The Most Pro-Immigration House of Representatives in Over a Century

David Bier of the Cato Institute on the midterms and immigration:

In this election, journalists following the immigration beat will focus on the outcomes of individual races. Dave Brat, the Virginia nativist whose defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014 doomed hopes of immigration reform, lost in a previously safe GOP seat. Democrats blew out Corey Stewart in Virginia and Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania, the most anti-immigrant Senate candidates. Kris Kobach, the author of state anti-immigrant laws across the country, cost Republicans the governorship in Kansas.

But the two most important outcomes of this election are in the big picture. First, nativists have officially squandered their last, best chance to restrict legal immigration. There may never be another moment like the one in 2017 and 2018, where the House, Senate, and White House were all controlled by Republicans with nativist agendas. They held multiple votes in the House and Senate on various measures to make legal immigration cuts, and all their efforts went down in flames.

The second outcome is even more important: the House of Representatives is now the most pro-immigrant that it has been since the 19th century. Current House Democrats would not only pass the broadest legalization in the history of the United States—they also would greatly expand legal immigration. No elected House Democrat is opposed to legalization, even if they would want it paired with some enforcement measures.

The last Democratic House from 2007 to 2010 did pass the Dream Act for a very small portion of the illegal population—only a subset of the Dreamers qualified—but it didn’t even reach a majority of the House (216, not 218, voted yes). House leadership lost 38 “blue dog” Democrats and got the votes of just five Republicans. Today, the Dream Act would easily pass the House with more than a dozen Republicans voting for it, even after moderate-Republican losses.

The last Democratic-majority House could not—and did not—pass any comprehensive immigration reform bill that would offer a path to citizenship for most illegal residents or expand legal immigration. From 1995 to 2006, the GOP majority bookended its tenure by passing the two harshest immigration enforcement bills since the 1920s: the Sensenbrenner enforcement bill in 2005 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996.

Except for one Congress from 1933 to 1994 Democrats controlled the House and during that time the House did pass several bipartisan immigration bills, a mix of expansive and restrictive measures. The Immigration Act of 1990 expanded legal immigration, while hiring more Border Patrol Agents. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provided for amnesty, but it was generally seen as a restrictive measure (which is why most of the Hispanic Caucus voted against it) because it made it illegal to hire someone without a valid photo ID, which naturally led to discrimination against Hispanic workers.

Prior to that, a Democratic-majority House passed the Refugee Act of 1980 which increased legal immigration for refugees. The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 legalized the status of Cubans who made it to the United States, and the Immigration Act of 1965 replaced the old national origin quotas and expanded legal immigration (though more than anyone expected at the time). Before 1965, House Democrats did only very slight liberalizations, ending the Asiatic Bar Zone and allowing some Jewish refugees to resettle in the United States. They mostly maintained the restrictive system created by Republicans in the 1920s.

House Democrats today would not just protect every expansive immigration measure enacted from 1965 to 1990—they would greatly build upon them if they could reasonably expect them to be signed into law. The starting place for reform for them is the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15, a version of which the Senate had passed. At the time, every House Democrat except two cosponsored the legislation. The bill would legalize more than 8 million illegal residents and at least double permanent legal immigration.

However, the bill also had some provisions that are unlikely to remain. In particular, while it expanded immigration overall, it ended the Diversity Visa Lottery and cut so-called “chain migration,” two issues that President Trump has championed. Because the lottery disproportionately benefits African immigrants—who Trump reportedly referred to as coming from “shithole” countries—many Democrats are now opposed to repealing it as a matter of principle.

Rather than cutting family-sponsored immigration, Democrats will seek to expand it. The legalization provisions were also very restrictive, covering just three quarters of the illegal resident population. Democrats would certainly go further now. Especially after seeing how their colleagues did in this midterm, the remaining moderate Republicans would likely sign onto these measures if tied to stricter enforcement.

As importantly, this House will have the backing of the most pro-immigration general public in recorded history. More Americans oppose cuts to immigration and favor expanded immigration than at any point since at least 1965. Because the Senate is still in GOP hands, however, Democrats will have to focus on chipping away at the numerous legal immigration restrictions and enforcement measures that the Trump administration has implemented or has plans to implement. Republicans would be wise to work with them in a bipartisan manner.

Source: The Most Pro-Immigration House of Representatives in Over a Century

President Trump Isn’t Breaking Immigration Arrest Records

Cato Institute does some of the better analysis of US immigration policies and practices:

President Trump has made no secret about his intentions to deport illegal immigrants. His statements as well as administrative actions to remove certain guidelines that focused enforcement efforts on criminals has understandably caused a lot of concern among illegal immigrants, their American families, and those concerned with their plight. They should take comfort that the Trump administration’s efforts to boost arrests, the necessary precursor to a deportation, are stymied by limited local and state law enforcement cooperation with the federal government when it comes to identifying illegal immigrants.

Recently released data on the number of arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows that they are arresting many fewer illegal immigrants under Trump’s administration than under President Obama’s, at least through June of 2018.  During the first full 17 months of the Obama administration, from February 2009 through June 2010, ICE arrested 437,671 illegal immigrants.  For the same first full 17 months of the Trump administration, ICE arrested 226,138 illegal immigrants, about half the number arrested during the same period in Obama’s administration.

