USA: White Supremacy Beyond a White Majority

Quite a contrast with Canadian judicial appointments, currently over 50 percent women under the current government, about one-third under the previous Conservative government and the 80 percent males judges appointed under Trump.

Can only foreshadow further divergence between Canadian and US jurisprudence and representation:

The white male racist patriarchy will not be denied. It is having a moment. It has its own president.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of race/ethnicity and sex among validated voters in the 2016 presidential election, white men were the only group in which a majority voted for Donald Trump — 62 percent — although a plurality of white women did also — 47 percent.

We are living through a flagrant display of a white male exertion of power, authority and privilege, a demonstration meant to underscore that they will forcefully fight any momentum toward demographic displacement, no matter how inevitable the math.

The fear of white male displacement is a powerful psychological motivator and keeps Trump’s base animated and active.

It keeps farmers holding out hope and making excuses for him, even as his trade war devastates their operations. It keeps coal country loyal, even as the promises of a revitalized coal industry ring hollow. It keeps white voters in the rust belt on the edge of their seats, waiting for the day that he will magically bring back manufacturing. It keeps white voters in the South heated over the issue of immigration and an “invasion” or “infestation” of Latin Americans.

Trump’s central promise as a politician has been the elevation, protection and promotion of whiteness, particularly white men who fear demographic changes and loss of status and privilege.

As Vox reported in 2017, white people of all ideologies, including liberals, become more conservative when confronted with the reality that a rising minority population means a loss of white dominance.

As the psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently told Vox:

“As multiculturalism is emphasized more and more, there emerges a reaction against it on the right, which is attractive to the authoritarian mind and also appeals to other conservatives. And this, I think, is what has happened, this is what Trump is about — not entirely, of course, but certainly this is a big factor.”

It is about stacking the courts, controlling the bodies of women (look no further than the raft of state abortion restrictions recently passed, including the outrageous new abortion law in Alabama), fighting the redefinition of gender as personified by the advances in liberty among people who are transgender, restricting the voting of nonwhite, less conservative groups, and controlling the flow of migrants into the country who do not bolster the white population.

While much of the country tries to contend with the unending stream of outrages in the White House, the Senate majority leader is pushing through a steady stream of Trump’s far-right federal judges, often breaking precedent and allowing for their confirmations over their home state’s senators’ objection.

The recent confirmation of Joseph Bianco to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, was Trump’s 38th confirmed circuit court judge, HuffPost reported last week, adding:

“That’s more circuit judges than any president has gotten by this point in a first term, and means that one in every six seats on the nation’s circuit courts is now filled by a Trump nominee.”

These are lifetime appointments. Even if demographics change over one’s lifetime, these judges will not.

As a recent Congressional Research Service report pointed out, 90 percent of Trump’s circuit court nominees have been white and 92 percent of those confirmed have been white. Among recent presidents, only Ronald Reagan — who opposed making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday, but eventually reversed himself, and who vetoedthe Comprehensive Apartheid Act, which, with a congressional override, leveled sanctions against South Africa for its oppressive racist social architecture — appointed and confirmed a higher percentage of white judges.

Eighty percent of Trump’s judicial nominees have been men, and men have been 74 percent of those confirmed.

None of this can fully prevent change, but it can slow it.

The strategy is to find a way to maintain white supremacy, white dominance, without the necessity of a white majority in the U.S. population.

The point is that once white people become a minority in America, the country itself will move from a majority rule ideal to a minority rule one.

Immigrant service members are now denied US citizenship at a higher rate than civilians

Another illustration of the effects of the Trump administration hard-line immigration policies and practices:

Immigrants serving in the U.S. military are being denied citizenship at a higher rate than foreign-born civilians, according to new government data that has revealed the impact of stricter Trump administration immigration policies on service members.

According to the same data, the actual number of service members even applying for U.S. citizenship has also plummeted since President Donald Trump took office, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported in its quarterly naturalization statistics.

“The U.S. has had a long-standing tradition of immigrants come to the U.S. and have military service provide a path to citizenship,” said retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, a senior adviser to the liberal veterans advocacy group VoteVets.org. “To have this turnaround, where they are actually taking a back seat to the civilian population, strikes me as a bizarre turn of events.”

According to the most recent USCIS data available, the agency denied 16.6% of military applications for citizenship, compared to an 11.2% civilian denial rate in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, a period that covers October to December 2018.

The fiscal year 2019 data is the eighth quarterly report of military naturalization rates since Trump took office. In six of the last eight reports, civilians had a higher rate of approval for citizenship than military applicants did, reversing the previous trend.

