Illegal border crossings declined by less than reported


The media has been mis-reporting the pace of illegal entry when it gives the impression that the arrival of the Trump administration led to a drastic reduction in illegal crossings, based on apprehension volume. Media reports tend to cite a 40% or greater reduction. A more accurate decline is 25%, and the monthly trend through August shows shrinking of the amount of decline.

Apprehensions rose strongly during May – October 2016, before the election, to a peak of 68,000, well above the monthly average in the past five years of about 45,000. Apprehensions Nov 2015 through August 2016 were a 462,000 vs 320,000 the Nov. 2016 – August 2017. That is a 27% reduction.

From November 2016 through April, 2017, the monthly rate did drop precipitously to about 15,000. Since then it has risen every month to 31,000 in August. After one excludes the very high August of 2016, the August average of the prior four years is 39,000. This indicates a 25% reduction. Trend lines suggest that the reduction since the election will decline.  The next 12 months may be about 350,000 vs an average of about 400,000 if one leaves out the particularly high year of 2016.

Source is here.

Puerto Ricans in a nutshell

The United States acquired Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship.

The first major wave of Puerto Rican migration to the mainland was in the 1950s, when a half million persons migrated. As of 2011, per the Pew Research Center, an estimated 4.9 million Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin resided on mainland U.S. That was more than the population of Puerto Rico itself in 2011, which was 3.7 million. Migration to the mainland has been heavy since the start of the Great Recession.

Puerto Ricans are the second-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 9.5% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2011, after Mexicans (33.5 million, or 64.6%, of the Hispanic population in 2011).

In 2011, 69% of Puerto Ricans were born on the mainland. People born in Puerto Rico are also considered native born because they are U.S. citizens by birth.

82% of Puerto Ricans ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.

Puerto Ricans are concentrated in the Northeast (53%), mostly in New York (23%), and in the South (30%), mostly in Florida (18%).

Puerto Ricans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall but lower levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 16% of Puerto Ricans ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics and 29% among the U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.

The share of Puerto Ricans who live in poverty, 28%, is higher than the rate both for the general U.S. population (16%) and for Hispanics overall (26%). In 2016, Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate was more than double that of the mainland.


Attracting PhD talent to the US

In about 1980, PhD candidates began to show up from middle income countries, and from about 1990 candidates from low income countries (mainly India and China) surged. In 2008, close to half of PhD candidates in the U.S. in science and engineering came from abroad.

According to a 2013 published article, “Over the last half century, the United States has been the most important training ground for the global supply of science and engineering talent. Where S&E PhDs choose to locate after they have completed their education is likely to affect the global distribution of innovative capacity.

“77% of foreign-born S&E PhDs state that they plan to stay in the United States. The foreign students more likely to stay in the US are those with stronger academic ability, measured in terms of parental educational attainment and the student’s success in obtaining graduate fellowships.

“We find that S&E PhDs with the strongest academic potential, measured in terms of their attributes and performance at the time they enter graduate school, are those most intent on staying in the United States. The United States tends to succeed in luring the best and
brightest foreign students it has attracted to study in the country to stay in the United States after their degrees are completed.

“As countries develop they become more attractive locations for PhDs in science and engineering. Korea and Taiwan are possible examples of self-reinforcing processes [to return home]. They also provide examples of the powerful role that democratization can play in encouraging highly skilled workers to return home.”

Source: Attracting Talent: Location Choices of Foreign-Born PhDs in the United States. By
Jeffrey Grogger and Gordon H. Hanson.


Immigrants over-represented in creativity in U.S.

Immigrants win disproportionately more MacArthur Genius grants and Nobel prizes and file more patents than do native-born Americans. Frank Bruni brought these counts together in a column in the NY Times.

MacArthur Grants: 20 grants for MacArthur Fellows have been be issued annually since 1981, over which time the foreign born population has averaged about 10%. Immigrants have won 21.7% of all grants.

Nobel Prizes: Adil Najam, a Boston University professor wrote in 2016: “Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded to 911 persons and organization. The U.S. alone has had more than 350 Nobel winners. More than 100 of these have been to individuals born outside the U.S.” That means that at least 28% of U.S.Nobel laureates have been immigrants.

Patents: Jennifer Hunt, a professor of economics at Rutgers University reports that, among graduates of American colleges, immigrants are twice as likely to receive patents as native-born Americans. Her research further suggests that this doesn’t come at the expense of native-born Americans but in fact stimulates their innovation, too. Hunt’s findings are entirely accounted for by immigrants disproportionately holding degrees in science and engineering. The total amount of patents goes up in states with a high foreign graduate population.

California Labor Commissioner nixes ICE interference

According to press reports, California’s top labor law enforcer, Labor Commissioner Julie Su, last month directed her staff to turn away Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the federal officers have warrants.

The Sacramento Bee reports that “her directive followed three instances over the past 10 months in which immigration agents sought information about California workers who had filed claims against employers. In two cases, immigration agents attempted to attend hearings where investigators discuss claims with workers and their employers, Su said. In all three cases, the agents left when they were asked, she said.”

Su, the state’s labor commissioner since 2011, did not know how the immigration agents learned about the appointments.

Those contacts with immigration officers dovetail with a surge in complaints from California workers about employers threatening to have them deported. Last year, Su’s office in the Department of Industrial Relations investigated 14 complaints from workers who claimed their employers threatened them with immigration enforcement.

So far this year, the department has opened 58 immigration-based retaliation cases, Su said.

Nobel prizes, faculty appointments, and immigrants to the U.S.

2016’s US Nobel laureates dominated the headlines not only for winning seven of the eleven prizes given worldwide, but because six of the winners are immigrants to the United States working at US educational institutions.

Since the Nobel Prize was established in the early 1900s, about 40% of the more than 900 prizes have gone to Americans. About 35% of all US Nobel laureates have been immigrants to the United States. Since the 1950s, about 15% of all Nobel Prizes awarded have gone to immigrants in the U.S.

Eighty percent of those individuals worked at universities at the time of winning the Nobel Prize.

in 2000 15.4% of faculty members were born outside the country and in 2004 that number increased to 22.1%. Foreigners in 2004 accounted for about 12% of the total population. today account for about 13% of the total population and 17% of the American workforce.

From the Institute for Immigration Research