Relative to the last full month of the previous administrations, the number of ICE arrests under Trump is up by a whopping 37 percent (Figure 1).  Over the same time, President Obama’s ICE was arresting 25 percent more people than under the last full month of the Bush administration, quite a significant increase on its own.  The increase under Trump is larger as a percentage because it started from a low base, but the increase in the number of arrests under Obama was larger.  For instance, the number of arrests under Obama was 5,803 greater in June 2010 than in December of 2008.  At the same point in the Trump administration in June of 2018, the number of arrests was up 8,965 over December 2016.

There are two broad categories of arrests by the ICE.  The first is called custodial arrests, which is when ICE picks up an illegal immigrant arrested by another law enforcement agency such as state or local police departments.  The second is called ICE arrests, which is when ICE itself arrests illegal immigrants on the streets.  Figure 2 shows that the number of custodial arrests have fallen dramatically since October 2008 while the number of ICE arrests has stayed relatively constant.  This means that local and state non-cooperation with ICE works to reduce the number of ICE arrests as between 70 percent and 90 percent of those arrests are custodial over the entire time.

Some states, like Texas, are fully cooperating with ICE when it comes to immigration enforcement while others like California are resisting mightily.  In Texas, there were 3,963 ICE arrests in May 2018 compared to 2,584 in December 2016, a 53 percent increase.  In California, there were 1,587 ICE arrests in May 2018 compared to 1,356 in December 2016, a 17 percent increase.  ICE is more active everywhere in the country, in sanctuary states and non-sanctuary states, but the difference is stark across such jurisdictions.

The federal government under Presidents Bush and Obama convinced virtually every locality in the United States to sign up for the Secure Communities program that essentially turned over the vast majority of the arrested illegal immigrants to ICE for deportation.  Since President Obama was a Democrat, there was little initial political opposition to the massive increase in states and localities cooperating with the feds via Secure Communities – especially in Democratically controlled states with large numbers of illegal immigrants.  However, political reluctance to cooperate via Secure Communities built rapidly.  In 2011 Massachusetts, Illinois and New York requested to opt out of the program.  States like California then limited statewide cooperation with ICE and then President Obama replaced Secure Communities with a less punitive version called the Priority Enforcement Program that targeted criminals, which was in effect from 2015 to 2017.  Today, most states and localities with large numbers of illegal immigrants are not cooperating with President Trump’s ICE nearly as much as they cooperated with President Obama’s ICE – which is preventing Trump from arresting and, eventually, deporting large numbers of illegal immigrants.

There are other, lesser reasons why the Trump administration is unlikely to reach President Obama’s deportation record.  One is bureaucratic incompetence in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and other executive branch chaos that has so far prevented an orderly and organized deployment of law enforcement resources.  As a partial result of those administrative problems, they are incapable of convincing states and localities to enforce federal immigration laws.  Another reason is that illegal immigrants in 2018 are savvier than they were in the past, are better able to avoid law enforcement, and the few who were criminals were deported over the years, fewer new illegal immigrants have taken their place, and those remaining are less likely to come into contact with law enforcement.

State and local government reluctance to enforce federal immigration laws and cooperate with the Trump administration has limited its ability to arrest and, eventually, deport large numbers of illegal immigrants.  At the current rate, ICE under the Trump administration will be able to arrest about half a million fewer illegal immigrants relative to the Obama administration even if President Trump serves two full terms.  Those who are dispirited by the Trump administration’s efforts to deport large numbers of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants should take some solace that their efforts to block full local and state cooperation with ICE is bearing fruit.

Source: President Trump Isn’t Breaking Immigration Arrest Records

Over 100 Million Immigrants Have Come to America Since the Founding

Nice charts and analysis. While I am far from being a libertarian, Cato Institute analysts do some really good work in this area:

America is a nation of immigrants, and throughout its history, it has received nearly 100 million immigrants. I almost wrote that America “welcomed” them, but the fact is that very few of those 100 million were broadly popular with the public when they arrived. They came nonetheless. They thrived, and those immigrants—at least those who stuck it out in the face of harassment and discrimination—and their descendants built the country that we have today.

The term “immigrants” refers to foreigners who come to the United States with the intention to settle permanently. They are distinct from “nonimmigrants” who make temporary visits to the country, such as tourists, students, and guest workers. Figure 1 provides the breakdown of immigrants by the last legal status that the immigrant held. An illegal immigrant who receives legal permanent residency is listed as a legal immigrant, even though he may have entered illegally or lived illegally in the United States at some point. It includes all immigrants since the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, but does not include slaves imported involuntarily to the United States (the legal slave trade ended in 1808).

Figure 2 breaks down the number of new legal permanent residents admitted annually from 1783 to 2018. The bars show the absolute figures and the line the number as a share of the U.S. population. The government didn’t collect annual statistics prior to 1820, but a general consensus appears to have arrived at about 250,000 immigrants from 1783 to 1819. I estimated the annual figures for the period by assuming a modest jump after the French Revolution in 1789, a significant jump in 1793-94 following the Haitian Revolution, a significant decline during the Napoleonic Wars, and an almost  total elimination during the War of 1812. These assumptions produced period averages similar to those estimated in American Immigration by Maldwyn Allen Jones and which accord with other accounts of the period.

