Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Beto O’Rourke’s Immigration Plan

Thursday, May 30th, 2019


The O’Rourke campaign issued a plan for immigration reform on May 29. It starts with a critique of Trump administration practices on the border. When O’Rourke gets to his ideas they include the following:

1. Solidify and by implication increase family-based immigration;
2. Introduce a community-based visa program for refugees. State and local governments were denied making immigration laws back around 1880 by the federal government
3. A provision for meeting the labor needs of certain (but unnamed) industries by what looks like a guest worker program. For agriculture, perhaps?
4. Make it easier for some types of skilled workers to get into and stay in the U.S.
5. Make it easier for green card holders to become naturalized.
6. Strengthen controls on the southern border
7. Invest in programs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to lessen hardships and demand the end of corruption,
8. Improve Mexico’s migration and refuge policies.
9. Legalize the status of 11 million unauthorized persons, including persons covered by DACA

Missing from the plan is any role of employers, any new system of federal oversight, and a long term policy on skilled workers.

IN OUR OWN IMAGE: Beto O’Rourke’s Plan for Rebuilding Our Immigration and Naturalization System is here.

Major origins of current Asian immigrants to U.S.

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

There are about 47 million people in the U.S. born in another country. Let’s look at where in Asia they come from. The chart below shows the largest sources: China, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Korea. (other sources with slightly less immigrants than Korea are Japan and Pakistan. Together they account for about 20% of foreign born in the U.S. today. Contrast this with 1960, where there were hardly any Asian immigrants due to the racist barrier of the 1924 immigration act, overturned in the 1965 immigration act.

The U.S. is for Chinese by far the biggest destination (2.4 million), the next being Canada (700K). For India, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have upwards of 10 million Indians but these are almost all guest workers, whereas Indians in the U.S. are here to stay. The next largest permanent destinations for Indians are the U.K (800K) and Canada (600K). For the Philippines, the next largest destination is Canada (500K). for Vietnam, it’s Australia (200K). For Korea, it is China (200K) followed by Canada and Australia.

Note that these figures are for persons born outside the U.S. and do not include second and later generations,

For data, go here.


Where were deported people deported to?

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Of the 4.6 million people deported between 2003 and 2018, 90% were returned to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

These four countries account for 70%, or 7.6 million, of the roughly 11 million unauthorized persons in the U.S. today. Therefore, their rate of deportation is relatively higher than for persons from other countries.

In total, 3 million Mexicans were deported in these years. A portion of these were deported at least twice. There are about 6.2 million unauthorized Mexicans in the U.S. today. The current population of Mexico is 129 million.


Growth of non-white voting population

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Millennials today (18 – 34) are 56% white, compared to pre-millennials (35 and older) who are 68% white. The rise of the non-white population of voting age is mainly due to Hispanics, although Blacks and Asians are also growing in numbers. The large waves of immigration to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, especially from Latin America and Asia, coupled with the aging of the white population[1], made millennials a more racially and ethnically diverse generation than any that preceded it. (Brookings Institution, here)

This explains the current surge in the percentage of voting age persons who are non-white. Between 2000 and 2020 non-white voting age persons rise from 24% to 33% of the total:

Adding more insight, for the first time since the Census Bureau has released annual statistics, they show for 2016 and 2017 an absolute decline in the nation’s white non-Hispanic population—accelerating a phenomenon that was not projected to occur until 2023.

And, in 2014, one in five births (791,000) in the United States was to an immigrant mother, contrasted with 13% of the total population being foreign-born. Immigrant mothers accounted for half or nearly half of births in Miami, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA.

Latest poll on racial/ethnic diversity

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

About half of Americans think that diversity makes it hard to solve the country’s problems. Many older people do not like to hear a language other than English spoken in public. And people differ on whether they want more ethnic/racial mixture in their neighborhood.

A sizable share of Americans (47%) say having a population that is made up of people of many different races and ethnicities makes it harder for policymakers to solve the country’s problems; a small share (7%) say it makes it easier for policymakers and 45% say it doesn’t make much difference.

And much more from Pew Research.

Bopha Malone

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Bopha Malone with an Enterprise Bank client in Lowell, Massachusetts. “When I was three my mother walked to a camp. I arrived in the U.S. in 1989 as a nine-year-old. The refugee generation worked all hours, they did not know the laws. Our generation born just before or in the refugee camps know the system, we’re able to get better jobs. I acclimated very quickly – it scared my parents. Now Cambodians are arriving with some assets.”


