at least one unauthorized person (go here). Assuming 2 children per unauthorized parent, this suggests that about 2.5 million of the 11 million unauthorized persons are adults with U.S. born children. The number of such children (say to 6 million) and the number of such parents (say to 3 million) have most likely increased since then.

There are about 70 million persons under the age of 18 now. Thus, about 6/70 or about 8% of U.S. citizen children will be deprived of at least one parent.



Again how many immigrants have come recently?

The Center for Immigration. Studies estimates that 5.1 million immigrants arrived in the wo two years, and 6.6 million since January 2021. My estimate (here) is that 5 million have arrived in since January 2021.  There was a sharp decline in immigration in 2020, when the pandemic severely disrupted international movement. Thus the CIS’s 6.6 million figure almost certainly overstates the trend.

In any event, is it fair to say there are 50 million foreign born persons in the U.S. or 15% of the entire population. By state, they range from under 2% in West Virginia to over 28% in California.

The CIS has a very different take on the number those in the workforce – it asserts that less than half of new immigrants where in the workforce, when I estimate 70%. The discrepancy is mostly likely due to two factors. On is that student migration to the U.S. surged in the past year or two after falling badly in 2020. They are not generally in the workforce.  Second, refer to the overall workforce participation rate of foreign-born, which is over 70% vs the U.S. born rate of about 62%. I think the 70% figure is more accurate to estimate trends. There is no reason to think (and the CIS gives none) that the demographic profile of immigrant has turned to more persons not in work force age.

Hispanic representation in Congress and the voting deficit of Hispanics

In the current 118th Congress (2023-2025), there are 39 Hispanic members in the House of Representatives and 8 Hispanic members in the Senate, totaling 8.8% of members, compared with 19% of the entire U.S. population.

In the 108th Congress (2003-2005), there were 22 Hispanic members total, making up about 4% of Congress.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona against Kari Lake. A challenge for Gallego is that Hispanic turn out of all eligible (not registered) Hispanics is sharply less, about 50%, compared with whites, which is over 70%.  According the 2021 American Community Survey, 32% of Arizona’s population aged 18 and over identified as Hispanic or Latino.  The white population 18 and older is 61% of the population. thus, the adult Hispanic population is half the size of the adult white population. But given the 50 – to -70 % differential in voting, the number of Hispanics who actually vote will be 35% of whites.

The power of the President to bar asylum seekers is very limited

The Biden administration issued today a policy to reduce migration across the Mexican – U.S. border. The new policy will be challenged as Trump’s similar policy was challenged, successfully.

Based on media reports, the executive order would shut down the border when border crossings – by which it is meant the great wave of crossings outside of the formal ports on entry by people seeking asylum – exceed a threshold number.

The key issue of law is to what extent can an Administration constrain the flow of asylum seekers without Congressional concurrence.

This Congressional Research Service report states (in summary) the legal issue this way:

First, Congress sets the basic rules of the asylum system.

Second, federal enacted in 1965 and not modified since protects virtually all asylum seekers, however they get onto American soil.

The 1965 Immigration and Nationalization Act (INA), Section208(a)(1) states that “any alien who is physically present in the United States, or who arrived in the United States (whether or not as a designated port of arrival…. irrespective of such the alien status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section.” Also, Section 235(b)(1)(A)(ii) requires that an alien apprehended near the border who states an intent to apply for asylum must be seen by an asylum office.

The 9th District added more force to these provisions protecting all aliens by referring to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, to which the United States is a signatory. This protocol clearly states that the legal status of an asylum seeker shall not affect the right to seek asylum.  The District Court wrote that this 1951 document served as an “interpretative” guide to Congress when it drafted the 1965 act.

During the Trump administration, and now with Biden, the courts will decide if these 1965 provisions can be overridden by two broad INA authorizations of the president (Section 212f) or the attorney general (Section 208(B)(2)(c).




How the eductional status of immigrants has flipped in the past 10 years.

Between about 1980 and 2000 the total number of foreign born persons 18 and over without a high school degree tripled in size to a peak of about 8 million. Then it declined. The number of foreign-born persons with at least a college has risen by decade at an accelerated pace.  This is in part due to the rise in higher education among countries where immigrants are increasingly coming from (Asia), plus their higher educaiton level to begin with compared to Latin America.  I call this part of the normalization of the immigrant population, to adhere closer to the socio-economic profiles of U.S. born Americans.


Trends in eligible voters 2000 to 2024

Between 2020 and 2024, The number of eligible Hispanic voters, which were 32 million or 13.5% of all eligible voters, will rise to 36 million.  All the increase in eligible voters in 2024 are non-white (Hispanic, Black and Asian).  Eligible white voters remain about the same as in 2020. (Go here.) The white share of eligible voters declined from about 82% in 2000 to about 74% in 2000. But since whites turn out to vote a lot more than other groups, its actual diminishment in electoral impact has not declined as much.

Hispanics, indeed, turn out to vote much less than whites. In 2020, 73% of eligible white voters voted, compared to 53% of eligible Hispanic voters. (Go here.)

If this ratio in voting patterns continues into 2024, the actual size of the Hispanic vote will be 19 million, and the white vote about 118 million.

