How these new tariffs on Mexican imports will impact the U.S.

“So we’re going to tax Americans until Mexico stops allowing people from Central America to exercise their legal right to seek admission to the United States?” (NY Times editorial today).

Two thirds of our imports from Mexico are within the same company, for instance vehicle related manufacturers who often bring together parts made in Mexico, Canada and the U.S. The new tariffs add internal costs to these firms.

22% of GM’s domestic car sales are for cars built in Mexico.  Mexico accounted for about one-third of GM’s production of the trucks.  About 18% of Fiat Chrysler autos were from there.  In all, $52.6 billion of vehicles and $59.4 billion in auto parts came from Mexico. (from here.)

U.S. imports from Mexico rose from 1994 (NAFTA) from $65 billion to around $295 billion in 2016. Exports to Mexico climbed from $68 billion in 1994 to an estimated $235 billion in 2016. Net trade imports from Mexico to the U.S. are overwhelmingly in production of vehicles – total cars and parts for buses, trucks and cars. (go here).

4.9 million American jobs are directly dependent on Mexican trade. These 556,000 jobs in California and 382,000 In Texas.

Beto O’Rourke’s Immigration Plan


The O’Rourke campaign issued a plan for immigration reform on May 29. It starts with a critique of Trump administration practices on the border. When O’Rourke gets to his ideas they include the following:

1. Solidify and by implication increase family-based immigration;
2. Introduce a community-based visa program for refugees. State and local governments were denied making immigration laws back around 1880 by the federal government
3. A provision for meeting the labor needs of certain (but unnamed) industries by what looks like a guest worker program. For agriculture, perhaps?
4. Make it easier for some types of skilled workers to get into and stay in the U.S.
5. Make it easier for green card holders to become naturalized.
6. Strengthen controls on the southern border
7. Invest in programs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to lessen hardships and demand the end of corruption,
8. Improve Mexico’s migration and refuge policies.
9. Legalize the status of 11 million unauthorized persons, including persons covered by DACA

Missing from the plan is any role of employers, any new system of federal oversight, and a long term policy on skilled workers.

IN OUR OWN IMAGE: Beto O’Rourke’s Plan for Rebuilding Our Immigration and Naturalization System is here.

Major origins of current Asian immigrants to U.S.

There are about 47 million people in the U.S. born in another country. Let’s look at where in Asia they come from. The chart below shows the largest sources: China, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Korea. (other sources with slightly less immigrants than Korea are Japan and Pakistan. Together they account for about 20% of foreign born in the U.S. today. Contrast this with 1960, where there were hardly any Asian immigrants due to the racist barrier of the 1924 immigration act, overturned in the 1965 immigration act.

The U.S. is for Chinese by far the biggest destination (2.4 million), the next being Canada (700K). For India, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have upwards of 10 million Indians but these are almost all guest workers, whereas Indians in the U.S. are here to stay. The next largest permanent destinations for Indians are the U.K (800K) and Canada (600K). For the Philippines, the next largest destination is Canada (500K). for Vietnam, it’s Australia (200K). For Korea, it is China (200K) followed by Canada and Australia.

Note that these figures are for persons born outside the U.S. and do not include second and later generations,

For data, go here.


Where were deported people deported to?

Of the 4.6 million people deported between 2003 and 2018, 90% were returned to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

These four countries account for 70%, or 7.6 million, of the roughly 11 million unauthorized persons in the U.S. today. Therefore, their rate of deportation is relatively higher than for persons from other countries.

In total, 3 million Mexicans were deported in these years. A portion of these were deported at least twice. There are about 6.2 million unauthorized Mexicans in the U.S. today. The current population of Mexico is 129 million.


Boston’s demographic global revitalization since 1990

Cities and towns outside of Boston have undergone a seismic demographic shift since 1990, adding thousands of foreign-born residents and transforming the region. Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants have changed the face of Quincy. Guatemalans have made Waltham their home. And in Brockton, foreign-born black residents from Haiti, Cape Verde, and other countries in Africa have settled in a city that was once predominantly white.

Boston itself has long been a majority-minority city, meaning that most of its residents are racial or ethnic minorities. But Boston, too, is changing, with a handful of neighborhoods — such as the South End, Mission Hill, and Jamaica Plain — becoming more white in the past 27 years, the report found.

Meanwhile, the city’s suburbs and outlying enclaves have become even more diverse, with the nonwhite population outside Boston having increased more than 250 percent over three decades.

The research report notes “a striking cluster of cities” north of Boston — including Malden, Everett, Revere, Lynn, and Chelsea — that have rapidly diversified. Those communities were majority white a couple of decades ago, but no longer. Not only has the number of new immigrants in the area increased sharply but the immigrants are coming from a broader section of the world, including China, the Dominican Republic, India. and Brazil.