Attorneys for service members seeking to become citizens said new military immigration policies announced by the administration in 2017 and Trump’s overall anti-immigrant rhetoric are to blame.

“I think people are disheartened right now by the immigration climate,” said Elizabeth Ricci, an attorney who is representing immigrant service members. “We talk about a wall all the time. This is an invisible wall.”

Overall, the number of service members who apply to become naturalized citizens is just a fraction of the civilian applications, but both pools have shrunk over the last two years. In the first quarter of the Trump administration, January to March 2017 — which is the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 — there were 3,069 foreign-born members of the military who applied to become naturalized citizens. That same quarter, 286,892 foreign-born civilians applied.

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, USCIS reported it received only 648 military applications for citizenship, a 79% drop. For comparison, the agency received 189,410 civilian applications, a 34% drop.

The Defense Department was repeatedly asked for comment by McClatchy, but did not provide a response.

USCIS officials said the drop in applications is not due to any action by their agency, which processes the applications as it receives them.

“The fall in military naturalization applications is likely attributable in significant part to the Department of Defense’s decision not to renew the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program after its expiration at the end of FY17,” USCIS said in a statement.

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Immigrants who wish to join the U.S. military fall into three categories: legal permanent U.S. residents, commonly known as “green card” holders; foreign-born recruits with key medical or language skills who came to the United States under student, work or asylum visas and enlisted through MAVNI; and special status non-immigrant enlistees, who are residents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

The Trump administration in 2017 announced major changes to the way the Pentagon would vet and clear foreign-born recruits and other overall changes to when a service member would qualify for naturalization.

Immigrant enlistees previously could join basic training once a background investigation had been initiated, and they could become eligible to start seeking citizenship after one day of military service. Under the new policy, enlistees do not go to basic training until their background investigation is complete, and they have to complete basic training and 180 days of service before they can seek citizenship.

In the months that followed, the Defense Department shut down naturalization offices at some of its basic training locations, citing the new policy.

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Other changes appeared procedural but had deep impact, such as the change that only higher-ranking officers, at colonel or above, were authorized to sign key USCIS forms verifying that an enlistee had served honorably. The signatures had to be original, too, which made it much more difficult for troops in outlier areas where the nearest colonel or higher-ranking officer may be hundreds of miles away, Stock said.

The new rules had a chilling effect, military immigration attorneys said. Unit leaders who previously would have shepherded naturalization paperwork through for their service members have stopped doing so, the attorneys said.

“People are telling them ‘wait until you get to your first unit.’ When they get to the unit they are told, ‘we don’t know anything about this anymore,'” Stock said.

The lack of guidance in units for immigrant soldiers “is all intentional,” Ricci said. “It’s part of this overall culture of ‘No.'”

The new rules have left some recruits waiting for years to serve.

Army recruit Ajay Kumar Jaina, 33, came to the United States from India in 2012 on an H-1B visa to work for Veritas Healthcare Solutions. He has a master’s degree in pharmaceutical analysis and wanted to become a military pharmacist. In May 2016 he enlisted under MAVNI for his medical skills.

He’s been in a holding pattern ever since. In the almost three years he’s waited to go to basic training, he’s reported for duty for more than 20 weekends with the 445th Quartermaster Company in Trenton, New Jersey.

He goes to New Jersey knowing that he will be unable to drill with the rest of the unit because he has not yet undergone basic training since the Defense Department has not completed his background check.

So his activities on base are limited to administration and inventory roles.

“When I registered in the Army, at that time I was told my basic training location. I was told within six months my background check would be verified, and then I could go to basic and then (advanced individual training) then I could be come apply for citizenship,” Jaina said.

Jaina said no determination has been made on his background check yet. “Which is actually good!” he said. “I can wait. I can keep my hopes high.”

Jaina’s H-1B visa expires next month and he said he may have to go back to India in order to be able to return to the United States under a new visa as he continues to wait.

Eaton questioned why the Defense Department would make it more difficult to pull from eligible immigrant recruits, particularly in light of the recruiting challenges the military faces overall.

“Only 25% of the U.S. population is eligible to serve, due to academic, health or behavioral issues,” Eaton said.

Last year the Army missed its annual recruiting goal by more than 6,500 personnel. In a statement, the Army would not say whether the immigration policies had impacted its ability to recruit last year.

“Our leaders remain confident that we have laid the foundation to improve recruiting for the Army while maintaining an emphasis on quality over quantity,” the Army said.

Source: Immigrant service members are now denied US citizenship at a higher rate than civilians

Immigration Form Denials Rise Every Quarter Except One Under Trump, Up 80% Overall

Source: Immigration Form Denials Rise Every Quarter Except One Under Trump, Up 80% Overall

USA: Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?

