Anti-immigration in early 20th C mainly cultural in nature

Marco Tabellini of Harvard Business School has studied European immigration to U.S. cities between 1910 and 1930 “I find that immigration triggered hostile political reactions, such as the election of more conservative legislators, higher support for anti-immigration legislation, and lower redistribution. Exploring the causes of natives’ backlash, I [find] that immigration increased natives’ employment, spurred industrial production, and did not generate losses even among natives working in highly exposed sectors. These findings suggest that opposition to immigration was unlikely to have economic roots. Instead, I provide evidence that natives’ political discontent was increasing in the cultural differences between immigrants and natives.

When cultural differences between immigrants and natives are large, opposition to immigration can arise even if immigrants are economically beneficial and do not create economic losers among natives. Hence, promoting the cultural assimilation of immigrants and reducing the (actual or perceived) distance between immigrants and natives may be at least as important as addressing the potential economic effects of immigration.”

Drawn from ‘Gifts of the Immigrants, Woes of the Natives: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration’ by Marco Tabellini, published in the Review of Economic Studies in January 2020.

Sanders’ success with Latino voters in Nevada

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was trouncing other candidates with Latino and Hispanic caucus-goers in Nevada, according to NBC News entrance polling results that showed him with 53% of the vote with that demographic in the seven-person race. (From USA Today)

Latinos are the fastest growing group of eligible voters in the country, increasing at about 3% a year. 63% of 2020 Latino caucus-goers said in entrance polls they were attending their first caucuses.

The entrance polls showed former Vice President Joe Biden at 16% of the Latino and Hispanic vote, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9%, billionaire activist Tom Steyer with 8% and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 7%.

Overall, Sanders leads among nonwhite voters as well. Nevada, the third state to vote, is the first with a significant minority population. About three in 10 Nevadans are Latinos, 10% of the population is black, and 10% is Asian American and Pacific Islander.

Vox said that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez calls him “Tio Bernie.” His Latino support is grounded in policies that appeal to Latino voters: immigration, health care, and the economy. His immigration plan, which he has framed in the context of his signature issue of worker solidarity, is arguably the most progressive of the Democratic fiel

His immigration plan is certainly the longest.


Mulvaney confirms labor shortages

When acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney said in London on February 19th that America was running out of workers and needed more immigrant workers, he was confirming both the existence of current labor shortages (also found in European countries) and our long term dependence on immigrants to supply a large share of workforce growth.

Long term trends

Male immigrants made up nearly 80 percent of the increase in the nation’s male civilian labor force between 1990 and 2001 while female immigrants contributed 30 percent of the growth in the female labor force over the same time period.

The growth of the workforce continues to depend heavily on Hispanic and Asian workers. The size of the white non-Hispanic labor force will absolutely decline from 2004 to 2024 by 4%.

After 2015 and through 2035, the native-born working age population will decline by 8.1 million, the first generation immigrant workforce will increase by 4.7 million, and the second generation immigrant workforce will increase by 13.6 million.

the state of the current labor shortages

One way to look at the issue is to compare unemployment numbers to job opening numbers. In January 2000. In January 2001 there were 1.1 unemployed persons for every job opening. During the Great Recession that rose to as high as 6.4 in July 2009. Since March 2019 it has been under 1 – fewer unemployed than job openings (in December 2019, 0.9).

Another way to look at this is the labor force participation rate. This rate has over decades been declining for various reasons. But for the 25 to 54 year old set, it has remained fairly stable for 20 years – at 84 in 2000, 81 in 2015 and back up to 83 in January 2000. Most of the gain in the workforce in the past 20 years has been for persons over 55 and that rise leveled off in about 2010.

Further on the mystery of Nigeria’s visa ban

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Nigeria (and five other countries) failed to meet U.S. security and information-sharing standards. That was the reason for Nigeria to be put on the no-entry list. (See workingimmigrants here.)

Yet a Congress Research Service report dated January 23, 2020, seven days before the ban was announced (January 31), shows that Nigeria was not on the list of countries in trouble with visa issuance.

