Cosmopolitan cities (vs. Tokyo)

This table shows the size of the foreign born population, that population’s share of the entire metropolitan area population and share of the country’s entire foreign born population. Note how the % of metrpolitan population hovers around 20-30% except of course for Tokyo, and that central metropolises contain 1/4 of the nation’s foreign born.


Private sponsored immigration is surging

Semi-privatized immigration, created by the Biden administration, is proving hugely popular. Households in the U.S. have demonstrated a strong appetite for providing financial guarantees and other support for nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ukraine.

CBS reports that U.S. received more than 1.5 million requests from individuals hoping to sponsor the entry of migrants from four countries which the Biden administration enrolled in a private sponsorship “parole” program: Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. I posted last month that by this summer a half million people have been admitted through parole programs, of which most had private sponsorhips.

[The CBS report does not address an earlier – approved private sponsorship program, that for Ukrainians.  As of February 2023, 117,000 Ukrainians have been admitted under United for Ukraine program. Go here and here.]

The internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by CBS News indicated that as of the end of last month, the agency was receiving an average of nearly 12,000 applications per day from those seeking to sponsor Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, calling the number “overwhelming.” The documents noted that less than three days’ worth of applications were processed per month due to the 30,000 monthly cap.

The sponsorship policy is also being challenged in federal court by a coalition of Republican-led states that argue the Biden administration does not have the legal authority to use parole to admit up to 360,000 migrants each year outside of the regular visa system.

Work permits—persons who come under this program are granted a two year work permit, but it appears that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is backlogged in issuing the permits.  Conventional amnesty applicants who are permitted to stay in the U.S. have to wait for six months to be eligible to work.





Fairfax County VA: diverse and well off

Fairfax County, VA, is both racially/ethnically diverse and well off.  The County’s May, 2023 Strategic Plan is focused on making the City economically accessible and culturally rich.

40% of households speak other than English at home.

The median household income is close to $100,000 vs close to $50,000 nationally.

Canada poaching our temporary skilled workers

From Forbes:

It is a fact that H1B visa workers from countries such as India, China, Mexico, and the Philippines face legitimate concerns about their long-term status and stability in the United States. For example, America offers no automatic path to permanent residence for H1-B workers, their work visas are only temporary, H1-B spouses and children cannot work without authorizations,

Starting from July 16, 2023, U.S.-based H1-B workers and their immediate family members will be able to apply for open Canadian work permits of up to three years, enabling them to explore employment opportunities with almost any Canadian employer. [An arrangement with a specific employer is not required to use this program.]

Other new initiatives are described here.

Also go here and here.




Central American immigrants in the US

2.1 million persons born in Central America reside in the US, Including 1.4 million El Salvadoreans, 1.1 million Guatemalans, 800,000 Hondurans, and 300,000 Nicaraguans.

These four are worse off than Mexicans in the U.S., much worse off than two other Central American immigrants from Costa Ricans and Panamanians. They have collectively been more numerous than Mexicans at the Mexican border, despite these four countries having a combined population one third of Mexico. The Biden administration will open an immigration processing centers in Guatemala within a few weeks. The administration has proposed additional economic aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Here is quick snap shot of these immigrants.

One fifth of El Salvadoreans live in the U.S. About 6% of Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans live in the U.S. In 2019 (before the pandemic) remittances to El Salvador were equivalent to 20% of the country’s GDP.

Limited English proficiency

Nearly all Central American immigrants speak a language other than English as their primary language. A greater share of the population had limited English proficiency (66%) than Asian-born immigrants (34%).

Working age

In 2021, 81% of Central American immigrants were of working age (18 to 64), higher than U.S. natives (59%). This means relatively more of them are in the labor force.


About 46% of Central Americans ages 25 and older had less than a high school diploma, versus 30% for persons from Mexico and 7% of U.S.-born adults as of 2021.  These rates are reflected in the poor education achievement in the countries of origin. For instance, the “gross high school enrollment” rate in Honduras is 60% vs. 89% in Costa Rica.


About 34% of Central Americans were naturalized U.S. citizens as of 2021, compared to 51% percent Mexican immigrants; including Hondurans (23%), Guatemalans (28%), and Salvadorans (36%).

Irregular legal status

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that approximately 2.1 million unauthorized immigrants from all of Central America resided in the United States as of 2019, accounting for approximately 19% of the total 11 million unauthorized immigrant population and about 50% of the immigrants from these countries in the U.S.  The top origin countries for unauthorized immigrants from Central America were El Salvador (741,000), Guatemala (724,000), and Honduras (490,000).

Go here for the MPI report.

Biden made border administration worse

In the June 19 issue of the New Yorker, Dexter Filkins wrote a 10,000-word description of migrant movement across the Mexican border. His reporting includes interviews with Columbians and Venezuelans who crossed the border, Border Patrol officers, politicians on the U.S. side of the border, human smugglers, former members of the Trump and Biden administration, advocates in opposing camps, and current Biden appointees. He writes that besides the very many persons who have crossed to apply for asylum, there were an estimated 1.6 million persons who crossed escaping detection in a 26 month period.