Spoiler – no:

A lot of research has shown that there’s no causal connection between immigration and crime in the United States. But after one such study was reported on jointly by The Marshall Project and The Upshot last year, readers had one major complaint: Many argued it wasunauthorized immigrants who increase crime, not immigrants over all.

An analysis derived from new data is now able to help address this question, suggesting that growth in illegal immigration does not lead to higher local crime rates.

In part because it’s hard to collect data on them, undocumented immigrants have been the subjects of few studies, including those related to crime. But the Pew Research Center recently released estimates of undocumented populations sorted by metro area, which The Marshall Project has compared with local crime rates published by the F.B.I. For the first time, there is an opportunity for a broader analysis of how unauthorized immigration might have affected crime rates since 2007.

A large majority of the areas recorded decreases in both violent and property crime between 2007 and 2016, consistent with a quarter-century decline in crime across the United States. The analysis found that crime went down at similar rates regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell. Areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime, although the difference was small and uncertain.

(Illegal immigration itself is either a civil violation or a misdemeanor, depending on whether someone overstayed a visa or crossed the border without authorization.)

Most types of crime had an almost flat trend line, indicating that changes in undocumented populations had little or no effect on crime in the various metro areas under survey. Murder was the only type of crime that appeared to show a rise, but again the difference was small and uncertain (effectively zero).

For undocumented immigrants, being arrested for any reason would mean facing eventual deportation — and for some a return to whatever danger or deprivation they’d sought to escape at home.

There is no exact count of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. To create estimates, experts at Pew subtracted Department of Homeland Security counts of immigrants with legal status from the number of foreign-born people counted by the Census Bureau. Many organizations and agencies, including the D.H.S., use this residual estimation method; it is generally considered the best one available. As of 2016, there were an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants nationwide, down a million and a half since 2007.

Jeffrey Passel, a Pew senior demographer, and his team estimated changes in undocumented populations for roughly 180 metropolitan areas between 2007 and 2016. For comparison, The Marshall Project calculated corresponding three-year averages of violent and property crime rates from the Uniform Crime Reporting program, and the change in those rates.

The results of the analysis resemble those of other studies on the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime. Last year, a report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, found that unauthorized immigrants in Texas committed fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts. A state-level analysis in Criminology, an academic journal, found that undocumented immigration did not increase violent crime and was in fact associated with slight decreases in it. Another Cato study found that unauthorized immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated.

At the more local level, an analysis by Governing magazine reported that metropolitan areas with more undocumented residents had similar rates of violent crime, and significantly lower rates of property crime, than areas with smaller numbers of such residents in 2014. After controlling for multiple socioeconomic factors, the author of the analysis, Mike Maciag, found that for every 1 percentage point increase in an area’s population that was undocumented there were 94 fewer property crimes per 100,000 residents.

More research is underway about the potential effects of undocumented immigration on crime. Robert Adelman, a professor at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, whose group’s research The Marshall Project and The Upshot have previously documented, is leading a team to expand on the Governing analysis. Early results suggest unauthorized immigration has no effect on violent crime, and is associated with lower property crime, the same as Mr. Maciag found.

Preliminary findings indicate that other socioeconomic factors like unemployment rates, housing instability and measures of economic hardship all predict higher rates of different types of crime, while undocumented immigrant populations do not.

Many studies have established that immigrants commit crimes at consistently lower rates than native-born Americans. But a common concern is whether immigrants put pressure on native-born populations in any number of ways — for instance, by increasing job competition — that could indirectly lead to more crime and other negative impacts.

According to Mr. Adelman and his team, however, the impact of undocumented immigrants is probably similar to what the research indicates about immigrants over all: They tend to bring economic and cultural benefits to their communities. They typically come to America to find work, not to commit crimes, says Yulin Yang, a member of the team.

The data suggests that when it comes to crime, the difference between someone who is called a legal immigrant and an illegal one doesn’t seem to matter.

More Immigrants Are Giving Up and Leaving the US

Alejandra Garcia Zamarrón, a mother of three American citizens, had lived in the United States for nearly 20 years when a police officer pulled over the unregistered vehicle she was riding in.

Georgia was her home, the place where she’d lived for years and raised her family. But when she found herself locked in the Irwin County Detention Center, she had few options to stay. She’d been brought to the U.S. as a child, but her protected status as a childhood arrival had expired. And she had given a fake name and date of birth to the police officer who stopped her, a misdemeanor that put her at greater risk of deportation.