The average number of new legal immigrants per year from 1783 to 2017 was 370,169, and the average immigration rate was 0.4 percent of the population—that’d be the equivalent of 1.3 million people in 2018. For context, the United States is on pace to admit about 1 million new immigrants in 2018 or 0.32 percent of its population.

The estimate for the number of illegal immigrants is much more tentative for obvious reasons. About 11.3 million immigrants without legal status show up in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey in 2016. Broadly reliable estimates of the illegal population exist back to 1980. While relatively few people immigrated illegally prior to the 1980s, I estimated amounts using the available evidence. Based on estimates of the mortality and emigration rates of illegal immigrants in recent years, we can conclude that about 1.4 million immigrants died without status and 6.4 million illegal immigrants voluntarily emigrated. In addition to these, about 2.4 million were deported. It would be reasonable to increase these figures by 10 to 20 percent, but the overall picture of U.S. immigration in Figure 1 would hold.

America’s tradition of receiving people from around the world is admirable, but as Figure 2 shows, the rate of legal immigration right now is still far lower than its historic highs in the 19th and early 20th century. America can not only easily sustain a much higher rate of legal immigration than what it permits at the moment—it would benefit greatly from a much higher rate.

Source: Over 100 Million Immigrants Have Come to America Since the Founding

Trump builds his wall against legal immigrants

Good analysis of some of the administrative measures being implemented:

While President Trump has failed to build a wall across the southern border, his administration is constructing a wall nonetheless—just one made of paperwork, rather than concrete, and targeting legal, rather than illegal, immigrants. Last week, the administration released its latest brick in this virtual wall: a policy that would give government officials the ability to deny legal immigrants outright with no opportunity for them to correct mistakes on their applications and then attempt to deport them.

This latest policy is the culmination of a year-and-a-half of groundwork. First, the administration massively expanded the amount of paperwork in immigration forms by double or, in some cases, triple. The new forms asked vague and legally complex questions, which require a lawyer to answer and make it far more likely mistakes will happen. The administration continues to euphemistically refer to this as “extreme vetting” when it is nothing more than extreme bureaucracy.

Second, pursuant to the president’s protectionist Buy American, Hire American executive order, the government began to issue far more Requests for Evidence (RFE) to support visa petitions. RFEs are issued when adjudicators demand new evidence before issuing an approval or denial. For H-1B high skilled visas, employers saw a 45 percent increase in the number of RFEs. RFEs lengthen the process of applying, increase attorney fees, and raise the cost of hiring a foreign worker overall.Third, just this month, the Trump administration rolled out a policy that would allow certain legal immigrant applicants whose petitions are denied to be placed in removal proceedings—the start of the deportation process—if the denial results in their permission to stay in the country expiring.

This is a common scenario because employers can wait until just prior to the expiration of their status to file a renewal request. If the request is denied, the legal employee—who likely had no control over when the employer filed—is suddenly an illegal immigrant. Under prior administrations, the person could voluntarily leave the country or potentially reapply, but this administration would seek to deport them, which—if successful—results in a decade ban on returning.

Finally, we have last week’s policy that brings together the entire effort so far. Now, rather than issuing RFEs for mistakes in applications, the government will give adjudicators the ability to deny the application outright. An outright denial would require the applicants at a minimum to refile or file an appeal with all the fees and attorney time that those options entail.

This policy is misguided in part because the adjudicators often simply overlook evidence already provided. Applicants resupply it and are approved. In fact, the overwhelming majority of applications that receive RFEs are ultimately approved. Despite a 45 percent increase in the number of RFEs last year, the denial rate for applications only increased slightly.

For this reason, this new policy allowing outright denials rather than an RFE is likely to get the results that the other policies failed to achieve: more denials and fewer foreign workers in this country. Higher costs and risks will lead fewer to apply, and more legal immigrants to seek out other countries that could use their talents.

With each new brick, the virtual wall against legal immigration grows higher. The costs and risks are clearly having an effect. Immigration is down. Visits to the United States are down. These policies harm America’s economy by keeping foreign talent overseas and driving away potential customers for U.S. businesses. With a booming economy, and more job openings than unemployed workers, legal immigration policy should welcome foreigners willing to work, not seek to drive them home.

David Bier is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

Source: Trump builds his wall against legal immigrants

The 14 Most Common Arguments against Immigration and Why They’re Wrong | @CatoInstitute

Good long read and counter-arguments from a quasi-Libertarian perspective by Alex Nowrasteh (have only clipped the headings but most points are buttressed by reasonably solid evidence):

Arguments against immigration come across my desk every day but I rarely encounter a unique one.  In 2016, I wrote a blog responding to the most common arguments with links to different research.  Since then, academics and policy analysts have produced new research that should be included.  These are the main arguments against immigration, my quick responses to them, and links to some of the most relevant evidence:

1. “Immigrants will take American jobs, lower our wages, and especially hurt the poor.”

2. “Immigrants abuse the welfare state.”