What Trump’s merit based system might look like

Friday, May 17th, 2019

The White House yesterday (5/16/19)  announced new immigration legislation without disclosing the text of an actual bill. But we can make an informed guess of its content by looking at the RAISE Act, which was proposed by Senators Cotton and Perdue in mid 2017. If enacted, the bill would turn immigration policy into an extremely selective and narrow funnel into which only the most educated and economically productive would be admitted. If unauthorized persons are not converted to legal status but are driven out of the country through legal enforcement, whole industries that rely on workers with low formal education would be challenged to survive.

The RAISE act would reduce levels of legal immigration to the United States by 50% by halving the number of green cards issued. The bill would also impose a cap of 50,000 refugee admissions a year and would end the visa diversity lottery. Legal immigration would be severely cut by reducing family based immigrations.

The Act would revise the awarding of 140,000 green cards for economic reasons to a merit-based system. The number of economic-based green cards would not increase. Entry through the points systems would surely be incredibly competitive, with only the most highly educated, most English fluent, highest-paid STEM workers making the cut.

It would essentially bar green cards for artists and low formally educated immigrants. Some 27 million foreign-born people work in America, about 17% of the workforce. Among major occupations with no need (1) for a high school degree and (2) much contact with the public, immigrants fill about 40% of these jobs. They include jobs on farms, construction sites, warehouses, in kitchens, and for building cleaning and maintenance. Roughly half of the immigrant workers in these jobs are undocumented.

An analysis of the RAISE Act by the Migration Policy Institute is here.

One undocumented family member would throw families out of public housing

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Thousands of legal residents and citizens, including 55,000 children who are in the country legally, could be displaced under a proposed rule intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing assistance, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The proposal, published on Friday, would prohibit families in which at least one member is undocumented from obtaining subsidized housing, according to an analysis by HUD career officials. The administration is pushing the changes to ensure that the benefits are awarded only to verified citizens — a move that was made without the knowledge of many longtime housing officials at the department.

Current rules bar undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing subsidies, but allow families of mixed immigration status to live in subsidized housing as long as one household member is a legal resident. The subsidies are prorated based on the number of eligible members of the family. According to the HUD analysis, more than 108,000 people receiving benefits are in a household with at least one undocumented immigrant.

From the New York Times

Oath of Allegiance

Monday, May 13th, 2019

To be spoken by candidates for U.S. naturalization, upon which the oath-taker is a citizen.

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.


According to U.S. regulations, the phrase “so help me God” is optional and that the words ‘on oath’ can be substituted with ‘and solemnly affirm’.

According to U.S. Congress, if the prospective citizen is unable or unwilling to promise to bear arms or perform noncombatant military service because of “religious training and belief”, he or she may request to leave out those clauses. The law specifies:

The term “religious training and belief” as used in this section shall mean an individual’s belief in a relation to a Supreme Being involving duties superior to those arising from any human relation, but does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code.

From here.

The administration “is dismantling the infrastructure” of refugee resettlement

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Syrian refugees in Jordan, Mr and Mrs. Rastanawi were shocked to learn in March of this year that they were being admitted to the United States as refugees, and their spring arrival in Indianapolis was akin to winning the lottery. The country used to allow thousands of Syrians to immigrate, but the flow of Syrian refugees is at an almost complete stop.

Mrs. Rastanawi was riding a bus to pick up diabetes medication in March when she got the phone call telling her that she and her husband were eligible to come to the United States. The couple had to go to a hospital the next morning for a medical exam, pack their bags, pick up medication and get ready for a new life. The couple arrived at the Indianapolis airport on March 23. They are now living in Indianapolis, where their daughter lives with her family.

But the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States in fiscal 2016 was 12,587. In fiscal 2018, the United States admitted 62.

“Syrian refugees are the largest population of refugees seeking resettlement,” said Nazanin Ash, vice president of policy and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee. “Their vulnerability is increasing while U.S. policy is reducing admissions.”

The sharp decline in refugees has led some resettlement agencies to dismantle the infrastructure that has helped place those seeking assistance within the United States and leaving struggling U.S. towns short of workers they are eager to welcome. The nine organizations that resettle refugees in the United States have all had to lay off staff or close offices, sometimes both.

In 2016, Exodus Refugee Immigration in Indianapolis resettled refugees from 13 countries, including Syria, Iraq and Sudan. Last year, Exodus placed refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Congo and Eritrea, said Cole Varga, the group’s executive director. The drop in refugees means the group’s funding has been cut almost in half, and the group laid off or did not backfill more than a dozen positions.

“One of the most striking things, I think, is just how much disruption this has caused to the network,” Varga said. “The top level is all the missing refugees who are not in the U.S., but it’s also about how [the president] is dismantling the infrastructure of this program.”

From the Washington Post