This story was published in partnership with Politico.

Zamarrón, 32, initially vowed to fight her removal to Mexico as long as she could. But as the months in detention dragged on, she changed her mind and asked for “voluntary departure,” which would allow her to leave the U.S. without a deportation on her record. “My family decided the best bet was for me to leave and fight from the outside,” Zamarrón said in a phone call from the detention center, before she returned to Mexico in November.

The number of immigrants who have applied for voluntary departure has soared since the election of Donald Trump, according to new Justice Department data obtained by The Marshall Project. In fiscal year 2018, the number of applications doubled from the previous year—rising much faster than the 17 percent increase in overall immigration cases, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The numbers show yet another way the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration is having an impact: More people are considering leaving the U.S., rather than being stuck in detention or taking on a lengthy legal battle with little hope of success.

Monthly applications for “voluntary departure”

Starting shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration, more and more immigrants facing removal asked to leave the country rather than be deported. Last year, the number who asked immigration courts to be allowed to leave voluntarily more than doubled from the year before.

Last year, voluntary departure applications reached a seven-year high of 29,818 applications. In the Atlanta court, which hears cases of Irwin detainees like Zamarrón, the applications grew nearly seven times from 2016 to 2018.

The increase in applications for voluntary departure could be seen as a win for the Trump administration, which has made it a goal to get undocumented immigrants out of the country and reduce the looming backlog of immigration cases. Indeed, the Justice Department has published the growing number of voluntary departures alongside deportations as a sign of a “return to the rule of law” and that Trump’s approach is working. But it is also a sign of how broad immigration enforcement has become, sweeping up the criminals Trump talks about alongside parents like Zamarrón who have little to no criminal history, as voluntary departure is only open to immigrants without a serious record. When Mitt Romney once shared his plan to have people “self-deport,” he meant it as an alternative to ramping up enforcement power. But the recent spike in voluntary departure has come only with an increase in arrests and in detention.

An application for voluntary departure ultimately has to be approved by an immigration judge. The number of requests granted increased 50 percent in fiscal year 2017, according to data from the Justice Department. (Because not every case is resolved during the year it is filed, and judges can grant voluntary departure without a formal application, the annual total of voluntary departures has exceeded the number of applications.)

Under immigration law, voluntary departure is considered a kind of privilege. If you are deported, you have to wait years to apply for a visa to re-enter the United States, but those who leave voluntarily don’t have the same wait. And you don’t face serious prison time if you are caught without legal status in the U.S.

But voluntary departure is a last resort for many undocumented immigrants, because it means leaving their longtime homes and often their families in the United States without any clear prospect for returning. And those who take the option usually have to pay their own way. Those flights can cost thousands of dollars, because immigration officials require a special kind of ticket that can be changed at any time.

Several factors are probably responsible for the surge in the number of applications for voluntary departure, experts say. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increasingly gone after immigrants who have no criminal backgrounds—those who are more likely to qualify for voluntary departure. Because of the growing backlog of immigration cases, judges and Department of Homeland Security attorneys may feel pressured to resolve cases quickly and offer voluntary departure instead of dragging out multiple appeals.

“I would definitely think that some of it might be related to judges trying to keep up with their production quotas,” said former immigration judge Paul Wickham Schmidt.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review—the Justice Department office in charge of immigration courts—declined to comment on the increase in applications. “Using metrics to evaluate performance is neither novel nor unique to EOIR,” spokesperson Kathryn Mattingly said in an email. “The purpose of implementing these metrics is to encourage efficient and effective case management while preserving immigration judge discretion and due process.”

ICE spokesperson Brendan Raedy said that many apply for voluntary departure so they don’t have to wait to apply to re-enter the country. “In addition, voluntary departure generally provides far more time to make necessary arrangements than for those who are ordered removed,” he wrote in an email.

Attorney Marty Rosenbluth, who represents clients in the immigration court at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, said more of his clients from Mexico are considering voluntary departure because of the danger involved in deportation. At Stewart, one of the country’s most remote detention centers, the number of applications last year was 19 times what it had been in 2016. “It’s largely a safety thing,” Rosenbluth said. In deportations, “ICE just dumps you at the border, and you’re on your own,” he said. If they’re granted voluntary departure, individuals are able to fly into Mexico City or closer to home.

Immigrants may also be increasingly aware of voluntary departure as an option, and of the slim chances of winning a case from detention. “Detainees talk to each other,” said Trina Realmuto, a directing attorney for the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration nonprofit. “The one guy fighting his case is going to say, ‘I’ve been here a year and nobody wins.’ There are legal factors, and there’s human factors.”