The report says that “Countries that systematically refuse or delay the repatriation of their citizens….are considered by DHS to be “recalcitrant,” also called “uncooperative.” Countries that demonstrate some but not full cooperation are considered “at risk of non-compliance” (ARON). ICE currently classifies 10 countries as recalcitrant/uncooperative and 23 as ARON.

See this map with these countries marked here.

The report details the historical use of sanctions, including a checklist of steps the U.S. takes prior to imposing sanctions.

Innovation in Silicon Valley and immigrant migration

Researchers have examined how the San Francisco area grew from 5% of US domestic patents in 1975-1984 to over 12% in 1995-2004. They concluded that this growth was associated with the rise of a mobile workforce, specifically immigrants. “Immigrants are very important for U.S. invention, representing 24% and 47% of the US science and engineering (SE) workforce with bachelor and doctorate educations in the 2000 Census of Populations, respectively. This contribution was significantly higher than the 12% share of immigrants in the US working population at the time.

“Using Census records, we show that immigrant SEs are more mobile within the US than their domestic counterparts. Between 1995 and 2000, Immigrants represented 6% of the SE workforce in the 2000 Census but 25% of the net moves. This greater flexibility and growing immigrant contributions result in technology migration [to geographic clusters] being faster across clusters for technologies that depend heavily on immigrant SEs. This effect was particularly strong in the semiconductor industry.”

Research led by William Kerr.


Why Trump must beat up on sanctuary cities

He must attack sanctuary cities because the number of deporations is low — below Obama levels. He has been trying to remove more people from the interior of the country and the sanctuary city movement appears to be thwarting that.

ICE removals in the two full years Trump administration (FY2018-2019) have average 262,000, compared with 370,000 in the seven full years of the Obama administration. The number of removals in FY 2019, 267,000, was lower than every but one full year under Obama.

Under Obama, removals became increasingly focused on persons with criminal records, rising from about two-thirds to over 90%, which appears to have continued. ICE boasted that is FY 2019 there was a 110% increase in removal of “family unit members.”

There are about 11 million unauthorized persons in the U.S.

What has changed if anything?  The Migration Policy Institute in early 2018 did a deep study and concluded that there has been a “sea change in interior [ie not border[ enforcement, though the total numbers have not changed.

It said that “sanctuary policies are curbing ICE enforcement. ICE relies heavily on state and local law-enforcement agencies to help identify and arrest noncitizens from removal. During the first 135 days of the Trump administration, according to MIP’s analysis. 69% of ICE arrests nationwide were based on transfers from the criminal justice system, mostly state prisons or local jails. This is a decline from the FY 2008-2011, during the peak of ICE activity, when state and local prisons and jails were the origin for more than 85% of ice arrest. The decline is attributable to reduced cooperation with ICE.”

MIP shows that arrests have declinced in California, where the sanctuary city movement is big, and risen in Texas, where it is non-existent.


Survey: Why do Central Americans want to migrate?

In 2019, Interviewers in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras conducted 2,400 individual in-person surveys to gather data on intentions to migrate, family, the economic situation of the household and exposure to crime, among other points. Based on these surveys and extensive data analysis, interviewers were able to distinguish the different triggers of migration in each municipality, as well as paint a general portrait of potential migrants

Where are potential migrants living? A small number of municipalities, largely urban, account for the bulk of all irregular out-migration from the Northern Triangle. While trends emerge at the national level, the factors that influence one’s decision to migrate vary dramatically by municipality.

Economic reasons are uppermost: Economic factors are the most salient in influencing migration and are cited far more often as the primary motivator for migration than victimization factors.

Youth are most likely to migrate: People from the ages of 18 to 29 report distinct levels of exposure to economic and victimization factors and react to these factors differently than adults in their decisions to migrate.

Victimization exposure: Extortion, robbery and other crimes are, in most cases, an even stronger motivator for migration than exposure to homicide.

Relatives living in U.S.: Nearly two-thirds of all survey respondents have a relative living abroad, 75 percent of those relatives have lived in the U.S. for 10 years or more, and about 25 percent for over 20 yeas. However, only 3 percent of survey respondents citing reuniting with relatives as their primary reason for migration.

