About 1,000 people are the basis of today’s 7.8 billion people

Razib Kahn writes that there is relatively very little genetic diversity among humans outside of the remaining hunter-gatherer communities in sub-Sahara Africa (such as Khoi, the San, the Mbuti, the Mbenga, the Twa and the Hadza). There may well have been several waves of migration out of Africa. The one which dominate human society grew out of demographic bottleneck 60,000 years ago. He writes:

93-98.5% of the ancestry of humans outside of Sub-Saharan Africa (among those with no recent Sub-Saharan African ancestry, obviously) derives from a breeding population of 1,000 to 10,000, which expanded rapidly 60,000 years ago (reaching Australia and Europe around 45,000 and 50,000 years ago, accordingly).

Those 1,000-10,000 human beings who made it through their ordeal, smuggled out in their nuclei all the genetic diversity 6.42 billion very-not-diverse humans among us today would have to draw on ever after. Take a native each from say Santa Fe, Stockholm, Shanghai, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, Uluru in the Australian outback and a Sentinelese person from the Andaman Islands and you behold a little of the amazing superficial variety of the human race. They and their relatives have peopled almost every corner of the earth. They speak a riot of different languages and they look nothing like one another. And yet, aside from a dash of Denisovan here and a trace of Neanderthal there, as far as we can tell, they all trace the entirety of their ancestry back to a single founder event about 60,000 years ago.

An event when just a tiny subsample of 1,000-10,000 humans of that day passed through a brutal, extended bottleneck. Whether it was in Africa or just after leaving the continent, they burst out of that dire strait and re-peopled the globe.

Conservatives vs Liberals on decline of White pop share

About a third of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents (34%) say the decline of the White share of the population is bad for society, including 38% of conservative Republicans and 26% of moderate and liberal Republicans. Few Republicans (5%) say it is good for society.

By contrast, around a quarter of Democrats and Democratic leaners (24%) say this demographic shift is a good thing. However, liberal Democrats are more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats (32% vs. 17%) to say the declining share of White people is good for society, while conservative and moderate Democrats are more likely than their liberal counterparts (18% vs. 7%) to say this shift is bad.

From Pew Research

Why immigrant policy making is so hard to do

A reposting from 2016:

Four countries were expressly founded on the necessity of immigration – The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Immigration was essential to the cultures and economics of these countries from the start. Gary P. Freeman of the University of Texas wrote in 2010 that no single piece of postwar legislation, with the possible exception of the Medicare Act, has had a more profound effect on the United States than the 1965 immigration law.

In 1995, he explained why immigration policy in the U.S. is both elusive and expansionist. (“Modes of Immigration Polities in Liberal Democratic States”.) First, migration takes time to develop, starting small and isolated, and grows without the native born population grasping what is going on.

Then, the direct benefits of immigration go to few while the costs are diffused. In the 2010 article Freeman lists the primary beneficiaries: immigration lawyers, ethnic groups, high tech employers, universities, religious institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, the hospitality industry, construction, and labor intensive sectors like meat packing, chicken processing, textiles, agriculture, and low-skilled services such as housekeeping and landscaping. (“Can Comprehensive Immigration Reform Be Both Liberal and Democratic?”)

Immigration politics is heavily client-oriented, largely out of view and without extensive public debate. An example is Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who per his website “committed to immigration reform that serves the national interest – not the special interests – and that curbs the unprecedented flow of immigration that is sapping the wages and job prospects of those living and working here today.” A subcommittee he shares has denied the Dept. of Labor power to better enforce prevailing wage standards for H-1B temporary worker applicants.

Further, In liberal democracies, nativist talk about immigrants is viewed as disreputable. Strong anti-immigration politicians are usually roundly criticized. Popular opinion is generally more restrictionist than organized political party positions. Per Freeman, the national political positions are ineffective and contradictory, seeking to accommodate as many as possible without forcing the issues. Thus, per Freeman, liberal democracies have an expansionist bias.

Immigrants are over a third of meat processing workers

Foreign born workers comprise 37% of meat processing workers. That compares to 17% of all workers being foreign-born. Generally speaking, it appears that white Americans are under-represented in meat processing by about 2/3rds and foreign born are over-represented by double.

The bulk of foreign-born meat processing workers are from Mexico (46%) and other Latin American countries (about 20%). Other regions well represented are Asian 12% (Burma, China and Vietnam) and Africa (9%).