Australia overhauling its points system

Canada is trimming its inflow of immigrants. Australia is not trimming so much as recalibrating its very skills -oriented immigration policy to match long term employment needs.

SBS News reports that testing for prospective migrants to Australia to obtain visas is set to undergo its first overhaul in more than a decade as part of a revamp of the country’s immigration system. The prospective strategy outlined ways for migrant numbers to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, as well as halve net overseas migration by 2025.  It would be the first overhaul of the immigration system since 2012.

A review of the points-based immigration system is in the works, by the Australian National University.

See this April 2024 discussion paper, which provides a good introduction to the points system.  The study will “better align” the points system to match the county’s needs for skilled workers. A strong suggestion is that the points system will be revised to favor younger persons, Two-thirds of permanent immigration is through the points system. The review will not affect humanitarian immigration.

Florida’s law that makes it illegal to support an unauthorized person

Florida’s FL 1718 was enacted in 2023 and became effective on July 1, 2023. The ACLU and others sued regarding Section 10, which a Florida court on May 21 stayed the application of which. Most of FL 1718 focuses on COVID, banning the requirement of masks by government and educational institutions, proof of vaccination, and such. Section 10 penalizes acts taken in support of unauthorized persons in the state.  According to the Migration Ploicy Institute and Pew Research, about 4% of the state’s population, about 750,000 persons, are unauthorized.

Section 10. Section 787.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

787.07 Human smuggling.—

(1) Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), a person who knowingly and willfully commits any of the following offenses commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:

[Prison sentence: Up to 5 years in prison. Fines: A fine of up to $5,000. Probation: The court may impose a period of probation not exceeding 5 years.]

(a) Transports into or within this state an individual whom who the person knows, or reasonably should know, has is illegally entered entering the United States in violation of law and has not been inspected by the Federal Government since his or her unlawful entry.

(b) Conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, in any place within this state, including any temporary or permanent

structure or through any means of transportation, an individualwhom the person knows, or reasonably should know, has entered the United States in violation of law and has not been inspected by the Federal Government since his or her unlawful entry from another country commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) A person commits a separate offense for each individual he or she transports, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to transport, conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, into this state in violation of this section.

(3) A person who commits five or more separate offenses under this section during a single episode commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(4)(a) A person with a prior conviction under this section commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) As used in paragraph (a), the term “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea agreement or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a

plea of nolo contendere is entered.

(5) Proof that a person knowingly and willfully presented false identification or gave false information to a law  enforcement officer who is conducting an investigation for a

violation of this section gives rise to an inference that such person was aware that the transported, concealed, harbored, or shielded individual has entered the United States in violation of the law and had not been inspected by the Federal Government since his or her unlawful entry.

(6) A person who is arrested for a violation of this section must be held in custody until brought before the court for admittance to pretrial release in accordance with chapter 903.

Learning English: how long does it take?

Around 25 million people 5 or older in the U.S. speak English less than well. What time does it take learn the language?

Beginner Level (A1-A2): A1 is complete beginner. Understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases, communicate in a basic way if the other person speaks slowly and clearly. Time to achieve: 3-6 months of consistent study and practice. Or, between 60 and 100 hours of instruction. For example, 2 hours a day for 50 days might bring you to A2. (I did that for Spanish in 50 classes).

Intermediate Level (B1-B2): Can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most

Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. 1-2 years of consistent study and practice.

Advanced Level (C1): Understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Express oneself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Approximately 3-4 years of consistent study and practice.

Here is my blig post on the numbers and characteristics of workers in the U.S. with limited English proficiency (LEP).

Trump’s nuclear weapon of immigration powers

This is the second posting on immigraiton policy in a second Trump administration. This one addresses an important legal power which Trump did use in the first time and will surely expand on in a second term.

Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 grants the President of the United States broad authority to suspend the entry of certain classes of aliens into the U.S. President Trump used it in 2017, the Supreme Court backed him, and he will surely use it more broadly if re-elected. He can basically shut down most of the immigration flow in to the country using this provision.

Text of Section 212(f):  Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

When it was used: Ronald Reagan,1986: to suspend entry of Cuban nationals as immigrants or nonimmigrants. George H.W. Bush, 1990: to suspend the entry of certain Panamanian officials. Bill Clinton, 1994: to suspend the entry of Haitian nationals. George W. Bush, 2011:  post-9/11 to suspend the entry of individuals engaged in terrorist activities. Barack Obama, 2011: to suspend the entry of individuals involved in human rights abuses in Syria and Iran. Donald Trump: multiple times, notably in the January, 2017 travel ban for Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (the “Muslim ban’).

In 2018, the Supreme Court weighed in on a revised Executive Order to the January 2017 ban, in Trump v. Hawaii. The 5 – 4 majority said that it was a legitimate exercise of the president’s authority under immigration laws to suspend entry of aliens into the U.S, that the proclamation was neutral on its face regarding religion (that is, was not a violation of the 1st Amendment), and had a legitimate purpose of preventing entry of those who could be “detrimental to the interests of the United States” (noting the exact language of 212f).