While Alejandra Garcia Zamarrón has left for Mexico to avoid detention, her youngest daughter is still living in Georgia.

Zamarrón’s request for voluntary departure came as a surprise to her legal team. “She had been saying for months and months, ‘I’m going to fight this,’” said attorney Laura Rivera of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who worked on Zamarrón’s case. “It speaks to the desperation of people in detention that they’d be trying to sign up in droves for this thing that actually causes them to be removed. They’ve got to be thinking that there’s no way out.”

Before she returned to Mexico, Zamarrón said she was driven by the need to have more contact with her family than she was able to have in detention. “When I come out I’ll be able to have more communication with them, FaceTime with them,” she said. “I didn’t want to wait. I’m ready to see my baby’s face.” From Mexico, she recently video-called into her 13-year-old daughter’s baptism. She hopes to apply for a U-Visa as a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault, and at the very least, have her 17-year old son petition to bring her to the United States after he turns 21.

Zamarrón said many of the women she was detained with were also considering voluntary departure. “They’re tired of living in here, of dealing with ICE, dealing with guards, dealing with the injustice … They give up. They’d rather be deported than fight for their case,” she said. “We’re not criminals, we just don’t have options.”

Source: More Immigrants Are Giving Up and Leaving the US

George Will: Supreme Court mulls citizenship question for census

Thoughtful column by Will:

The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy consequences, comes from the Enlightenment mentality of the nation’s Founders, and involves this question: Does it matter that a conspicuously unenlightened member of the president’s cabinet lied in sworn testimony about why he made a decision that he arguably has the statutory power to make?

Because America’s 18th century Founders were rational, empirical, inquisitive pursuers of evidence-based improvement, they placed in the Constitution’s second section after the preamble a requirement for a census. And the 14th Amendment stipulates the required actual enumeration, every 10 years, of “the whole number” of persons residing in the country. From 1820 (when Congress wanted “foreigners not naturalized” to be counted) through 1950, the census almost always included a citizenship question, and in 2018 Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross decided that the 2020 “short-form” questionnaire, the one that goes to every household, should include one. Ross has testified that he was “responding solely” to a Justice Department request for the question to provide data helpful to enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965.

A federal district judge called this Ross rationale “pretextual” because Ross was justifying a decision “already made for other reasons.” This was a polite but still stinging way of saying Ross lied, which he almost certainly did: Justice officials initially rejected Commerce’s request that it ask for a citizenship question, and said such data was unnecessary for VRA enforcement. The district judge said Commerce sought the Justice letter to “launder” the request for the citizenship question “through another agency,” this being just one of “a veritable smorgasbord” of rules violations by Ross and his aides.

Ross also testified that he was “not aware” of any discussions of the citizenship questions between Commerce and the White House. But after 18 states, 15 municipalities and various immigration advocacy groups sued, he acknowledged meeting early in 2017 with then-presidential adviser Stephen Bannon, an anti-immigration zealot. The district judge also said Ross “materially mischaracterized” — translation: lied about — a conversation with a polling expert in order to obfuscate the expert’s objections to the citizenship question.

Because more information is preferable to less, the citizenship question might seem sensible. However, the question might result in less information because the Census Bureau’s own experts believe that the citizenship question would cause 6.5 million people — almost one in 10 households includes one or more noncitizens — to not respond to the questionnaire for fear of law-enforcement consequences. The 6.5 million are approximately as many people as live in Indiana. Of the estimated 24 million noncitizens (about 7% of America’s population of almost 329 million), almost 11 million are here illegally.

The citizenship question is, the Trump administration insists, “a wholly unremarkable demographic question.” But why, then, was Ross so dishonest concerning its genesis? This is probably why: A substantial undercount would affect the formulas by which hundreds of billions of dollars of federal spending are dispersed, to the disadvantage of blue states and cities with large immigrant populations. Furthermore, because the 14th Amendment stipulates that seats in the House of Representatives shall be apportioned on the basis of “the whole number of persons in each state” regardless of citizenship, an undercount could cost some states, particularly blue states, congressional seats, and hence electoral votes.

The district court judge was scalding about the “egregious” behavior of Ross, who “in a startling number of ways” either “ignored, cherry-picked, or badly misconstrued” evidence, and “acted irrationally … in light of that evidence.” Yet the judge professed himself “unable to determine — based on the existing record, at least — what Secretary Ross’ real reasons for adding the citizenship question were.” Perhaps the judge was precluded from coming to a conclusion about Ross’ motives; the public is not.

