Community colleges and immigrant education

Community colleges are the higher ed pathway for many immigrant youth. The latest estimate found (for 2003-2004) shows that one about a quarter of the nation’s 6.5 million degree seeking community college students are immigrants. Quincy College in Quincy and Plymouth, Massachusetts is an example. The municipally affiliated college serves approximately 5,500 students. The college draws a diversity of students from the greater Boston area as well as 100 countries around the world.. It offers 34 associate degree programs and 19 certificate programs. The college plans to expand into a four-year college. An admissions official told me that enrolling foreign … Continue reading Community colleges and immigrant education

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Hispanic formal education gap has greatly narrowed.

Formal education among first, second and even third generation Hispanics has been below that of native born Americans and other groups. Achievement in all groups has gradually improved, with the Hispanic gap closing. Now the Pew Research reports that educational achievement of Hispanics “has been changing rapidly in recent years.” High school completion: Among ages 18 – 24, the high school dropout rate for Hispanics dropped from 32% in 2000 to 12% in 2014. That’s still higher than for others — blacks (7%), whites (5%) and Asians (1%). In 1993, the gap between Hispanic and White dropout rates was 24% … Continue reading Hispanic formal education gap has greatly narrowed.

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Educational status of new immigrants has been sharply rising.

The Pew Research Center reported on higher educational attainment of graduates. It noted a steady moderate increase from 1970 through 2007, then a sharp increase. Native-born Americans are better educated than in 1970, but especially in recent years new immigrants have outpaced native-born Americans in education. Half of newly arrived immigrants in 1970 had at least a high school education; in 2013, more than three-quarters did. In 1970, a fifth had graduated from college; in 2013, 41% had done so. What is going on? #1 Rise in foreign college graduates Immigrants have been tilted to college graduates more than native-born … Continue reading Educational status of new immigrants has been sharply rising.

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Immigration’s impact on American wages by educational level of workforce

Here are important research data on the impact of how foreign born workers hurt some and help other Americans in wages. Note that these figures pertain only to wage impact. They do not address the lower costs of goods and services and greater corporate productivity which immigration and its companion free trade bring POORLY EDUCATED WORKERS Ten percent of U.S. born workers have less than a 12 years’ education. Foreign born workers make up 70% of all workers with less than 9th grade education, and 22% of workers with 8-11 years’ education. In these education categories, foreign born workers MARKEDLY … Continue reading Immigration’s impact on American wages by educational level of workforce

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Disparities in education, income among second generation immigrants

The Migration Information Service published this week a study of education, language speaking, and income patterns among Latin American and Asian second generation immigrants in southern California (San Diego) and southern Florida (Miami/ fort Lauderdale). I plucked out of the study some interesting figures on relative educational attainment and income of the family in which the second generation immigrant – usually at their mi 20s – is living. At the low end of educational attainment and family income are Cambodian and Laotians in southern California and Haitians in southern Florida. In contrast, “At the other end, the combination of high … Continue reading Disparities in education, income among second generation immigrants

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A fresh look at STEM workers and immigration

A more realistic assessment of STEM workers would show that about one fifth of them are immigrants; immigrants account for close to half of doctoral level STEM workers; that STEM workers are concentrated in family-creation age cohorts, that they earn much more than most workers. I have posted on STEM workers and immigrants most recently here and here. In this posting I rely in part on a 2021 study which defines STEM workers broadly, to recognize the “skilled technical workforce.” It says that “this major shift in the broad understanding of the STEM workforce more than doubles the number of … Continue reading A fresh look at STEM workers and immigration

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Effect of immigration on wages: an overview of research

I return to the question of whether immigration affects the wages of U.S. born workers.  The short answer is that academic studies for the U.S. and other countries tend to report little impact. And, some careful mental speculation would come to the same conclusion. This may well have to do with how immigration works in advanced countries, with relatively little size of immigrant workforces vs the existing workforce, and the fluidity of the workforce of an advanced economy. (Thus, large numbers of Venezuelans rapidly migrating to Columbia may well affect wages). A 2011 meta-analysis with 213 citations concluded that “the … Continue reading Effect of immigration on wages: an overview of research

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Countries that are in the American workforce basin

The American workforce has sucked up millions of workers from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  I call this large area the basin for our workforce at lower levels of formal education. (Go here.) This table lists all the independent countries in the world with at least 15% of its population residing in the U.S. (Go here,) Let’s look at the larger countries in the American workforce basin (note El Salvador is in the first table):

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Dependence on unauthorized workers

Pew Research focuses on unauthorized workers, where they work. It highlights industry where their participation is very high (constrasting with education, where unauthorized workers are virtually non-existent). The figure for agriculture is misleading, in that immigrants, both legal and unauthorized, are concentrated in the produce sector. In California, they account for at least half of produce workers. In construction unauthorized workers tend to be laborers. In hospitality, non customer-facing jobs such as kitchen and housecleaning.  

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Who wants more skilled immigrants?

From a survey by the Economics Innovation Group: The survey display found strong bipartisan backing for expanding pathways for skilled immigration. Specifically, 71 percent of voters are supportive of more skilled immigrants coming to the United States (defined as those with a high level of educational achievement or specialized professional skills), including 60 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats, and 72 percent of Independents. When asked if voters would support increasing the number of skilled immigrants so that they can “start companies in the United States that will promote economic growth and create new jobs for American workers” support … Continue reading Who wants more skilled immigrants?

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