Number of Ukrainians in western democracies is soaring

In 2020, 44 million persons lived in Ukraine, while 3.3 million Ukrainians lived in Russia. The total number of Ukrainian-born persons in the world was around 50 million. The number of Ukrainians who lived in western democracies more than quintupled from 1990 to 2020 to over one million persons. It is expected that 4 million Ukrainians will be displaced internationally by the Russia – Ukrainian war, almost all to western democracies. Thus, by the end of this year, some 5 million-plus Ukrainians will live in western democracies, or 10% of all Ukrainians; about 4 million will live in Russia or other former Soviet states; and 40 million *(shrinkage of 10% in one year) will live in Ukraine.

Estimates derived from Our World in Data

Arguing for more immigration court judges

The Bipartisan Policy Center testified on January 20 to the House Judiciary Committtee subcommittee on immigration and citizenship. The immigration court backlog was 1,596,000 in December 2021. While Trump was in office, the backlog soared from 542,000 to 1,290,000, then rose by about 300,000 in Biden’s first year. (backlog data from TRAC).

In 1998 there were about 200 judges. In 2016 there were about 400 judges. There are about 500 immigration court judges today. Between 2016 and the end of 2021, the case backlog rose by over 300% while the number of judges rose by 25%

Summary of the testimony: A pattern emerged in 2014 in which border crossers did not try to, but rather, sought out being arrested and seek asylum. This led to Homeland Security releasing many rather than hold them in detention awaiting their asylum court hearing. Making the judges work faster, which was the Trump approach, demanding faster court processing, is not the answer. The Center recommended in 2019 hiring 375 more judges, which would cost $400 million vs $25 billion for Trump’s border wall. Hiring 100 more judges would reduce detention costs by close to one billion dollars.

Seven drivers of global migration

Researchers surveyed migration patterns and country migration policies since about 1960 and arrived at the following conclusions.   Their conclusions explain succinctly American immigration, at both highly educated and low educated levels, including the high rate of illegal migration.

When pondering these observations also consider Paul Collier’s summary of what is driving migration – migration is less costly, and Trump tried to make it more costly.

(1) Long distance (intercontinental) migration has shifted from primarily Europeans leaving Europe to Africans, Latin America and Asians migrating between continents. 1960 about 85 percent of the foreign-born living in the US were from Europe (and Canada), this share had shrunk to 13 percent in 2016. The total person flow as a percentage of world population has remained fairly steady, between 2.7 and 3.3 percent of the world population. It’s the shift in key populations that gives the impression that long distance migration has grown relatively.

(2) Educated migrant flows have increased, in line with global education trends, while migration levels of persons with low formal education have persisted.

(3) Economic and human development in low-income societies tends to boost migration because it increases people’s capabilities and aspirations to migrate. Migration is an intrinsic part of broader development and social transformation processes.Most migration occurs between middle-income and high-income societies and most migrants from low-income countries belong to middle-income groups. Absolute poverty is associated with lower emigration levels, as resource constraints deprive people of the capability to emigrate.

(4) Emigration flows tend to tail off when a source country reaches the middle of global per capita income (purchasing power parity).  (Go here.) The average among countries is about $18,000 PPP.  This puts Mexico and Costa Rica at the cusp.

(5) Migration policies tend to work as filters rather than taps – not turning on or off the spigot, but filtering whom is allowed preferentially to immigrate.

(6) One way that migration can frustrate and overcome policies to restrict is the situation caused by reducing circulation; that is, reducing the free flow of migrants to a country and then returning, due to economic fluctuations in host and source countries.  This is seen when the migration networks were already well in place and the economic pressures for migration are very strong. [This captures what happened between Mexico / Central America and the United States. Go here.]

(7) Migration policy becomes tortured in situations like the U.S. now, where there is fundamental mismatch between structural migration determinants—such as low-skilled labor demand in the absence of legal migration channels combined with weak workplace enforcement, or violence and conflict in the absence of asylum channels.

Article: Hein de Haas et al, International Migration: Trends, Determinants, and Policy Effects. Population and Development Review, October 2019


Biden State of the Union Address: open citizenship up to over 10 million persons

President Biden called for Congress to “Provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.”

The proposal will effectively legalize 90% of unauthorized people in the U.S. Consistent with Democratic proposals, no mention was made of verification of employable status (e-Verify) without which immigration law enforcement will remain gutted.

In December 2021 I estimated that (1) about 2.3 million persons will be legalized through Dreamer legislation, (2) 5.5 essential workers and 1.7 of their spouses and children will be legalized through essential worker legislation and (3) about 300,000 farm workers (at a minimum) will be affected.

About 750,000 persons are now in the U.S. under the Temporary Protected Status category, including over 300,000 Venezuelans and a quarter million from El Salvador. Here and here are backgrounders on TPS.

Adding all up comes to about 9.8 million persons who arrived un authorized, and 750,000 persons here legally but on a temporary basis.

Here and here are backgrounders of Dreamer (DACA) legislation, including bills filed in calendar year 2021.

Black immigrants in U.S. now 10% of all Blacks 2 28 22

The immigrant Black population has grown since 1980 at a compound growth rate of 4.5% per year compared to the total Black population’s growth of 1.4% Their numbers were tiny in 1980 – 0.8 million. Now they are 4.6 million, 10% of all black people in the U.S.

While the source countries with the largest Black populations in the U.S. are in the Caribbean (Haiti and Jamaica), growth in the past ten years has been highest for Africans. 43% of African immigrants have arrived after 2009.

According to Pew Research, In 2000, roughly 560,000 African-born Black immigrants lived in the U.S. By 2019, that number had more than tripled to over 1.9 million, a growth rate of 14% per year.

About a third of recent refugees are from Africa (mainly Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.(Go here.)

I have posted in the past about the very high educational status of Nigerians, and African immigrants as a whole.

Mostly from Pew Research