The picture he paints is of systems of border management and asylum management that are already severely stressed, and Biden and his early pro-immigrant aides who made the situation much worse. One gets the impression that during the 2020 campaign and after Biden and his aides, in effect, recklessly encouraged persons to cross the border to seek asylum. Applying for asylum virtually guarantees residency in the U.S. for five years or more due to court backlogs. And, once in, an asylum applicant can disappear. Sharp intelligence among would-be border crossers and smugglers saw, and continue to see, an opportunity.  The primary drivers of border crossing are the chance of staying in the U.S. for years (he says at one point ten years) due to asylum court backlog; insufficient border law enforcement, and clever smugglers.

Missing from the article is a close analysis of the politics of immigration reform.  Filkins implies that the political prospects for constructive reform are so poor as to not merit inspection.


Evangelicals more likely Hispanic; Hispanics more likely evangelicals in last ten years

The Hispanic evangelical population is growing rapidly due to a number of factors, including immigration, higher birth rates, and conversion from Catholicism. The growth of the Hispanic evangelical population is having a significant impact on the religious landscape of the United States. In 2020 one third of all evangelicals were Hispanic; one third of all Hispanics live in evangelical households. I expect that in 2020 both these percentages were closer to 25%.

In 2014, there were an estimated 16 million Hispanic evangelicals in the United States, out of a total of 57 million Hispanics, or 28%. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 22 million, or a 36% of the total Hispanic population of 62 million. Pew Research Center, there were 54 million in 2010. The number adult white evangelicals in the United States declined from 54 million in 2010 to 43 million in 2020.

Given there were 71 million evangelicals in the United States in 2014 and 63 million in 2020, this means that Hispanics were 23% of all evangelicals in 2014 and 35% in 2020.

Hispanic are more likely than the general population to hold conservative values. They are more likely to believe in the importance of family, faith, and community.

And, Hispanic evangelicals in 2016 voted heavily for Trump – 71% of them, less than did white evangelical voters (75%), but far more than all Hispanic voters (28%).

Black African immigrants and healthcare jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment in the U.S. will grow by only 6% between 2023 and 2031, or about 0.5% a year compounded. Some jobs will decline, such as lower level administrative jobs.  Some will increase, such as math and science jobs by 15%. The fastest growing jobs are in healthcare. The single fastest growing job is nurse practitioner (46%).  Healthcare support occupations, such as PT and OT assistants and home health aides, will grow by 18%.

24% of foreign-born workers were employed in healthcare and social assistance occupations, compared to 17% of U.S.-born workers.  (Go here and here for an overview of foreign-born worker participation in healthcare jobs.)

Black Africa immigrants are compared to other immigrant groups relatively more concentrated in healthcare jobs and thus will disproportionately benefit from the surge in healthcare jobs. These workers tend to be from Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Nigerian immigrants in the United States are particularly likely to work in healthcare occupations, with over 17% of Nigerian immigrant men (vs. 8% of all male workers) and 34% of Nigerian immigrant women (13% of all female workers) working in healthcare-related fields. The report also found that Nigerian immigrants were more likely to have a professional degree than any other immigrant group, and were more likely to work in high-skilled occupations such as medicine and law.

Because the Black African immigrant population is relatively small –only 2.1 million or about 5% of all 46 million foreign-born persons – African born workers are a small portion of all workers in any work sector.  But within 2.1 million is the highest percentage of healthcare workers of all other immigrant groups defined by origin.


E-Verify is effective

Any serious proposal to reform immigration laws needs to have a universal, all employer mandate to verify legal status of the applicant or actual worker.  Both parties in Congress have their own reasons not to endorse this.  The federal government has been working on an electronic verification system for close to 30 years.

The 1986 immigration reform act (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986) mandated that employers verify that their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. As a result of the 1986, the federal government launched an initiative to provide employers a means to electronically check federal databases to verity legal status. It took ten years (1996) to launch a pilot. It did not become routinely available, voluntarily, and as e-Verify, until the mid 2000s. Starting with Arizona in 2011, some states began to require use of e-Verify.

Alabama (2012), Arizona (2007), Georgia (2011), Mississippi (2008), North Carolina (2012), South Carolina (2012), and Utah (2010, currently have universal mandates that require all or nearly all employers to use the system to Screen new hires.

A Fed Reserve Bank of Dallas study in 2016 estimated that the unauthorized workforce in five states the authors studied declined by these percentages:  Alabama 57%, Arizona 33%, Mississippi 83%, Utah 34%, Georgia 14%. In South and North Carolina, there was statistically now change. Tennessee (2016) and Utah (2017) mandated universal use of e-Verity too late to be included in the study. Florida introduced a law this year (Senate 1718).

The Bank wrote, “E-Verify, a federal database, is largely achieving its goals of reducing the number of unauthorized immigrants living and working in states that require all employers to use it….. The report looks at both changes in working-age population and employment of likely unauthorized immigrants using a method that compares what might have occurred in the state without the policy change with what actually occurred. It is the first study [and I believe only study – PFR] to apply this method to multiple states with similar E-Verify mandates.”

I first posted on e-Verify in 2008.

Go here and here.

Foreign born farm workers in California

The three largest California counties in terms of dollar value of farm production – Kern, Fresno, and Tulare, which produce half of the state’s farm output – have workforces which are 75% foreign born.

Five farm product account for 60% of California’s farm production by value of product:

Diary:  more than 50% foreign born; Grapes: 70% foreign born; Almonds: 70% foreign-born; Strawberries: 70% foreign born; Cattle: over 50% foreign born.

This data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Farm Bureau Federation, the California Almond Board, UC Berkeley Labor Center, and University of California, Davis. Go here.