Foreign language speakers has surged 1980- 2018. 45% of them are U.S.born.

The surge is not news; the fact that non-English is embedded among U.S. born citizens is. This means that one tenth of U.S.born residents – citizens from birth speak primarily a language other than English at home.

The Center for Immigration Studies describes the growth of persons (five years or older) in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home. One in five U.S. residents, or 67.3 million residents in the United States now speak a language other than English at home. The number has nearly tripled since 1980, and more than doubled since 1990. I will cover some of CIS’s report in this post, and include more findings in a follow up post.

Since 1980, the number who speak a foreign language at home grew nearly seven times faster than the number who speak only English at home. Even since 2010, the number of foreign-language speakers increased more than twice as fast as that of English speakers

Languages with more than a million people who speak it at home in 2018 were Spanish (41.5 million), Chinese (3.5 million), Tagalog (1.8 million), Vietnamese (1.5 million), Arabic (1.3 million), French (1.2 million), and Korean (1.1 million).

Of those who speak a foreign language at home, 45% were born in the United States.

Survival Migration

A new approach is needed to handle the refugee situation—one that recognizes the contemporary realities of “survival migration” and relies on international cooperation rather than unilateralism.

The crisis in the Americas—like the European one before it—has raised questions about the usefulness of conventional categories such as “refugees” and “economic migrants.” The UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention defined a refugee as someone who has “a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” In the 1980 Refugee Act, the U.S. Congress enshrined that description in U.S. law, as well. But the 1951 definition was written to address the upheavals of the early Cold War, especially the emigration of Soviet dissidents.

Today, most migrants are not fleeing powerful regimes that are out to get them. Nor are they simply seeking better economic opportunities. Rather, they are running from states that have failed or that are so fragile that life has become difficult to bear for their citizens.

What Europe saw in 2015 and what the Americas are witnessing today are not simply refugee flows or market-driven population movements but rather “survival migration”—a term I initially coined to describe the exodus of Zimbabweans from Robert Mugabe’s regime in the early years of this century. Between 2003 and 2010, around two million Zimbabweans fled to South Africa and other neighboring states. Most of them wanted to escape hyperinflation, banditry, and food insecurity—the economic consequences of the underlying political situation—rather than political persecution per se.

From How Governments in the Americas Are Bungling the Migration Crisis, by Alexander Betts November/December 2019

Choking off immigration to Texas

Dallas News columnist Rob Curran writes, “You don’t need a degree from the London School of Economics to know that almost every roofer and framer responsible for the heavy lifting in the North Texas building boom of the last decade was an immigrant. You don’t need to be an agronomist to know that pretty much every watermelon you buy in Central Market was harvested by a migrant laborer.

North Texans are among the biggest beneficiaries from this sweat subsidy. People have flocked to this region because a high standard of living comes at a relatively low cost. But middle-class Texans may not always be able to afford a maid, a lawn guy and a regular breakfast taco.

I spoke to one landscaper in North Texas who did not wish to be named. He employed a group of about seven Mexican-born laborers for 10 years. He periodically paid immigration lawyers to have their paperwork renewed — an expensive, but viable proposition. In 2017, the landscaper’s crew returned to Mexico, as usual, but the lawyers could not get them back in. After some pricey back-and-forth with immigration authorities, the landscaper was told that his crew had renewed their visas too many times.”

Latinos in America Today: economics

More from the Latin Donor Collaborative report, today about economics:

Latinos are significantly more likely to be actively working or seeking work than non-Latinos. The U.S. Latino labor force participation (LFP) is 67.4 percent, five percentage points higher than non-Latino. Despite being only 18 percent of the U.S. population, Latinos are responsible for 82 percent of the growth of the U.S. labor force since the Financial Crisis.

Whereas the U.S. has average income growth of. just 4.7 percent over the past five years, income growth for Latinos has averaged 8.6 percent. U.S. Latinos enjoyed income growth of 14 percent in 2018.

Home-owning: Beginning in 2013, Latino growth of home ownership accelerated rapidly and grew by seven percent in 2017 alone. Meanwhile non-Latinos saw declining rates of homeownership from the earliest days of the financial crisis all the way through 2014. Although home ownership among non Latinos has begun to grow again, growth has remained belowtwo percent from 2015 to 2017.

However, home ownership among non-White Latinos has persistently been lower than Whites and Non-Latino other (from here)

Also, Latinos are far less wealthy than Whites: (from here):

Two new Trump policies on refugees

“The Darkening City on the Hill The Trump Administration Heightens Its Assault on Refugee Protection” — from this article by Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies.

On September 26, 2019, the White House released two long-anticipated decrees. Its Executive Order on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement requires that both states and localities consent to the resettlement of refugees in a particular locality. If either refuses to consent, the Order provides that “refugees should not be resettled within that State or locality,”

In addition, the Order seems to require states and localities to take an affirmative step – as part of a yet-determined process – to consent to refugee placement. In other words, they must “opt in” to the program. If they do not, then the federal government would deem the jurisdiction unacceptable for resettlement.

Also on September 26, the administration released the President’s annual Report to Congress on Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. This document announced the administration’s decision to limit refugee admissions to 18,000 in FY 2020, the lowest number in the 40-year history of the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

In his July 30, 1981 statement on US immigration and refugee policy, President Ronald Reagan committed to continuing “America’s tradition as a land that welcomes peoples from other countries” and that shares “the responsibility of welcoming and resettling those who flee oppression.” He also acknowledged the importance of these policies to the nation’s interests. In his January 11, 1989 farewell address to the nation, Reagan spoke of the United States as a nation that had always stood as a beacon of freedom to the world’s refugees, but that this identity needed to be “rediscovered.” It needs to be rediscovered now as well, and before the Trump administration succeeds in fully dismantling one of the nation’s defining and proudest programs.

