Internal migration in US has declined

Internal migration among states and cities has shifted in recent decades,especially since about 1980. There is more concentration of skilled workers in targeted areas, such as San Francisco and Boston, with consequential great rise in housing costs. Lower income people cannot afford housing as they might have in 1980. Low skilled immigrants migrate less to a highly valued metropolis. These trends increase disparity of wealth in America. I expect they contribute to the division of American between Blue and Red.

Go here and here.

Visa appointment wait times  

How long the wait to get an interview. As of June 2022

India: tourist 291 days, student 43 days

Kenya: tourist, 664 days, student 405 days

Indonesia: tourist 50 days, student 4 days

Saudi Arabia: tourist 133 days, student 43 days

South Africa: tourist 238, student 29

Thailand: tourist 180, student 21

Uruguay: tourist 604, student 165

Venezuela: office closed

From here.

Simple math for worker shortfall due to pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, non-farm payrolls were expected to grow by about 1.70% a year. Due to the pandemic, worker growth from 2019 through 2023 is now expected to grow by 0.85% a year. This amounts to a shortfall from the prior trend of 1.25 million workers a year. Hence today’s worker shortage.

Immigration used to deliver about 500,000 new workers a year. Trump wanted, in effect, to reduce that to 300,000. Biden would increase it to 700,000.

India fertility rate below replacement

The fertility rate in India today is 2.0 per woman, below the 2.1 replacement rate.

In the 1960s, India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi dramatically expanded the first national family planning program in a major developing country, offering cash incentives for both men and women to be sterilized.

During the mid-1970s, Gandhi allowed states to operate compulsory sterilization camps. An estimated 19 million people were sterilized, three-quarters of them men. The program’s unpopularity helped bring down Gandhi’s government in 1977.

Late last month, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), a periodic investigation of half a million households, announced a milestone: The country’s fertility rate had for the first time fallen below the widely accepted “replacement level” of 2.1 children per woman.

Thanks to past high fertility rates, two-thirds of the population is under 35 years old, and a large cohort of people is now entering childbearing age. Even at replacement fertility rates, the children of these young people will continue to push up numbers, and India may exceed China as the world’s most populous nation as early as next year. India’s population is set to decline in about 3 decades.

Declines in death rates in children under age 5—from 241 per thousand in 1960 to 34 per thousand today—have made women more receptive to family planning. That allows all families, including those who are poor and uneducated, to assume that every child is likely to grow up.

In the 1960s, about 90% of Indian women were illiterate, but by the 2011 census illiteracy had fallen to 35%, concentrated among older women. In the decade after 2005, better education contributed 47% of the fertility decline,

From here.

What makes an American?

Shift towards more inclusiveness within each party since 2016, more so by Dems. From a 2021 Pew Research poll.

Does one need to speak English?

Adhere to U.S. customs and traditions?

Be a Christian?

Be born in the United States?



Localities which are recruiting immigrants

Underneath the partisan bashing over immigration, localities have been responding to their demographic crises by recruiting immigrants. Here are case studies of Iowan localities and St. Louis, MO.

Greene County, Iowa, 70 miles northwest of Des Moines, was shaken by the departure of a truck manufacturer due in part to dwindling workforce. It launched Nueva Vida en Greene County. “Organizers said they plan to advertise Greene County to Latinos on social media, radio, television and billboards, and employers will arrange for vans to bring in workers as soon as this summer. Civic leaders are planning educational activities to integrate the community, with classes about soccer, language, and arts and culture, and they also are exploring ways to fix the area’s acute housing shortage.” (From here.)

Perry, where nearly 1 in 3 of the city’s 7,500 residents are Latinos and many work in meatpacking plants and construction.

Storm Lake, 70 miles northwest of Greene Country, is the fastest growing city in Iowa due to Hispanic influx to the Tyson meat processing plants. These plants are now paying $20 an hour, compared to $6 in the mid 2000s. (Also go here.)

St Louis having had good experience with Bosnian immigrants, is now actively attracring Afghan refugees. “St. Louis has a chance to create a thriving immigrant community similar to that of Bosnian refugees, who arrived a generation ago…..We’ve been losing ground to other cities, because our population as a region has been stagnant. We have an opportunity to reverse this trend, but we have to act now.” “International Institute President Arrey Obenson expects the number of Afghan refugees in the city will soon double to more than 1,500 people. He and other community leaders want the region to become a destination for Afghan people and say that could attract more refugees from other parts of the United States.” (From here.)