3. “Immigrants increase the budget deficit and government debt.”

4. “Immigrants increase economic inequality.”

5. “Today’s immigrants don’t assimilate like immigrants from previous waves did.”

6. “Immigrants are a major source of crime.”

7. “Immigrants pose a unique risk today because of terrorism.”

8. “It’s easy to immigrate to America and we’re the most open country in the world.”

9. “Amnesty or a failure to enforce our immigration laws will destroy the Rule of Law in the United States.”

10. “National sovereignty.”

11. “Immigrants won’t vote for the Republican Party—look at what happened to California.”

12. “Immigrants bring with them their bad cultures, ideas, or other factors that will undermine and destroy our economic and political institutions.  The resultant weakening in economic growth means that immigrants will destroy more wealth than they will create over the long run.”

13. “The brain drain of smart immigrants to the United State impoverished other countries.”

14. “Immigrants will increase crowding, harm the environment, and [insert misanthropic statement here].”

via The 14 Most Common Arguments against Immigration and Why They’re Wrong | Cato @ Liberty

Data Clashes With Emotion As CPAC Immigration Panel Goes Off The Rails – Talking Points Memo

One can and should be able to debate immigration issues with respect for what the data tells us and, needless to say, in a more respectful fashion. But some fora are less conducive than others but still important to ensure that the evidence is presented:

The only panel dedicated to immigration at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference quickly went off the rails Thursday, with audience members drowning out panelists’ presentation of data about the benefits of immigration with boos, laughter, and stories of “obvious illegal immigrants defecating in the woods, fornicating in the woods.”

As David Bier, a policy analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute, attempted to lay out research proving that immigrants actually have lower crime rates than native-born Americans, contribute significantly to the economy  and are assimilating just as well or better than past generations of immigrants, his fellow panelists derided his statements as “nutty” and angry audience members shouted him down.

“Sweetie, you’re too young to know,” one woman called out as Bier said that the economy has historically done well during periods of high immigration to the United States.

When he noted that the U.S. proportionally takes in very few immigrants and refugees compared to other nations, a man interjected, “You’re a dreamer!” and much of the crowd broke out in applause and jeers.

Though this year’s CPAC fell squarely amid a legal and political battle over the fate of nearly 2 million young immigrants known as Dreamers, the issue was far from the top of the agenda at the annual gathering. The only panel dedicated to the topic was held in a small, windowless room at 5 p.m. on Thursday—after many attendees had already left for one of the conference’s many boozy receptions.

And though the panel was titled, “You May Say You’re a DREAMer But You’re Not the Only One,” it focused very little on the DREAMer population—the group of upwards of 1 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children whose legal protections were rescinded by the Trump administration last year and will expire in early March.

Instead, the event became a general airing of fears and grievances about both legal and illegal immigration. The panel’s moderator, Christopher Malagisi, claimed, without evidence, a “ploy” by Democrats to offer immigrants a path to citizenship in exchange for their votes.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who faces a primary from a Trumpian hard-right newcomer, similarly accused Democrats of putting the economic interests of young immigrants over those of young American citizens. Whenever Bier cited research to counter incorrect claims from his fellow panelists and the audience that recent immigrants are disproportionately criminal, are an economic drain on government or take several generation to learn English, he was met with vocal hostility.

During a heated question and answer session during the immigration panel, a man from Four Corners, Virginia went on an extended diatribe about a Latino man who once crashed his car in front of his house.

“I had to go down to court to testify, and I was the only white face in the crowd other than the lawyers being paid to translate for these people,” he said. “You can go down to Four Corners Park and see obvious illegal immigrants defecating in the woods, fornicating in the woods, and on and on and on. These people are not the immigrants of the 20s and 30s. They will never be able to get good jobs here and be good citizens. Is that in your study?”

Struggling to be heard over the loud applause that ensued, Bier responded, “If you look at the data, the people committing crimes are overwhelmingly native-born Americans. So if you want to talk about the effect of immigrants on the crime rate, they actually lower the crime rate, resulting in a safer society. Obviously there are some immigrants who do commit crimes, just like there were some who committed crimes back when the Irish were the ones coming in.”

“Oh, I’m Irish, don’t you talk about the Irish,” an older woman angrily called out.

“Guys, guys, let him respond,” the moderator pleaded with the audience as the crosstalk and scoffing grew louder.

Only a small handful of people came up to Bier afterward to offer support and sympathy. Among them was Carolyn Meadows, the vice chair of the American Conservative Union, which organizes on CPAC.

“I think you’re a brave young man,” she said. “I really do. Thank you for coming.”

Still, speaking to TPM after the panel wrapped up, Bier said he still believes in the power of facts and research to convince conservatives of the benefits of immigration.

“The data is the thing that’s going to win people over,” he said. “It’s just about showing them that immigrants are not what they think they are and hoping that falls on receptive ears. There are people who can be convinced, people who know immigrants personally, who know they are contributing to society and they’re not all defecating in the woods.”

But having attended CPAC for the last six years, Bier conceded that the Republican base’s attitude toward immigrants has not significantly shifted.