Report, Saliendo Adelante, is here.

The new public charge rule part 2

By effectively denying benefits to low income immigrants – benefits which are widely used by low income citizens – the new public charge rule is one of the most anti-poor measures of the federal government in recent history.

One in seven adult immigrants avoided using certain public benefits in 2018 out of fear of their use would derail their presence in the U.S.

It has been estimated that between 1 and 3.2 million fewer members of immigrant families would forego Medicaid.

The effect on publicly assisted housing, due to immigrants not seeking these benefits – thetre is also a rule proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would keep “mixed status” families from living together in public housing by barring non-citizen members.

More than 60 public health and policy scholars chairs and faculty, as well as the American Public Health Association and the American Academy of Nursing joined an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, concluding that the public charge rule threatens public health on a national scale.

Why was Nigeria added?

Why did the Trump Administration add Nigeria to the travel ban?

The press reported that “Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said during a call with reporters that the six countries failed to meet U.S. security and information-sharing standards, which necessitated the new restrictions. The problems Wolf cited ranged from sub-par passport technology to a failure to sufficiently exchange information on terrorism suspects and criminals.

It is one of the few countries with an estimated temporary visa overstay rate of 10%. But that was not one of the reasons cited by DHS.

The Nigerian Foreign Minister was “blindsided” by the ban.

NY Times columnist Jamelle Douie thinks that Trump is trying to bring back the Immigration Act of 1924, which essentially barred Asians and African from migrating to the U.S. “Which is to say that it does not matter that Nigeria isn’t much of a national security threat or that Nigerians are among the most successful immigrants to the United States, surpassing native-born Americans in income and educational attainment. What matters is that they’re black and African and, for Trump, at the bottom of a racial hierarchy.”

Impact of new “Public Charge” rule – part 1

In October 2018, the Trump administration issued its plan to toughen the public charge rule, which is one guide to reviewing applications for Green Cards. With the federal court decision that approved the new rule, it is to go into effect on February 24.

The rule was revised to prevent immigration be people who would be a drag on the economy.

Opponents described how many American citizens could not pass the new rule.

About half of all U.S.-born citizens would likely be deemed a public charge — and by extension and implication, considered a drag on the United States — if this definition were applied to them.

*In just a single year, 1 in 4 U.S.-born citizens receive a benefit included in the final rule’s public charge definition.

*If one considers benefit receipt of the U.S.-born citizens over the 1997-2017 period, some 41 to 48 percent received one of the benefits included in the final rule’s public charge definition.

*If data covered U.S.-born citizens over the course of their full lifetimes, receipt of benefits included in the new rule would be about half of the population.

*A significant share of individuals working in the United States — 15 percent — receive one of the benefits included in the new rule in just a single year. These are workers upon whom our economy relies.

” having family income below 125 percent of the poverty line — about $31,375 for a family of four, which is more than twice what full-time work at the federal minimum wage pays in the United States — would count against an individual in the public charge determination.

The expired definition of public charge is, by contrast, far narrower. In a single year, just 5 percent of U.S.-born citizens and 1 percent of individuals working in the United States meet the current benefit-related criteria in the public charge determination.

How the new rule expands the definition of public charge:

First, it broadens the list of public benefit programs considered in a public charge determination to include health coverage through Medicaid (with limited exceptions), food assistance through SNAP (food stamps), and housing assistance (Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Section 8 Rental Assistance, and other subsidized housing programs).

Second, instead of looking at whether more than half of a person’s income comes (or would likely come in the future) from cash assistance tied to need, as they do now, immigration authorities will determine, using several enumerated factors, whether an individual is “more likely than not at any time in the future to receive one or more public benefits” for a certain time period (to be codified in 8 C.F.R. § 212.22(a))—even if the benefits reflect only a small share of an immigrant’s total income.

From a deposition by Danilo Trisi, submitted as part of a suit to block the new rule.

Also go here for another analysis.

Go here for the DHS’ press release on January 30.