Planning migration into Ireland

Ireland is one of the brightest of the bright spots of economic growth in the world today. I have posted on the surge in population. Since the early 2000s more than 1.6 million people immigrated to Ireland over those 20 years, with net inward migration of around 520,000 people.

Canada and Australia have a purposeful policy of assessing and targeting immigration – which the United States distinctly does not.

Ireland has an employment permits system that allows foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area to work in certain eligible occupations. This system does not use a points-based approach or hard quotas currently.

In December 2023, Ireland announced the largest expansion of its employment permits system, adding 43 new eligible occupations and increasing salary requirements. This suggests efforts to better match foreign labor to specific workforce needs.

The government is considering proposals for a “single application procedure” that would combine the employment permit and immigration permission processes. This could pave the way for a more comprehensive points-based immigration system in the future.

The government’s first Migrant Integration Strategy was published in 2017, covering the period to 2021, and was being updated as of this writing. MIPEX described the government as having developed “a more comprehensive approach to integration.”  It is not an immigration quota system (with for instance a points system) but rather an comprehensive approach to integration of immigrants.

Its key elements include: Integration is a core principle, with mainstream services adapted to meet migrant needs. Migrants participate in economic life through employment and self-employment.Migrants interact with the host community while preserving their traditions.Migrants acquire language skills and knowledge about Ireland.

Asylum: a white paper on the Direct Provision system for accommodating asylum seekers—which has been widely criticized for its poor living standards and for preventing individuals from integrating into Irish society—promised to end Direct Provision by 2024. To that end, a one-off regularization process was introduced for asylum applicants whose cases had been under review for longer than two years. More than 3,200 applications were received for this scheme; as of June 2023, nearly 1,600 people had been granted approval and a further 1,100 were separately granted another form of status.

Much of this information is from here.

Unauthorized population of the U.S.

According to the Deparment of Homeland Security, the unauthorized population has remained roughly the same since 2010, with a recent dip and resurgence. Here are some figures.

The total number of unauthorized persons was in 2008 at 8.5 million, about 11.1 million in 2010, increased to 11.6 million in 2018, dipped, then rose and stood at 11 million in 2022 (go here).

The Mexican share in 2022 was 44%, down from 47% in 2018. The greatest percentage rise since 2018 has been Venezuelans, now at about 3%. Most if not all of these Venezuelans arrived under the Temporary Protected Status system.

The size of the unauthorized immigrant population that arrived since 2010 declined by 280,000 from 2018 to 2020, then grew by 630,000 from 2020 to 2022. The vast majority of the population, or 79%, entered before 2010, but that percentage is declining from 83% in 2018 as new unauthorized entrants arrived and earlier entrance emigrate, die, or just illegally resident status.

My analysis of Temporary Protected Status suggests that the most of the additional unauthorized persons were under TPS.

The Center for Immigration Studies claims that there has been hundreds of thousands of “illegal” migrants entering the country, and Repulican politicians uniformly claim they crossed the Mexican border.  This surge according to them has continued through recent years, The BHS figures in effect dispute this by the role of TPS increases.

Note that the DHS labels as unauthorized people here with temporary protections. Most unauthorized immigrants either entered the United States without inspection, or were admitted temporally and remain past the date they were required to depart. Persons who are beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA], or other forms of prosecutorial discretion, or who are residing in the United States while awaiting removal proceedings in the regression cards, are included among the DHS estimates of the unauthorized population.

Other Interesting facts:

Emigration: between 1980 and 2021, 6.7 million foreign-born persons with green cards emigrated from the U.S. At an average of 150,000 a year, compared to about 800,000 green card issued per year over this time.

Total size of the Temporary Protected Status, asylee, and refugee population in the U.S. 26 million admitted between 1980 and 2021. The TPS population
grew significantly. Under Biden’s policy, there will soon be one million TPS persons in the U.S.

A target for a Trump administration: Temporary Protected Status

The Heritage Foundation and the Trump campaign appear to overlook the Temporary Protected Status program.  It may be because the TPS does not have the front page flash appeal of the Mexican border. But if Trump is elected, I expect that one of his first moves will be to revoke TPS for hundreds of thousands, if not a million, persons in the U.S.

