Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Guest worker program for U.S.?

Monday, March 8th, 2021

The concept of a long-term guest worker visa is rarely discussed in the U.S. These visas would create a middle ground between temporary work visas and citizenship or permanent residency. I think the concept is very hard for Americans to consider because we are at least overtly opposed to the idea of some kind of second class citizenship or permanent residency.

Here is an excerpt from a report based on round table discussions held in Wisconsin and Texas:

The participants also made suggestions for introducing new temporary programs or expanding existing ones for migrant workers. They proposed ideas that could expand the scope of the existing H-2A temporary agricultural visa and H-2B temporary non-agricultural visa programs.
A man from Wisconsin said more temporary programs for lower skilled occupations could provide incentives for undocumented immigrants to enter the country legally:

“One thing that ought to be done—there should be some middle ground between permanent resident status and being undocumented. I think there has to be a way for people to come here to work and be legal without the expectations that they’re going to become citizens or become permanent residents. I think a lot of people come here to work and send money back. I would like to see low skilled workers have some limited visa so they can work or earn a living and be documented to the extent monitored … that would give them a way to be here legally, pay their taxes, social services, and healthcare. I see great benefit in that.”

Another participant from Texas floated a proposal that mirrored temporaryto-permanent systems in European countries, such as Germany where non-citizens can access permanent status after living in these countries for a specific number of years. He said, “Whoever wants to come legally, give them a period of one year to prove to the government that they can establish themselves in the U.S., stay with clear criminal histories, and show they are productive and engaged in the community.”

From Turning Challenges Into Opportunities: Perspectives on Immigration in Texas and Wisconsin during the 2020 Election Year

Farm Workforce Modernization Act

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act was enacted by the prior Democratic-controlled House In December, 2019, and was re-introduced this week. This and the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 are the two major immigration related legislative initiatives underway.

Farmworker-related legislation has been sought by a coalition of worker advocates and employer-based farm associations for some time. They are responding to a crisis in farm labor supply.

Some highlights of the bill:

Temporary legalization. A program for agricultural workers in the United States (and their spouses and minor children) to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment. Provides a process for farm workers to seek Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW) status—a temporary status for those who have worked at least 180 days in agriculture over the last 2 years. CAW status can be renewed indefinitely with continued farm work (at least 100 days per year).

Green card for current long-term workers. Those who want to stay can earn a path to a green card by paying a $1,000 fine and engaging in additional agricultural work: Workers with 10 years of agricultural work prior to the date of enactment must complete 4 additional years of such work. Workers with less than 10 years of agricultural work prior to the date of enactment must complete 8 additional years of such work.

Temporary workers. Reforms the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers.
Electronic Verification of the Agricultural Workforce. A mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system for all agricultural employment,

Here is another summary.

How Biden’s immigration bill will reshape green card flow

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

The National Foundation for American Policy has analyzed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to estimate major changes in the number of persons awarded a green card. It compares actual data for 2016 with a projection for 2032.

The total number of green cards is forecast to increase by 28% from about 1,180,000 to 1,510,000. Family-related visas (immediate and relatives) are to remain basically flat, while employment-related visas are expected to grow by 285%. Family-related visas will decline from, 69% to 52% of all visas awarded; employment related from 12% to 34%. Refugee, asylee, and lottery visas will remain at about 18% of visas. (In chart below RAD = refugee, asylee, and diversity visas.)

World migration today

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

The pandemic may have lowered by two million the flow of international migrants in 2020, but that is a minuscule number compared to the total size of migration. 281 million persons are estimated to have lived outside their country of origin in 2020

Of these 281 million persons, 45 million (or 16%) were living in the United States. The three highest source countries of migration (2019) are India (17.5 million), Mexico (11.8 million), and China (10.7 million). (Go here and here.)

Roughly 11.2 million immigrants living in the U.S. are from Mexico, accounting for 25% of all U.S. immigrants. The next largest origin groups were those from China (6%), India (6%), the Philippines (4%) and El Salvador (3%).