“I don’t think it’s that different [from past years],” he said. “There’s always a very large contingent most passionate about immigration—about opposing it. It certainly seems like the passion is always with the side that wants to restrict it and not with the side that wants it to be more open.”

via Data Clashes With Emotion As CPAC Immigration Panel Goes Off The Rails – Talking Points Memo

x

Trump immigration plan could keep whites in majority for up to 5 more years – Washington Post

Another example of good data-based analysis:

President Trump’s proposal to cut legal immigration rates would delay the date that white Americans become a minority of the population by as few as one or as many as five additional years, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

The plan, released by the White House last month, would scale back a program that allows people residing in America to sponsor family members living abroad for green cards, and would eliminate the “diversity visa program” that benefits immigrants in countries with historically low levels of migration to the U.S. Together, the changes would disproportionately affect immigrants from Latin America and Africa.

Currently, the Census Bureau projects that minority groups will outnumber non-Hispanic whites in America in 2044. The Post’s analysis projects that, were Trump’s plan to be implemented, the date would now be between 2045 and 2049, depending on how parts of it are implemented.

(The Post’s methodology for estimating the annual impact of Trump’s proposed cuts is explained in more detail at the bottom of this story. Projecting this far into the future based entails certain assumptions that could alter the range, but demographic experts said The Post’s approach was reasonable.)

All told, the proposal could cut off entry for more than 20 million legal immigrants over the next four decades. The change could have profound effects on the size of the American population and its composition, altering projections for economic growth and the age of the nation’s workforce, as well as shaping its politics and culture, demographers and immigration experts say.

“By greatly slashing the number of Hispanic and black African immigrants entering America, this proposal would reshape the future United States. Decades ahead, many fewer of us would be nonwhite, or have nonwhite people in our families,” said Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development (CGD), a think tank that has been critical of the proposal. “Selectively blocking immigrant groups changes who America is. This is the biggest attempt in a century to do that.”

Trump’s plan calls for eliminating all family-based visa programs that are not used for sponsoring either minor children or spouses. That means several current family-based visa programs – including those that allow sponsorship for siblings, adult parents and adult children – would be canceled. It also calls for the elimination of the diversity visa lottery, and the reallocation of its 50,000 visas to reduce the number of immigrants already on a backlog and to go to a new visa based on “merit.”

The Post analyzed a low-end and high-end estimate for cuts to legal immigration under the Trump plan. The low-end estimate, provided by Numbers USA, a group that favors limiting immigration, suggests that about 300,000 fewer immigrants will be admitted legally on an annual basis. A high-end estimate from the Cato Institute, which favors immigration, suggests as many 500,000 fewer immigrants would be admitted. Cato bases its number, in part, on assumptions that more family visa categories will be cut.

Last August, Trump endorsed a Senate bill written by Sens. Tom Cotton , R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., that would cut legal immigration levels by close to 500,000 people annually, according to estimates by the bill’s authors. The White House has not released any estimates of its own plan.

If Trump’s plan is not implemented, the white share of the population is expected to fall from above 60 percent in 2018 to below 45 percent in 2060. The Post’s lower estimates of the impact of Trump’s proposal show whites staying the majority group until 2046.

To its defenders, the White House proposal offers a reasonable compromise. Trump would move America to an immigration system based less on bringing families together or encouraging diversity and more on bringing in those with skills proven to the economy. (He also proposes protecting about 1.8 million young immigrants known as “dreamers” in exchange for a significant boost to funding for border enforcement and a border wall.)

“It is time to begin moving toward a merit-based immigration system – one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country,” Trump said in his State of the Union address last week.

But by reducing the country’s overall population, the plan would eventually reduce the overall growth rate of the American economy. Under Trump’s plan, the American economy could be more than $1 trillion smaller than it would have been two decades from now. That’s largely because the economy would have fewer workers.

The plan could also raise the median age of the American worker. About four of every five immigrants is projected to be under the age of 40, while only half of the country’s overall population is that young, according to Census Bureau data. A demographic crunch is already expected due to millions of upcoming retirements from the aging “baby boomer” generation, raising concerns about the long-term solvency of programs such as Social Security and Medicare that rely on worker contributions.

The plans could have long-term ramifications for America’s political system, given that about 54 percent of all immigrants are naturalized within 10 years and thus able to vote, although naturalization rates vary widely based on immigrants’ country of origin, according to the latest data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Hispanic immigrants who are registered voters favor Democrats over Republicans by a 70 to 18 margin, and registered voters who are Asian immigrants favor Democrats by a 50 to 33 margin, according to the most recent data available from the Pew Research Center. (Similar data was not available for African immigrants.) Approximately 78 percent of immigrants from Africa and 65 percent of immigrants from Asia were naturalized within 10 years.

But while these effects of delaying America’s diversification would be significant, they would not fundamentally change the country’s demographic destiny. Experts say the main driver of diversification in America is the native-born Hispanic population, which grew by about five million from 2010 to 2016, just as the native-born white population shrank by about 400,000 over the same time period, according to Census Bureau data.

Among young Americans, the share of the non-Hispanic white population is already under 60 percent – a number that falls close to 50 percent among newborns and toddlers.