At the end of the Trump administration there were about 400,000 persons in the U.S. covered by TPS. In 2022, there were about 350,000. Today there are well over a million, after taking into account a boost in Haitian TPS protected persons in the past few days. The Biden administration has been adding TPS beneficiaries at a rate of about 400,000 a year.

This surge has resulted in very roughly 500,000 + additional workers in the U.S. and contributed to the perplexing, contrasting estimates of the number of foreign-born persons in the U.S. ranging from a recent increase  from 1.1 million to 3.3 million

TPS designation can be for an initial period of anywhere from 16 to 18 months and extended indefinitely for periods for up to 18 months. The program is designed for people who cannot return safely due to their home countries due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental the disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. While the designation formally is temporary, the designation can lead to a more permanent status.

The Biden administration has been using TPS to divert migrants from crossing the Mexican border and asking for asylum.

An example is Haiti.  Darian Gap crossings by Haitians and Mexican border corssings by Haitians surged in the past few years. The Biden administration just announced that 309,000 Haitians in the U.S. are to be granted Temporary Protected Status. This will bring the total number of Haitians in the U.S. under TPS to about 500,000, or 4% of the entire population of Haiti.

The number of Haitians in the U.S, appears to be about 700,000 but I think that may understate the actual number as it may not take into account the surge of migrants in the past 12-18 months.



When the United States helped to plan massive forced migration

No, I am not here writing about forced migration of indigenous Americans. I’ll address that later.

After World War II, the borders of Poland were significantly altered, resulting in population expulsions and migrations on a massive scale. The most notable changes occurred as a result of the Potsdam Conference in 1945, where the United States (Truman), the Soviet Union (Stalin0, and the United Kingdom (Atlee0 made decisions about post-war Europe, including the borders of Poland.

In the Protocol of the Proceedings, August 1, 1945: XIII. Orderly Transfers of German Populations. “…..The three Governments, having considered the question in all its aspects, recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner.”

Between 3.5 to 4.5 million Germans residing within the new borders of Poland were mandated to resettle in post-war Germany from 1946 to 1949. The expulsion and migration processes were part of a larger ethnic policy aimed at creating an ethnically homogeneous Polish state.

In all, upwards of 12 million German speaking persons were forced to relocate after WW2 from Poland and other Central and East European countries.


Political alignment and immigration views

The independent voter remains moderate on immigration. It’s the partisans who have veered away from each other, as their views on social issues have widened their gap.

First, consider how social and economic views have evolved in the past 20 years, according to Gallup. This is a summary of Gallup’s assessment:

Americans have become significantly more liberal in their views on social issues over the past 25 years, with liberal, moderate, and conservative perspectives now equally prevalent. These trends are driven entirely by Democrats, who have become much more likely to hold liberal views on both social and economic matters compared to 10-20 years ago. In contrast, Republicans’ and independents’ ideological leanings have remained relatively stable. The growing liberal tilt, concentrated among Democrats, has reshaped the national landscape on social issues towards greater ideological parity.

Second, the gap in party affiliation over immigration has widened greatly, with Republicans becoming more restrictionist and Democrats more inclusive. (But the median voter remains at keeping immigration levels where they are.) Persons who consider immigration as a “vital threat” to America: between 2010 and 2022, Republicans grew 8 points from 62 to 70; Democrat declined by 21 points from 41 to 18; but Independents declined by 12 points from 51 to 39.

Third, consider how the Biden administration has been profiled by Republican politicians as exceedingly and purposefully inclusive while their prospective immigration policy for the second Trump administration is exceedingly restrictive, going as far as massive deportation of unauthorized persons.

Trump has stated his interest in mass deportation of authorized immigrants, including the National Guard.


Again how many immigrants have come recently?

The Center for Immigration. Studies estimates that 5.1 million immigrants arrived in the wo two years, and 6.6 million since January 2021. My estimate (here) is that 5 million have arrived in since January 2021.  There was a sharp decline in immigration in 2020, when the pandemic severely disrupted international movement. Thus the CIS’s 6.6 million figure almost certainly overstates the trend.

In any event, is it fair to say there are 50 million foreign born persons in the U.S. or 15% of the entire population. By state, they range from under 2% in West Virginia to over 28% in California.