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of international migrants increased by 48 million globally, with another 60 million added between 2010 and 2020. Much of this increase was due to labor or family migration. Humanitarian crises in many parts of the world also contributed, with an increase of 17 million in the number of refugees and asylum seekers between 2000 and 2020. In 2020, the number of persons forcibly displaced across national borders worldwide stood at 34 million, double the number in 2000.
For most, go here.

Tenure in U.S. of unauthorized persons

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

I have posted on this recently and I am doing this again, in light of the impending legislative battle over the fate of unauthorized persons in the U.S.

In 2016, about two-thirds of unauthorized immigrant adults had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, and the share has risen from less than half (41%) in 2007. 80% of unauthorized persons from Mexico had been in the U.S. for at least ten years

Only 18% of all unauthorized persons have lived in the U.S. for five years or less, a decline from 30% in 2007.

These are 2016 estimates. The percentage of unauthorized immigrant adults today who have been here more than ten years had certainly increased since then.

From here.



Quinnipiac Poll: immigration questions

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Here are results on immigration-related questions in the latest Quinnipiac poll:

Mexico Border: Americans say 54 – 42 percent that they approve of President Biden’s action to halt the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico.

DACA: On Biden’s proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Americans overwhelming support 83 – 12 percent allowing undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the United States and eventually apply for citizenship.

Other unauthotized persons: Overall, sixty-five percent of Americans say undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the United States should be allowed to stay in the United States and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. Nine percent say they should stay in the U.S. but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship. Twenty percent say they should be required to leave the United States.

Travel Ban/Muslim Countries: Americans say they approve 57 – 36 percent of Biden’s action to reverse a travel ban on predominately Muslim countries that was put into effect in 2017.

1,075 U.S. adults nationwide were surveyed from January 28th – February 1st with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Interior arrests declined under Trump!

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Despite the rhetoric of the Trump Administration, arrests of unauthorized persons in the interior (as opposed to at or near the borders) were much lower in the four Trump years compared to most of the Obama years.

From the Center for Immigration Studies, here.

Text of the Biden immigration bill

Friday, February 19th, 2021

The text of the U.S. Citizens Act of 2021, formally submitted to the House on Feburary 18,is here.

The NY Times‘ thumbnail sketch of the bill: “It would allow virtually all undocumented immigrants to eventually apply for citizenship; increase legal immigration; add measures to secure ports of entry and speed processing of asylum seekers; and invest $4 billion in the economies of Central American countries to reduce migration.”

Biden comprehensive immigration bill

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

The Biden administration submitted, as expected, an immigration bill on January 20: the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. I wrote about the bill on January 19 here. The highlight of the bill is legalization of substantially all unauthorized persons in the country as of 1/1/21. The Administration’s own summary of the bill is here.

It does not appear to significantly alter the design of the country’s visa system except for normalization, through temporary legal status, of the state of unauthorized persons. It does not create a workforce assessment function; Washington will remain without a capacity to assess how present and future immigration will impact the economy.

The bill requires that “DHS and the Department of Labor establish a commission involving labor, employer, and civil rights organizations to make recommendations for improving the employment verification process.” Without employer verification enforcement of immigration laws is very weak – as it has been.

Popular ambivalence about immigration

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

A Morning Consult/Politico survey (in January/early February) reveals ambivalence about immigration, in particular changes by Biden of some representative Trump policies. Americans have been more ambivalent than is acknowledged. The following captures the tension: “We like immigrants, but we’d rather have fewer of them.” To me, who believes that immigration flows should increase, and even beyond the patterns in pre-Trump years, the survey findings are sobering.

Key to chart:

A: Re-evaluate Trump immigration policies
B: Review Trump’s public charge rule
C: End Muslim travel ban
D: Include undocumented persons in census
E: Expand refugee cap to 110,000 (currently under 25,000)