This is another case in which Trump administration behavior (following equally indefensible Obama administration behavior) is provoking plaintiffs to ask the judiciary to police the blurry boundaries of executive discretion. The Supreme Court, however, is apt to decide that Ross’ wretched behavior does not alter the fact that Congress has granted to him sufficient discretion over the census to accommodate his decision to include the citizenship question. This, in spite of reasonable surmises about his motives that his behavior seemed designed to disguise.

Source: Will: Supreme Court mulls citizenship question for census

US Businesses Wage Two-Front War Against 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Similar to the concerns of Canadian business when the Harper government cancelled the mandatory census in favour of the less accurate voluntary National Household Survey:

Leading U.S. businesses have been pushing back against the White House’s anti-immigrant policies since the weeks following Inauguration Day, and now they have joined the fight to keep a controversial new citizenship question out of the 2020 census.

The legal battle over the new census question has been in the media spotlight as a lawsuit—joined by major U.S. business organizations—inches closer to a Supreme Court hearing.

In the trenches, though, an equally important fight is shaping up. If the courts preserve the new citizenship question, major U.S. businesses are already in position to launch a holistic, boots-on-the-ground outreach campaign to encourage census participation.

Why U.S. businesses need an accurate census

The new census question asks, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” It further breaks down the question with different boxes to check for persons who are born in the U.S. or Puerto Rico and other territories, born abroad with at least one U.S. citizen parent, naturalized citizens, and lastly, “No, not a U.S. citizen.”

All things being equal, the question is a straightforward one. However, under the current administration, anything related to immigration is far from innocuous. Critics—and they are numerous—argue that the question appears deliberately designed to discourage counting in urban areas where immigrants congregate.

An inaccurate census may serve political purposes, but it is anathema to the U.S. business community.

Earlier this week, Reuters took a deep dive into the relationship between the business community and the Census Bureau and noted several significant reasons why U.S. businesses depend on accurate data:

“Retailers like Walmart and Target Corp use Census data to decide where to open stores or distribution hubs, and what to stock on shelves,” wrote Reuters reporter Lauren Tara LaCapra. “Big banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co use the information similarly for branch strategy, and real-estate firms scrutinize the statistics to determine where to build homes and shopping centers. TV networks like Univision, meanwhile, rely on the numbers to plan programing in local markets. And the Census is an important input for tech giants like Google when they create myriad data-based products, such as maps.”

To cite just one example, Amazon’s multi-city search for a second headquarters also harvested Census data to aid the company’s decision making, LaCapra explained.

How U.S. businesses can help ensure an accurate census

In this context, a new census question that could discourage millions of U.S. residents from participating—or participating accurately—is a bottom-line bombshell.

Nevertheless, there is an opportunity for businesses to step forward and take the lead, even if the new census question survives in court.

LaCapra of Reuters suggests that U.S. businesses have already amassed experience in encouraging census participation at a grassroots, face-to-face level: “Ahead of the 2010 Census, McDonald’s Corp featured information on restaurant placemats, Walmart greeters handed out flyers, big retailers featured reminders on receipts and utility companies stuck inserts into electric, gas and water bills.”

Intentionally or not, AB-InBev has already taken the lead on the 2020 census. The global company’s Budweiser brand touched off a media firestorm by unveiling a pro-immigrant advertisement at the 2017 Super Bowl.

Partnering with the U.S. census bureau

That could be just a small harbinger of private-sector participation in the 2020 census.

The U.S. Census Bureau itself provides guidance for companies that want to get involved in the 2020 census. It is actively recruiting private-sector partners through its Integrated Partnership and Communicationsprogram, which is tasked with “building ties with more than 300,000 state, local, and tribal governments, community-based organizations, nongovernmental organizations and advocacy groups, and the private sector.”

The IPC program appeals directly to the corporate social responsibility movement, explaining that “you benefit by fulfilling your CSR goals, accessing our personalized data training and information services, networking with other businesses you otherwise wouldn’t encounter, and engaging with your customers and employees around a civic duty.”

IPC is keenly aware of brand reputation, telling companies: “You have invested heavily in understanding how to reach and how to communicate with your customers and employees. You are trusted brands and trusted voices.”

Furthermore, IPC underscores the bottom-line benefits:

“The 2020 Census data will help you create projections of growth to identify prime locations to open new operations or close old ones. You can enhance your hiring practice and identify skilled workers. Our data provide valuable information on your customer base (income level, household size, homeownership status) to inform your pricing and location strategies.”

Helping the Census Bureau help you

As IPC partners, companies receive messaging, branding and guidance on spreading the word. That includes basics like sharing a link to the 2020 census on company websites, providing Internet connections and free call time to underserved households, and hosting community educational events.