The Archdiocese of St. Louis, the International Institute, the business nonprofit ArchGrants and other groups announced today that they aim to help refugees already in the area and attract other Afghans to St. Louis by offering housing assistance, business grants and other services. The group also plans to establish an Afghan newspaper and chamber of commerce to serve the new residents, along with soccer fields and a community center.

deportation fears among Latinos


Half of immigrant Latinos (51%) say they worry a lot or somewhat that they or someone they know could be deported.  Among U.S.-born Latinos, 28% say they have the same concerns. 53% of Latino adults say they know someone who is living in the U.S. without authorization.

Immigrants make up about one-third of the U.S. Latino population; 40% of Latino immigrants are unauthorized.

From Pew Resarch


A profile of unauthorized women

A very large share of unauthorized women in the U.S. are for all practical purposes Americans. But the hourglass profile has become more prominent (large numbers high ed and without a high school diploma) contrasted with the typical U.S. born profile of a large middle bump (HS and some college).

The Center for Migration Studies has profiled data from the 2019 Survey on 4.8 million unauthorized women. 45% are from Mexico, 44% elsewhere in Latin America, and 11% from Asia. 41% have been here for at least 15 years or more.

What’s most interesting is that the formal educational level of these women has increased over time. I’ve posted on this often, for example here.

For these women to be granted legal status, 1.3 million (about a quarter) qualify under DACA (Dream Act). 95% have complete high school, 45% have completed some higher education, 44% have been here for at least 15 years, and 90% speak English well (or only English). 78% in 2019 were above poverty level (compared to 10% total population).

A hourglass profile is evident, likely become more prominent with an increase of unauthorized persons from Asia. More persons are with advanced education, while many still arrive with less than high school education. Among persons who arrived 2010- 2019, about 20% were without a high school degree while half had at least some higher education.

Scaling up refugee settlement by community involvement

Migration Policy Institute addresses the issue of “complementary pathways” to increase the flow of refugee resettlement:

Recent displacement crises—from Syria, Afghanistan, and Venezuela to Myanmar, South Sudan, and most recently, Ukraine—have imposed huge stresses on the humanitarian protection regime.

Complementary pathways (including family reunification schemes, labor and education opportunities, and community and private sponsorship refugee resettlement and humanitarian admission programs) have grown in popularity in recent years, but thus far have benefitted only a small number of people. The real promise of complementary pathways is to beef up capacity—both in the ability to process of refugees and in public willingness to welcome refugees.

Thus far, only Canada—the architect of this approach—has realized this vision, with roughly two-thirds of all refugees each year arriving through community or private sponsorship programs.

Private or community sponsorship schemes put in place in Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom for Ukrainians try to scale and fund these programs to unprecedented levels. The U.S. government announced a private sponsorship pilot program. United States also is allowing for community sponsorship via a Sponsor Circles program—still a small pilot—for Afghan refugees and evacuees. Canada has launched an Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot to channel potential refugees into the Canadian labor market based on skills rather than vulnerability, which could prove a model for other countries if effectively scaled.

A Migration Policy Institute study found that the number of refugees entering complementary pathways has been constrained not only due to limited eligibility compared to other entry channels, but also because of other challenges. These programs are resource intensive to operate, need flexible legal frameworks to adapt existing visa channels (e.g. for study/work) to refugees’ backgrounds, require strong buy-in from and coordination between relevant stakeholders (including volunteers, civil-society groups, companies, universities, and local and national authorities), and typically rely on diverse sources of funding.

Work visa trends since 1997: big growth, then halt

I found a report from Wells Fargo (gated) which tracks the total number of temporary work visas issued annually since 1997 (first chart). The total is a sum of  nine visa categories including farm (H-2A), skilled  (H-2B), and J-1 (student based).  While there was a significant rise in visas issued, then a collapse during the pandemic, the number of visas as a percentage of the entire labor force (second chart) also rose dramatically, then collapsed. The percentage rise until the pandemic is due in part to the decline in the total labor force participation rate (from 66% in 2010 to 63% in 2019). From now on, the net U.S. additions are likely to be close to flat. What are the merits and impact of raising the visa-to-labor force ratio, say closer to 1%?