The new health insurance requirement

The Migration Policy Institute writes about the new rule, announced on October 4, requiring immigrants to show evidence of having health insurance. “Coming without warning, clarity about implementation, advance planning, or consultation with key stakeholders, this proclamation seems to add up to a recipe for more chaos in the already chaotic U.S. immigration system.” It will cut immigration, recently about one million persons a year, by roughly 375,000.

“This is more threatening to current immigration flows than the public charge rule, which the administration is expanding to include more ways of public economic support of would-be immigrants. The new health insurance requirement creates an even stricter test, because it looks at just one factor: the ability to quickly find health insurance coverage.

MPI estimates the new health insurance requirement could prohibit the entry of roughly 375,000 immigrants annually— mainly family-based immigrants who make up the majority of those getting green cards from abroad.

The proclamation would apply to future legal permanent residents coming from abroad, not to immigrants already in the United States who are adjusting to a green card from another status. Refugees and other humanitarian entrants are excluded from the policy, scheduled to take effect November 3.

In order to assess the impact that this could have on future immigration, MPI looked at the best available proxy: recent immigrants. 65 percent of recent green-card recipients lack health insurance that would qualify under the Trump proclamation, including 34 percent who have no health insurance coverage and 31 percent who have Medicaid or subsidized insurance that would not count under the policy.

The easiest way for State Department staff to implement the new policy may be a straight income test. Those with high enough incomes could convincingly argue they can afford unsubsidized, private insurance or pay for foreseeable medical costs; those with lower incomes could not.”

Latinos in America Today: demographics

I will report in this and a following posting on historical changes in the Latino community in the U.S

A report from the Latino Donor Foundation estimates that if the US Latino population were considered an independent economy it would rank as the eighth largest economy in the world. The report also says that that U.S. Latinos account for nearly 30% of America’s growth in real income and from 2010 through 2017 U.S. Latino consumption grew 72% faster than non-Latinos US Latinos have comprise 87% of workforce growth since 2008.

Demographics: the report sets the Latino population at 58.7 million or 18% of total U.S. population. Annual Latino population growth was 2.0% in 2017 and has been above 2.0% for every recent year. Non-Latino population growth has been below 0.5% in each year from 2011 to 2018.

According to projections by the Census Bureau, by 2060, Latinos will have contributed 30 million people to the population of working age adults (age 18 to 64). In that same time, the population of non-Latino working age adults will have shrunk by one million.

This graph compares the age distribution of Latinos with non-Latinos.

Household formation: Growth in the number of Latino households from 2010-17 was extremely high, at 19 percent. For Non-Latinos, it was just three percent. Latino share of total households shot up from 11.6% to 13.2%

Education: although Latinos still lag behind non-Latinos in formal education (more less likely to complete HS or to get an BA) the improvement in educational achievement among 20-24 year olds between 2010 and 2017 is striking:


Eastern European countries quietly recruiting guest workers

South Korea’s Hankook Tire this month delayed a $295 million investment at its factory in Hungary because of difficulties in recruiting employees. About 200 of its existing 3,000 workers at the plant are from Ukraine and Mongolia.

The labor force of the 21 countries between the Baltic Sea and the Balkans will shrink by more than a quarter by 2050. Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang told central bankers from the region in July that their countries must start importing workers to help address the issue. It’s already happening.

In Hungary, the EU’s fastest-growing economy, there were 49,500 work permits held by non-EU citizens in 2018, more than double the previous year’s figure. In 2016, there were about 7,300. While Ukrainians held more than half of them, Vietnamese, Indians and Mongolians are now among the groups growing quickest.

Romania boosted the number of permits for non-EU workers by 50% this year, with Sri Lankans and Indians joining Chinese and Turkish employees at restaurants and construction sites. In Poland, crews of Mongolian women paint newly built Warsaw apartment buildings.

In Belgrade, ethnic Albanians are working alongside locals to turn the Serbian government’s vision for a swanky new waterfront complex into reality. On a recent visit, President Aleksandar Vucic expressed amazement at how economic need was trumping a history of ethnic tensions.

From Europe’s Anti-Immigrant Leaders Have a Secret Hungary, Poland, and Serbia are among countries quietly importing workers to cope with a labor crisis, September 24, 2019.

Wider gap between Reps and Dems over immigration

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs reports growing disagreement between Republicans and Democrats about the impact of immigration.

In its survey, it asked, “Possible threats to the vital interest of United States: large numbers of immigrants and refugees coming into the US.” In 2002, the members of the two parties thought alike: about 60% of each said it was a “critical threat.” In 2016, Reps had not changed their opinion but Dems were much less concerned. Since 2017, concerned Reps rose from about 60% to 78%.

The survey was conducted by the Council in June, 2019.


How Indians and other Asian-Americans have voted in 2016

On November 8, 2016, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) conducted a nonpartisan, multilingual exit poll of Asian American voters. AALDEF’s exit poll surveyed 13,846 Asian American voters at 93 poll sites in 55 cities. The exit poll was conducted in English and 11 Asian languages. AALDEF has conducted exit polls in every major election since 1988.

The 2016 results: In November 2016, 79% of Asian Americans voted for Clinton. 90% of South Asians polled voted for Clinton, 90% for Obama in 2012, 93% for Obama in 2008, and 90% for John Kerry in 2004. 76% of Asian Americans voted for the Democratic House candidates and
16% voted for the Republican candidates.

Go here.