“You can shut the door to everyone in the world and that won’t change,” said Roberto Suro, an immigration and demography expert at the University of Southern California. “The president can’t do anything about that. If your primary concern is that the American population is becoming less white, it’s already too late.”

But if Trump’s plan were put in place, many of the family immigrants who would eventually be exposed to the cuts come from Latin America. In fiscal year 2017, about 28,000 Mexicans received family-based visas, with immigrants from Asia receiving almost 90,000 and immigrants from Central America and the Caribbean receiving more than 60,000, according to State Department data.

The changes to legal immigration could vary widely depending on unforeseeable events, including increased economic development in Asian and African countries, dislocation caused by climate change or decisions made by future administrations.

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution , produced a separate estimate of the impact of Trump’s proposed cut to legal immigration. He found that the plan would delay the arrival of a “minority-majority” nation by three years, to 2047, and stressed his projections were the best possible with the publicly available information.

Another big factor is what happens to the population of roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants, including the “dreamers,” currently in the country. The Post’s calculations (like the Census Bureau’s) currently assume they will stay. But their future status is unresolved, and if any significant number of them are forced to leave the country, it could push back the minority-majority date as well.

“The President has laid out a reasonable framework that addresses the key security issues identified by the frontline men and women” of the Department of Homeland Security, said Tyler Houlton, an agency spokesman, in a statement. “It secures the borders and ensures we can remove those we apprehend, including criminal aliens. It also seeks to protect nuclear family migration while ending two problematic visa programs that do not meet the economic or security needs of the country.”

Trump’s proposal is unlikely to be implemented in its current form. It requires congressional approval, and Democratic leadership opposes it.

“These historically high levels of legal immigration only date back a few decades,” said Chris Chmielenski, director of content and activism at NumbersUSA. “The numbers we’ve seen recently are abnormal, and Trump’s proposal would eventually return us closer to historical levels.”

Immigration advocates say the percentage of the foreign-born population has been higher at several points in American history, even if the overall number of incoming immigrants has increased. Looking at the share of the population, which accounts for overall population growth, recent levels of legal immigration appear roughly in line with historical averages, with a decrease after World War II an outlier, according to Migration Policy Institute statistics.

“Recent immigration flows have been a small fraction of historical levels,” said Clemens of CGD.

Others who favor immigration restrictions have pointed to the necessity of reducing what they call the social disruption of high levels of immigration, which strikes some liberal critics as code for keeping America’s white population in the majority.

“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, an immigration restrictionist in Congress, said on Twitter last year.

One of the biggest unknowns is how long new immigrants will identify as racial minorities.

Some academics, as Duke Professor William Darity Jr. wrote in The American Prospect, argue that many Latino immigrants “identify less as Hispanic and more as non-Hispanic white” the longer they stay in America – a phenomenon similar to the absorption of Irish and Italian immigrants into the idea of “whiteness.”

Other demographers say a real and important shift is underway, with important consequences for American politics. They note that many Hispanics already identify as white and yet still vote like a minority group. “The contention that [Hispanics] will think of themselves as white in the future is unsettled,” said Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of a book about how demographic changes will affect American politics. “It definitely seems like they’re a different breed of cat.”

But perhaps the most lasting impact of Trump’s policies would be not to America, but to the millions of immigrants from poor and developing countries that the United States would be denying entry to, said Angélica Cházaro, a law professor at the University of Washington who specializes in questions of immigration.

“We’re talking about susceptibility to pain and violence and economic and social instability for millions of black and brown people,” Cházaro said. “People have organized their lives around the possibility of legal immigration, and this forecloses that route.”

Methodology

In 2014, the Census Bureau projected the U.S. population by race, ethnicity, sex, age and nativity. Those projections, the most recent available, are the basis for the prediction that the country will become “majority minority” in 2044.

To adjust those forecasts, we assumed cuts of between 300,000 and 500,000 per year and we assumed the cuts would be applied proportionally to each race and ethnicity based on their forecast representation in the immigrant population. The 300,000 estimate from NumbersUSA comes from projections of the Trump administration’s plan to cut several kinds of family-based immigration visas – those for siblings (65,000 visas annually), those for adult children (another 50,000) and those for adult parents of immigrants (another 125,000). NumbersUSA also projects a 55,000 reduction in annual visas awarded from the elimination of the diversity visa lottery.

The high estimate of Trump’s proposal found by the Cato Institute starts with all of the cuts found by NumbersUSA. But Cato also says other family-based visa programs are likely to be cut under Trump’s plan. For instance, Cato says a program for visas for children of non-citizens will be cut, because a Senate proposal similar to the White House framework eliminates it. That accounts for an additional 95,000 fewer visas annually between the groups’ projections. Cato also projects the annual impact of cutting visas for adult parents will be far greater than NumbersUSA does, because Cato looked at the number of these visas awarded in 2016, whereas NumbersUSA took a 10-year average of these visas. That accounts for an additional difference of 50,000.

We projected children that the lost immigrants would have had based on Census Bureau estimates of their female population of childbearing age, plus Pew Research projections of first-generation immigrant fertility by race and origin. In some cases, when it was the only data available, we used Census Bureau figures for “black only” and “Asian only” as a rough analog for “black, non-Hispanic” and “Asian, non-Hispanic.” Other groups were treated similarly.

