Archive for 2019

Family medicine doctors — immigrants needed

Sunday, November 10th, 2019


The United States needs more primary care physicians, including family physicians. Projections based on current trends show a deficit of 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025.

There are about 120,000 family medicine doctors in the U.S. Each year about 5,000 newly educated medical doctors enter an accredited family medicine programs.

Since 2009, the overall proportion of US medical students entering family medicine increased from 9.0% to 12.6%. That was largely due to a rise in graduates in osteopathic medicine. However, the number of non-citizens graduating from foreign medical schools rose from 2000 to 2009, then appears to have declined. They constituted 10% of new family medicine entrants in 2000, 21% in 2009, then dropped to 8% in 2017.

It is unclear if any future increase in the total number of new family medicine doctors can happen without foreign graduates returning to higher numbers.

From here.


The Virginia elections and the rise of the educated naturalized immigrant

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

The Democratic sweep in this Tuesday’s elections in Virginia invites a look at immigration trends in the state and the possible impact of voting by naturalized citizens. Well-educated foreign-born, naturalized adult citizens have likely grown from perhaps 4% of eligible voters in 2000 to 8% in 2017. This is due to many more foreign-born adults, their higher education profile, and to naturalization trends.

Surge in foreign-born adults: foreign-born persons age 25 + rose from 6.4% of all persons 25 + in 1990, to 10.6% in 2000, to 18.6% in 2017. In absolute numbers, the foreign-born pop 25 + doubled 2000 – 2017 while the U.S. born population grew by 16%.

An increasing share of immigrants have naturalized and are eligible to vote. I infer that the 18 + population of naturalized citizens rose 250% from around 200K in 2000 to around 500K in 2017, while the vote-eligible U.S. born rose by only around 15%.

Note that the most recent figure is for 2017, i.e. would not reflect any greater proclivity to be naturalized during the Trump administration, as a risk management step.

Foreign-born adults are better educated than U.S. born in a state that is a leader in education. In 2017, 43% of foreign-born Virginians had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 38% of U.S. born adults in Virginia. Virginia is one of the best-educated states in the country).

From here.

How many Americans live in Mexico?

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

What is the American presence in Mexico? A huge problem in coming up with estimates is that we really want to know two flows: U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens who circled back. The U.S. does not spend much time tracking “circular migration.” There may be a million U.S. citizens living in Mexico, and several million Mexicans who have circled back.

So, there are American citizens living there, and also persons who lived in the U.S. with a Green card. And there are unauthorized persons who returned, often it appears with a U.S. born child. There seems to be some agreement that a relatively small number of retirees who retired in Mexico after working in the U.S.

The State Department says 1.5 million American citizens live in Mexico. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are 899,000 U.S. born persons living in Mexico. The 2015 Mexican census puts the number of U.S. Citizens in Mexico at 739,000.

The Migration Policy Institute also surmises that very many of the total, whatever it is, includes includes approximately 1 million U.S.-born persons who moved, mainly to Mexico, over the 2010-15 period, and the majority of them were children, mostly it appears of unauthorized Mexicans who had lived in the U.S. and born children there. (10% of the Mexican workforce in about 2005 were in working in the U.S.)

The Mexico’s Ministry of the Interior estimates there could be 430,000 to 600,000 U.S. citizen minors living in Mexico, the great majority of them U.S. born children of Mexican households who had returned from the U.S.

Retirees: Only a very small percentage of American citizens living in Mexico are retirees. Retirement communities in Mexico – 10,000 are estimated to live in San Miquel de Allende, 35,000 in Puerto Vallarta, and 20,000 near Lake Chapala in central Mexico (according to the U.S. Embassy.) Only 58,000 who receive Social Security checks. (this number is not broken dwn between U.S. citizens and Green Card holders.) This number is equivalent to roughly 3% to 6% of American citizens living in Mexico. Compare that with 306,000 U.S. citizens living in Canada, and 111,000 persons receive Soc Sec checks there.

Iowan attitudes about unauthorized immigrants

Monday, November 4th, 2019

The Des Moines Register poll of Iowans in February 2018 reported strongly positive support for normalization of legal status among unauthorized immigrants. This poll is fairly consistent with other polls on the issue of how the U.S. should treat unauthorized residents, when the questions are slanted towards a positive response. 65% called a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented workers currently living in the country “a worthy goal.”81% said eventually extending citizenship to “Dreamers” — the group until recently protected by the executive action known as DACA — is a worthy goal.

Revival of proposal for immigrant farm workers

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

On October 30, 24 Democrats ad 20 Republicans in the House filed legislation to bring unauthorized farm workers into legal status. The revival of a push to advance farm workers, a staple of immigration reform proposals since the early 2000s, can be seen as a sign that Congress is ready to challenge Trump’s immigration policies. Protection of the farm workforce is a priority of many politicians with large farming constituencies.

According to the Wall Street Journal, The accord also would provide a path to citizenship for the more than one million farmworkers estimated to be already living in the U.S. illegally. Farmworkers who can show they have spent at least three months in the previous two years working in agriculture can apply for a new five-year visa, which would require continued work in the sector for the visa’s duration.

Workers who have lived in the country for at least 10 years could apply for a green card if they work four more years in the industry. If a farmworker has been in the industry for less than 10 years, they must put in an additional eight years to become eligible for a green card. Green-card holders are eligible to become U.S. citizens, typically after five years.

In exchange, the agriculture industry would be required to use E-Verify, an electronic system that allows employers to check applicants’ immigration status. The industry has strongly resisted such a requirement, as about half of farmworkers aren’t legally authorized to work in the U.S., according to the National Agricultural Workers Survey, which is run by a Labor Department agency.

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

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

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

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

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

Monday, October 21st, 2019

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

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

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

Monday, October 14th, 2019

“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.