Poultry processing is concentrated in the South (largest numbers in Georgia and Arkansas) while processing of other meat is concentrated in the Plains states (largest s in Nebraska and Iowa).

Also here and  here.

“Parole” to legalize immigrant status in budget reconciliation bill

This is a very brief summary of the parole provision in the reconciliation bill. Parole is a provision in immigrant laws to be used generally for designated populations to obtain legal status in the U.S. outside the main channels of immigration. Go here for my major source.

This is one-sided immigration reform: legalization of most unauthorized persons without imposing mandated e-verify. 

The parole protections in the bill would shield immigrants from deportation for five years and provide a five-year, renewable work authorization, available to anyone illegally in the country before January 1, 2011.

There are about 10 – 11 million unauthorized persons in the U.S. today. The tenure of unauthorized persons in the U.S. has lengthened considerably in the past 20 years, after the surge in late 1990s – early and mid 2000s. Thus this parole provision will have an tremendous impact. About seven million immigrants would be eligible for the work-authorization program, according to an estimate from the Migration Policy Institute.

The provision does not include access to green cards, although some ways will be available for some beneficiaries to obtain green cards.

Parole has been used the past in 1956, for refugees from the Hungarian Revolution, for Cuban refugees in 1960, for the Mariel boatlift in 1980s. There is no notable use of Parole for persons already in the U.S.

Also go here for a highly critical article by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Congressional Research Service analyzed the Parole provision in depth in 2020.

Green card expansion in budget reconciliation bill

Here is a very brief summary of one of the immigration provisions in the Budget Reconciliation bill: the release (“recapture”) of at least 400,000 slots for green card issuance, numbers which were authorized in past years but unused.

Per the Wall Street Journal, In all, about four million people sponsored by a family member are in line for a green card. About 1.2 million more people who are sponsored by an employer—and typically already here on temporary visas—are also waiting for a green card.

The proposed measure would recover about 400,000 green cards, slightly over half for families and the rest for employers, according to a Congressional aide familiar with the estimate.

Additional measures would allow immigrants to jump ahead in line for an extra fee, either $2,500 or $5,000 depending on the category. These will be in addition to the recapture inventory of unused visas. (Go here.)

The Senate parliamentarian must approve the provision for acceptance by the Senate, as having a significant impact on the budget. The parliamentarian has implied it will be accepted. Such a provision was accepted in 2005.

The WSJ goes on to say that the coronavirus pandemic shut down immigration offices around the country and U.S. consulates around the world, halting visa and green-card processing, and leaving several hundreds of thousands of green cards unused. I posted on this a month ago, here.

The Center for Immigration Studies calls visa recapture a scam.

Comparing racial/ethnic diversity with state political profiles

The racial and ethnic diversity of a state is an unreliable predictor of the political party tendency the state. You see this when comparing the Diversity Index to the state’s politics.

The Census has developed the Diversity Index: A value of 0 indicates that everyone in the population has the same racial and ethnic characteristics. A value close to 1 indicates that almost everyone in the population has different racial and ethnic characteristics. We have converted the probabilities into percentages to make them easier to interpret.

For example, in 2020 there was a 73.7% chance in Prince William County, Virginia, that two people chosen at random were from different racial or ethnic groups. In Hawaii County, Hawaii, there was a 77.7% chance that two people chosen at random were from different racial or ethnic groups.

For the entire country, the chance that two people chosen at random will be from different racial or ethnic groups has increased to 61.1% in 2020 (That is, a DI of 61%) from 54.9% in 2010.

In 2020, Republicans totally dominated in 15 states. Lowest diversity was Wyoming at 32%. The highest diversity was Texas at 67%

Democrats totally swept 14 states. Lowest diversity was in Colorado at 52%; highest. Highest diversity is Hawaii at 76%.

Diversity is the long game in the U.S. reflecting slave ownership, 1880-1910 immigration, and immigration since 1970. Politics is a shorter game. Hence, Northern New England states, which send only Dems to Congress, have an average index of 20%; Great Plains states of 38%, and Deep South of 55%.

Political profiles from here, and Census figures from here and here. Also go here.

Current state of immigration provisions

Employment-based immigrants could gain permanent residence years or even decades earlier under legislative provisions retained in a reconciliation bill slated for a House floor vote.

If the measure becomes law, it would be the most significant legislative provision for high-skilled immigrants since Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1990 and increased the annual numerical limit on employment-based green cards to 140,000.

From Forbes Magazine