The Census Bureau made no distinction between documented and undocumented immigrants. Our estimates only include the policy’s direct effect on legal immigration, but our models of the race, age and sex of immigrants are based on the full immigrant population. We found that more complicated models produced similar results.

We arrived at rough estimates of GDP growth by comparing our predictions for the country’s entire population under various scenarios with forecasts of per-person economic output by PwC , a global consulting firm. The estimates don’t account for how the exclusion of certain groups of immigrants would change the overall age, education and skill level of the labor force.

via Trump immigration plan could keep whites in majority for up to 5 more years – Chicago Tribune

America Is One of the Least “Generous” Countries on Immigration | Cato @ Liberty

Strange to compare US and other OECD countries with Gulf states which only have guest workers, with no or extremely limited pathway to permanent residency or citizenship. False comparison that undermines their arguments. A two-year time series is also misleading:

During his State of the Union speech, President Trump will tout his plan for draconian restrictions on legal immigrants. Supporters, like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), justify the plan by claiming that America is “by far the most generous nation in the world for legal immigration.” Not only is “by far” clearly false, but when you consider its wealth, America is already among the least generous to immigrants around the world.

The United States ranks in the bottom third of wealthy countries in terms of net new immigration as a share of total population from 2015 to 2017 as well as total foreign-born residents as a share of total population, according to figures  from the United Nations. Trump’s plan would make America even more closed than it already is.

The United Nations data contains information on the foreign-born populations in all countries (or semi-independent provinces) around the world.* U.S. immigration is decidedly unimpressive compared to all countries. Although America does have the highest total number of foreign-born residents in the world, a fair comparison requires controlling for the size of its current population. After all, a million new people entering India with a population of 1.3 billion would have very different effects than a million new people entering Estonia with a population of 1.3 million.

With this in mind, it is clear that America is nowhere near “the most generous country in the world” on immigration. Of the 232 jurisdictions that the UN includes, America ranks just 64th overall. Focusing on the rate of new immigrants as a share of total population, the United States had only the 49th highest net immigration rate from 2015 to 2017 (inflows minus outflows of foreign residents divided by total population). This places the United States rank in the 72nd and 79th percentiles in the world, respectively.

This assessment is still misleading, however, because it compares the United States to countries that very few immigrants would want to immigrate to. The United States’ ranking among more prosperous countries is even less inspiring. Of the 50 countries or provinces which had, according to the United Nations, a gross domestic product (GDP) of at least $20,000 per capita in 2015, the United States has the 34th highest share of foreign-born residents as well as the 34th highest net immigration rate (Table 1). This places the United States rank in the 32nd percentile on both measures.

The 50 most prosperous countries have double both the average foreign-born share and average immigration rate of the United States. Those countries at or above the 50th percentile have an average foreign-born share three times the U.S. share and an immigration rate four times as high as the U.S. rate. The United States is far from generous: it is downright stingy to immigrants. Figure 1 provides the net immigration rate from 2015 to 2017 for the United States and the 33 countries that rank higher than it.

Figure 1: Countries With Highest Net Per Capita Immigration From 2015 to 2017 and a Per Capita GDP Above $20,000 in 2015

 

Sources: United Nations (Foreign Populations); United Nations (Total Populations); United Nations (GDP Per Capita) 

This still considerably overstates America’s generosity because such a large share of America’s foreign-born population is here illegally: almost a quarter. This appears to be one of the highest shares in the world. Many of America’s immigrants are already defying America’s attitude toward them. In other words, U.S. law is not only hostile toward new immigrants. It is hostile toward its existing foreign-born residents.

By almost any reasonable standard, America is already one of the least generous countries in the world toward legal immigrants. If the United States does implement the White House’s immigration framework, it would be moving its nation’s immigration system in the opposite direction of the rest of the world. Other developed economies are opening their borders to more immigrants than ever, while the United States would have sent its immigration rate back to its lowest level since World War II.

America, however, doesn’t need to be “generous” toward immigrants at all. It is in the country’s self-interest not to prohibit foreigners from living and working in America. Allowing people to freely move and work where they want is not charity. It is an expansion of the free market and allows people to contribute to the economic prosperity of the country and expandthe pie for everyone. The president’s plan would make America both less generous and less prosperous.

Table 1: Immigration and Immigrant Population Ranking for Countries with Greater Than $20,000 Per Capita Gross Domestic Product

  Increase in Foreign-Born* From 2015-17 As a Share of Total Population Total Foreign-Born* Residents as a Share of Total Population
  Country Rate Country Share

1

Kuwait

6.5%

United Arab Emirates

90.8%

2

Turks and Caicos

5.3%

Kuwait

79.4%

3

Saudi Arabia

4.5%

Sint Maarten

72.9%

4

United Arab Emirates

3.5%

Turks and Caicos

71.4%

5

British Virgin Islands

2.7%

Qatar

69.4%

6

Sint Maarten

2.5%

British Virgin Islands

66.3%

7

Germany

2.4%

Liechtenstein

66.0%

8

Liechtenstein

2.4%

China, Macao SAR

58.8%

9

Austria

1.9%

Monaco

55.5%

10

Macao SAR

1.8%

Bahrain

52.7%

11

Sweden

1.5%

Andorra

52.6%

12

Singapore

1.4%

Singapore

47.4%

13

Brunei Darussalam

1.4%

Luxembourg

46.6%

14

Australia

1.4%

Cayman Islands

40.6%

15

Qatar

1.4%

Hong Kong SAR

39.8%

16

Bahrain

1.3%

Saudi Arabia

38.6%

17

Ireland

1.2%

Anguilla

38.2%

18

Switzerland

1.1%

Aruba

34.8%

 