The CIS has a very different take on the number those in the workforce – it asserts that less than half of new immigrants where in the workforce, when I estimate 70%. The discrepancy is mostly likely due to two factors. On is that student migration to the U.S. surged in the past year or two after falling badly in 2020. They are not generally in the workforce.  Second, refer to the overall workforce participation rate of foreign-born, which is over 70% vs the U.S. born rate of about 62%. I think the 70% figure is more accurate to estimate trends. There is no reason to think (and the CIS gives none) that the demographic profile of immigrant has turned to more persons not in work force age.

How the eductional status of immigrants has flipped in the past 10 years.

Between about 1980 and 2000 the total number of foreign born persons 18 and over without a high school degree tripled in size to a peak of about 8 million. Then it declined. The number of foreign-born persons with at least a college has risen by decade at an accelerated pace.  This is in part due to the rise in higher education among countries where immigrants are increasingly coming from (Asia), plus their higher educaiton level to begin with compared to Latin America.  I call this part of the normalization of the immigrant population, to adhere closer to the socio-economic profiles of U.S. born Americans.


Trends in eligible voters 2000 to 2024

Between 2020 and 2024, The number of eligible Hispanic voters, which were 32 million or 13.5% of all eligible voters, will rise to 36 million.  All the increase in eligible voters in 2024 are non-white (Hispanic, Black and Asian).  Eligible white voters remain about the same as in 2020. (Go here.) The white share of eligible voters declined from about 82% in 2000 to about 74% in 2000. But since whites turn out to vote a lot more than other groups, its actual diminishment in electoral impact has not declined as much.

Hispanics, indeed, turn out to vote much less than whites. In 2020, 73% of eligible white voters voted, compared to 53% of eligible Hispanic voters. (Go here.)

If this ratio in voting patterns continues into 2024, the actual size of the Hispanic vote will be 19 million, and the white vote about 118 million.

An explanation of the recent economic phenomenon in the U.S.

This posting says that the surprising resiliency of the American economy in the post pandemic period is a result of greater capacity of households to spend and a larger than normal increase in the workforce due to immigration since 2020.

The pandemic caused piling up of household savings far in excess of normal financial balances.  In 2020 alone, savings increased 25% over normal rates, adding about $1.6 trillion dollars to the wallets of households.

In 2019, households spent $14 trillion in consumer spending and at year end had about $17 trillion in liquid financial assets. Thus, $1.6 trillion is a one-shot addition to household wealth was important.

This additional wealth came from two sources: (1) special federal outlays in 2020 and 2021 totaling about $800 billion, and (2) a reduction in household spending (travel, restaurants, etc) amounting for many households to a 5% reduction in normal spending (which maybe was $700 billion in foregone outlays).

At the same time this unexpected boost in liquid wealth happened, housing prices went up. Some 62% of Americans own their own homes.  And the stock market soared. The “wealth effect” is commonly thought to increase consumer spending by 3-5% of the increase in wealth.

And at the same time, immigration added about five million people to the American population, over the course of three years (2021-2023).  I’ve discussed this growth several times and will in the future, assessing evidence of its size and the effect on the workforce.  Normally, one would expect a growth of three million over three years. The additional two million translates into over one million additional workers.

Thus, the higher capacity for households to spend matched serendipitously the rise in the supply of workers. I suggest this matching has resulted in higher than normally expected economic growth.  Conventional economic models, in my view, cannot adequately address the one time surge in both wealth and the surge in the workforce.



Foreign-born students, after dipping during pandemic, are back up to prior levels

The number of foreign-born students enrolled in degree granting schools and colleges were about 500,000 in 2000, 650,000 in 2010, and reached a peak of about 900,000 in 2016. Having dipped during the pandemic, enrollments in 2022 were 860,000. The ratio of these students to all college students has wavered around 5% since the mid 2010s.  (Go here).

The demand for college education in the U.S. is a function of the number of college-bound students in the world (which is going up) and the availability of college education in the world (which is also going up). the world has become markedly more formally educated in the past few decades.

Other advanced countries are more systematic in attracting foreign students. for instance Australia, less than 10% the size of the U.S. population, attracts about 380,000 college level students a year. (Go here.)