IPC also suggests that companies engage in commentary, through op-eds and similar content, to explain why partnering with the Census Bureau is so important to them.

In addition, the IPC guidance aims to build the 2020 census-taker workforce. IPC partners are asked to advertise Census job openings and help applicants with filling out forms. That can include providing transportation to libraries and other locations where help is available, or where training sessions are located.

That’s just for starters. IPC also encourages companies to sign up for Census Bureau news alerts, spread the word by following @uscensusbureau on Twitter, and distribute Census bureau infographicsand other materials. The organization also hosts workshops to develop local solutions to specific challenges in their community and generate commitments to tackle them.

How brands can take stands supporting the census

IPC also asks companies to use text messaging and social media to encourage Census employment and participation. In that regard, IPC has one particularly salient piece of guidance for its partners, and that is to “actively monitor, fact check, and correct misinformation on social networks about the 2020 Census.”

Reportedly, the Census Bureau has received “initial” commitments from Facebook, Google and Twitter to clamp down on misinformation.

It will be especially interesting to see how the commitment plays out for Facebook. The company has a years-long history of alleged civil rights violations to account for and overcome, in addition to an ongoing connection with white nationalism and tolerance of white nationalismthrough one of its controversial board members, along with its alleged facilitation of Russian propaganda during the 2016 election.

Companies that have come forward include Levi Strauss & Co, Uber, Lyftand Univision. Yet Reuters also reported that companies involved in the lawsuit against the new census question have been reluctant to publicize their stand, fearing backlash from the Trump administration.

Source: US Businesses Wage Two-Front War Against 2020 Census Citizenship Question

How Much Slower Would the U.S. Grow Without Immigration? In Many Places, a Lot

Good analysis of the disparity between rural and urban areas, once that is similar to that in Canada, and where various federal and provincial initiatives are attempting to address (e.g., Atlantic Immigration Pilot, Northern and Rural Immigration Pilot, provincial use of the Provincial Nominee Program):

As the United States debates the right levels of immigration — and whether, as President Trump suggested, there is room for much more of it — new census data shows that international migration is keeping population growth above water in much of the country.

Although international migration dropped in 2017 and 2018, it accounted for nearly half of overall American population growth in 2018 as birthrates declined and death rates rose.

International migration helped rural counties record their second straight year of growth, according to local population estimates for 2018 that the Census Bureau released on Thursday. And immigrants bolstered urban counties that have been losing residents to more affordable areas. Even so, the three largest metro areas in America — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — all shrank slightly.

Without these international moves, 44 percent of the nation’s population would be in shrinking counties, instead of the current 27 percent. Dense urban counties and sparse rural areas, despite typically being on opposite sides of the political spectrum, share economic concerns related to population decline.

In rural America in particular, shrinking populations can lead to a vicious cycle, causing local businesses to fail and young people to leave in search of opportunity, saddling those who remain with a smaller tax base for local services.

Some tiny communities grew as much from international migration, in percentage terms, as large global magnets did.

The metro areas where international migration contributed the most growth in 2018 include the big, diverse metros of Miami; Orlando, Fla.; and San Jose, Calif. But that growth was rivaled by college towns like Brookings (South Dakota State), Pullman (Washington State), Ames (Iowa State), and Champaign-Urbana (University of Illinois) — as well as by the meatpacking center of Huron, S.D., and the Transcendental Meditation center of Fairfield, Iowa.

Although that’s an eclectic list of places, there’s a clear geographic pattern. International migration contributes to population growth more in larger metros than in smaller ones or in rural areas — and most of all in the dense urban counties of large metros. These urban counties lose population as a result of domestic migration because moves within the United States tend to be out of dense, urban counties and into suburbs or smaller metros.

International migration — which includes immigration and other international moves regardless of citizenship or country of birth — is increasingly important for population growth in the highest-density counties of large metros.

The growth in 2018 for these areas slowed to the lowest rate since 2006, just before the giant housing bust. These urban counties rebounded in the years that followed, reaching a peak in 2011 and 2012 that looked like a demographic reversal of the long-running suburbanization of America. But then urban county growth slowed, and in fact had not been as impressive as originally thought. The latest census data has revised earlier urban growth estimates downward.

Americans are leaving urban counties over all as rising home prices and inadequate construction push people to more affordable suburban counties, midsize metros and smaller metros.

In all, nine of the 51 metros of a million-plus lost people in 2018. An additional 10 large metros — including Miami, Boston and San Francisco — would have lost population if not for international migration. And, for the first time since 2007, the rate of population growth in large metros slipped below that of midsize metros.

DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen to Tucker Carlson: Getting Rid of Birthright Citizenship Is ‘on the Table’

Reality will eventually catch up with virtue signalling given the 14th amendment:

Hours after President Trump declared he would “100 percent” close America’s southern border if he can’t make a deal with Congress on border security and immigration, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that eliminating birthright citizenship is “on the table” as a way to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seeking migrants.

Nielsen, who recently requested additional resources from Congress as border officials aim to quadruple the number of deportations of asylum seekers, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday evening to discuss the influx of Central American migrants at the southern border, and Carlson immediately began grilling her about what the administration was doing to “fix this.”

At times, it even seemed as if the Fox News host might be gunning for Nielsen’s job as he bombarded her with his own proposed solutions to the border crisis.

What about punishing employers “who are setting the bait in this trap, who are encouraging illegal aliens to come into this country?” he asked. (Interestingly, the president’s own businesses allegedly employed numerous undocumented workers—until they were caught by the press.)

“That is part of the problem,” Nielsen said, adding that steps are already being taken to address just that issue. “We’re looking to do everything we can throughout the system to apply penalties where we can,” she said.

Carlson was not satisfied with that answer. “Well how bout this, why wouldn’t your agency write an executive order, present it to the president, have him sign it and do it tomorrow?”

Nielsen went on to argue that “there’s a debate in Congress” regarding the executive branch on implementing an order like that, prompting Carlson to blast Congress while advocating for more direct executive actions.

“It looks like Congress is not going to act because one party has a vested interest in changing the population and the other party is, in effect, controlled by people who want illegal immigration,” Carlson asserted. “So would there be a downside for the president to act unilaterally on that question or, for example, birthright citizenship? Would you be willing to draft an executive order eliminating birthright citizenship?”

The Homeland Security chief responded that Trump has been clear that it is “all on the table” and he’s serious about shutting down the border.

“Yes, everything is on the table,” she reiterated.

Carlson, after noting that “things seem less under control now” at the border than before Trump was elected, asked later in the interview if the administration would send the military to the border since “it’s really a crisis of that magnitude.”

Nielsen said they “are looking into that” and have sent a request to the Department of Defense, causing Carlson to ask who is in charge and if it would be possible for the commander-in-chief to move “troops to the border tomorrow.”

Source: DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen to Tucker Carlson: Getting Rid of Birthright Citizenship Is ‘on the Table’

H-1B: U.S. employers say Canada’s immigration policies better, as tech booms north of border

These articles keep on coming:

About two-thirds of U.S. employers see Canada’s immigration policies as more favorable than those at home, while a single Canadian city has seen more tech job growth than the Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. combined, according to a new report.

“Canada has been using friendly immigration policies as one of its key tools to aggressively attract tech companies,” said the 2019 Immigration Trends Report from Envoy, a firm selling immigration services to companies.

Of the 405 HR professionals and hiring managers who participated in Envoy’s survey late last year, 38 percent said their companies were thinking about expanding to Canada, and about a fifth said they already had one or more offices there, according to the report.

Toronto in 2017 added more tech jobs than the Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. together, and the nation’s capital, Ottawa, boasts more than 1,700 tech companies, the report said.

The firm’s findings come amid a fierce national debate over immigration, with significant controversy over the H-1B visa. The immigration trends report highlights heightened scrutiny of H-1B applications by federal authorities carrying out President Donald Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order.

San Francisco immigration lawyer Pavan Dhillon, who specializes in helping people obtain work permits and residency in Canada, pointed in a tweet to “Green card backlogs & attacks on legal immigration” as reasons why it appears from Silicon Valley that the American Dream is being replaced by the Canadian Dream.

A Quartz magazine article Tuesday argued that Canada is in fact eating our American Dream. Tech founder Vartika Manasvi told Quartz she chose Calgary over Silicon Valley as the location for StackRaft, a startup making a jobs platform.

“People don’t want to risk long-term careers and live with uncertainty in the U.S.,” Manasvi said. “Finding another visa or transferring the H-1B can be stressful. The Canadian immigration system is gradually moving towards becoming more and more skill-based.”

Among the benefits of immigrating to Canada instead of the U.S., Quartz reported, are faster visa processing times and cheaper fees; a more predictable visa-allocation system than America’s H-1B lottery; employment for visa holders’ spouses at a time when the Trump Administration is moving to ban H-1B holders’ wives and husbands from jobs; and permanent residency in two years or citizenship in three, compared to a green card wait that can last many years in America.

Source: H-1B: U.S. employers say Canada’s immigration policies better, as tech booms north of border