Average

1.1%

Average

30.9%

19

Denmark

1.1%

Bermuda

30.6%

20

Cayman Islands

1.0%

Switzerland

30.1%

21

Norway

1.0%

Australia

29.6%

22

Iceland

0.8%

Brunei Darussalam

26.0%

23

Canada

0.8%

New Caledonia

24.5%

24

Anguilla

0.7%

Israel

24.3%

25

Malta

0.7%

Curaçao

24.3%

26

United Kingdom

0.7%

New Zealand

23.1%

27

Bahamas

0.6%

Canada

21.9%

28

New Caledonia

0.6%

Austria

19.1%

29

Luxembourg

0.6%

Sweden

17.9%

30

Hong Kong SAR

0.6%

Ireland

17.2%

31

New Zealand

0.6%

Cyprus

16.3%

32

Monaco

0.6%

Bahamas

16.0%

33

Finland

0.5%

San Marino

15.9%

34

United States

0.5%

United States

15.6%

35

Curaçao

0.5%

Norway

15.4%

36

Netherlands

0.4%

Germany

14.9%

37

Slovenia

0.3%

United Kingdom

13.5%

38

Aruba

0.2%

Spain

12.8%

39

San Marino

0.2%

Iceland

12.7%

40

Italy

0.2%

France

12.3%

41

Belgium

0.1%

Netherlands

12.1%

42

Spain

0.1%

Slovenia

11.8%

43

Japan

0.1%

Denmark

11.5%

44

Republic of Korea

0.0%

Belgium

11.2%

45

Greenland

0.0%

Greenland

10.7%

46

France

0.0%

Malta

10.6%

47

Cyprus

-0.3%

Italy

9.9%

48

Bermuda

-0.3%

Finland

6.3%

49

Israel

-0.6%

Republic of Korea

2.3%

50

Andorra

-1.3%

Japan

1.8%

Sources: United Nations (Foreign Populations); United Nations (Total Populations); United Nations (GDP Per Capita)

via America Is One of the Least “Generous” Countries on Immigration | Cato @ Liberty

Why Birthright Citizenship Is Good For America

Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute makes the case for birthright citizenship (I would argue that integration is a more accurate term than assimilation):

The U.S. rule of birthright citizenship offers a stark contrast to policies pursued in Germany and Japan, where the children of immigrants are either denied citizenship or face a much harder path toward obtaining it.

The German guest-worker program of the 1950s through the 1970s admitted large numbers of Turks, Tunisians, Portuguese, and others to work in their growing economy. Originally, the Germans had no intention of letting the workers and their families stay permanently, but many, especially the Turks, did stay. Their German-born children were not allowed to become citizens. The same was true in Japan, where the Korean minority, called zainichi, was barred from citizenship for generations despite being born in Japan.

In both countries, the results were tragic. The lack of birthright citizenship created a legal underclass of resentful and displaced young people who were officially discriminated against in the government-run education system and had tenuous allegiance to the country in which they were born. After four generations in Japan, ethnic Koreans still self-identify as foreign. In both countries, these noncitizen youths are more prone to crime and extreme political ideologies like Islamism or communism.

Their failure to naturalize the Turks contrasts with Germany’s Aussiedler system that “repatriated” ethnic Germans and their families living in the territory of the Soviet Union, immediately granting them citizenship by virtue of their blood connection to Germany. Aussliedler inflows peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when approximately 2.2 million ancestral Germans were admitted and given citizenship. Germany partly rectified its system in 1999, extending citizenship to Turks and creating some legal categories that can gain citizenship through birthright.

Equality Breeds Contentment

Youths born to noncitizen immigrants in countries without birthright citizenship have little legal stake in the nations they were born in but also have no place to go. Many might gain citizenship through the ethnicity of their parents in Korea or Turkey, but with no connections to those nations, citizenship there is meaningless.

In the United States, by contrast, children of immigrants are legally on the same playing field as children born to American citizens. Both can serve in the military, purchase firearms, serve on juries, and be treated the same by the legal system. That is one reason why 89 percent of second-generation Hispanics and 96 percent of third-generation Hispanics have described themselves as American only. “Hispanic-American” or “Mexican-American” is still popular among some after several generations, just as “Italian-American” still survives, but these Americans do not view themselves as foreigners.

The likelihood of amending the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause is small, but that amendment should be defended because of how well it has aided immigrant assimilation in the United States. Remembering the Fourteenth Amendment as a correction to previous racist policies and court decisions is essential, but that history should not blind us to its pro-assimilation impact on the descendants of America’s immigrants.

Source: Why Birthright Citizenship Is Good For America