91 percent of Greater Boston’s new population growth comes from international immigration to the region. More than a quarter of the city (28 percent) is foreign-born, as is 19 percent of the full Boston region, the report said.

Foreign-born workers comprise nearly 80 percent of the increase in the labor force in Massachusetts since 1990.

The research shows that between 2000 and 2016 the Asian-American population growth has been fastest in the region’s smaller, suburban municipalities. In Quincy, the change has been profound. For decades, the report said, the city struggled to revitalize its once vibrant downtown amid the rise of suburban malls nearby. “But as city planners consistently looked to a future of modern buildings and redesigned roadways, Asian-Americans seized the moment, the report said. The Asian-American population was 6 percent of Quincy’s population in 1990; today it is 28 percent, the researchers said.

From the Boston Globe

Growth of non-white voting population

Millennials today (18 – 34) are 56% white, compared to pre-millennials (35 and older) who are 68% white. The rise of the non-white population of voting age is mainly due to Hispanics, although Blacks and Asians are also growing in numbers. The large waves of immigration to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, especially from Latin America and Asia, coupled with the aging of the white population[1], made millennials a more racially and ethnically diverse generation than any that preceded it. (Brookings Institution, here)

This explains the current surge in the percentage of voting age persons who are non-white. Between 2000 and 2020 non-white voting age persons rise from 24% to 33% of the total:

Adding more insight, for the first time since the Census Bureau has released annual statistics, they show for 2016 and 2017 an absolute decline in the nation’s white non-Hispanic population—accelerating a phenomenon that was not projected to occur until 2023.

And, in 2014, one in five births (791,000) in the United States was to an immigrant mother, contrasted with 13% of the total population being foreign-born. Immigrant mothers accounted for half or nearly half of births in Miami, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA.

Latest poll on racial/ethnic diversity

About half of Americans think that diversity makes it hard to solve the country’s problems. Many older people do not like to hear a language other than English spoken in public. And people differ on whether they want more ethnic/racial mixture in their neighborhood.

A sizable share of Americans (47%) say having a population that is made up of people of many different races and ethnicities makes it harder for policymakers to solve the country’s problems; a small share (7%) say it makes it easier for policymakers and 45% say it doesn’t make much difference.

And much more from Pew Research.

Bopha Malone

Bopha Malone with an Enterprise Bank client in Lowell, Massachusetts. “When I was three my mother walked to a camp. I arrived in the U.S. in 1989 as a nine-year-old. The refugee generation worked all hours, they did not know the laws. Our generation born just before or in the refugee camps know the system, we’re able to get better jobs. I acclimated very quickly – it scared my parents. Now Cambodians are arriving with some assets.”


What Trump’s merit based system might look like

The White House yesterday (5/16/19)  announced new immigration legislation without disclosing the text of an actual bill. But we can make an informed guess of its content by looking at the RAISE Act, which was proposed by Senators Cotton and Perdue in mid 2017. If enacted, the bill would turn immigration policy into an extremely selective and narrow funnel into which only the most educated and economically productive would be admitted. If unauthorized persons are not converted to legal status but are driven out of the country through legal enforcement, whole industries that rely on workers with low formal education would be challenged to survive.

The RAISE act would reduce levels of legal immigration to the United States by 50% by halving the number of green cards issued. The bill would also impose a cap of 50,000 refugee admissions a year and would end the visa diversity lottery. Legal immigration would be severely cut by reducing family based immigrations.

The Act would revise the awarding of 140,000 green cards for economic reasons to a merit-based system. The number of economic-based green cards would not increase. Entry through the points systems would surely be incredibly competitive, with only the most highly educated, most English fluent, highest-paid STEM workers making the cut.

It would essentially bar green cards for artists and low formally educated immigrants. Some 27 million foreign-born people work in America, about 17% of the workforce. Among major occupations with no need (1) for a high school degree and (2) much contact with the public, immigrants fill about 40% of these jobs. They include jobs on farms, construction sites, warehouses, in kitchens, and for building cleaning and maintenance. Roughly half of the immigrant workers in these jobs are undocumented.

An analysis of the RAISE Act by the Migration Policy Institute is here.

One undocumented family member would throw families out of public housing

Thousands of legal residents and citizens, including 55,000 children who are in the country legally, could be displaced under a proposed rule intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing assistance, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The proposal, published on Friday, would prohibit families in which at least one member is undocumented from obtaining subsidized housing, according to an analysis by HUD career officials. The administration is pushing the changes to ensure that the benefits are awarded only to verified citizens — a move that was made without the knowledge of many longtime housing officials at the department.

Current rules bar undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing subsidies, but allow families of mixed immigration status to live in subsidized housing as long as one household member is a legal resident. The subsidies are prorated based on the number of eligible members of the family. According to the HUD analysis, more than 108,000 people receiving benefits are in a household with at least one undocumented immigrant.

From the New York Times