Category Archives: Immigration

Key Facts on Individuals Eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Fact Sheet, February 2018

From the summary:
In September 2017, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Without legislative or administrative action, individuals will lose their DACA status. Based on Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Current Population Survey data, this fact sheet examines key characteristics of young undocumented individuals eligible for DACA. It shows that most individuals eligible for DACA are healthy and have health coverage, reflecting that the large majority live in a family with at least one full-time worker. Loss of DACA status would result in individuals losing work authorization and potentially being targeted for deportation. Employers would likely terminate individuals as they lose work authorization, leading to job loss along with loss of health coverage. Without access to coverage through an employer, many individuals would likely become uninsured since they are not eligible to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP or to purchase coverage through the Marketplaces. Employment and coverage losses would lead to increased financial pressure and reduced access to care for individuals and their families, who may include citizen children.

The Economic Effects of Providing Legal Status to DREAMers

Source: Francesc Ortega, Ryan Edwards, Amy Hsin, IZA – Institute of Labor Economics, IZA DP No. 11281, January 2018

This study quantifies the economic effects of two major immigration reforms aimed at legalizing undocumented individuals that entered the United States as children and completed high school: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the DREAM Act. The former offers only temporary legal status to eligible individuals; the latter provides a track to legal permanent residence. Our analysis is based on a general-equilibrium model that allows for shifts in participation between work, college and non-employment. The model is calibrated to account for productivity differences across workers of different skills and documentation status, and a rich pattern of complementarities across different types of workers. We estimate DACA increased GDP by almost 0.02% (about $3.5 billion), or $7,454 per legalized worker. Passing the DREAM Act would increase GDP by around 0.08% (or $15.2 billion), which amounts to an average of $15,371 for each legalized worker. The larger effects of the DREAM Act stem from the expected larger take-up and the increased incentive to attend college among DREAMers with a high school degree. We also find substantial wage increases for individuals obtaining legal status, particularly for individuals that increase their educational attainment. Because of the small size of the DREAMer population, legalization entails negligible effects on the wages of US-born workers.

Related:
‘Dreamers’ could give US economy – and even American workers – a boost
Source: Amy Hsin, IZA Newsroom, January 24, 2018

Local policy proposals can bridge Latino and (most) white Americans’ response to immigration

Source: Yuen J. Huo, John F. Dovidio, Tomás R. Jiménez, and Deborah J. Schildkraut, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS 2018, published ahead of print January 16, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In the past 15 years, the adoption of subnational immigration policies in the United States, such as those established by individual states, has gone from nearly zero to over 300 per year. These include welcoming policies aimed at attracting and incorporating immigrants, as well as unwelcoming policies directed at denying immigrants access to public resources and services. Using data from a 2016 random digit-dialing telephone survey with an embedded experiment, we examine whether institutional support for policies that are either welcoming or hostile toward immigrants differentially shape Latinos’ and whites’ feelings of belonging in their state (Arizona/New Mexico, adjacent states with contrasting immigration policies). We randomly assigned individuals from the representative sample (n = 1,903) of Latinos (US and foreign born) and whites (all US born) to consider policies that were either welcoming of or hostile toward immigrants. Across both states of residence, Latinos, especially those foreign born, regardless of citizenship, expressed more positive affect and greater belonging when primed with a welcoming (vs. hostile) policy. Demonstrating the importance of local norms, these patterns held among US-born whites, except among self-identified politically conservative whites, who showed more negative affect and lower levels of belonging in response to welcoming policies. Thus, welcoming immigration policies, supported by institutional authorities, can create a sense of belonging not only among newcomers that is vital to successful integration but also among a large segment of the population that is not a direct beneficiary of such policies—US-born whites.

Significance:
Subnational immigrant policies (i.e., those instituted at the state level in the United States) are not only key to successful integration, they send a message about who belongs. Our evidence suggests that welcoming state-level immigrant policies lead to greater belonging among foreign-born Latinos, US-born Latinos, and even US-born whites. Only self-identified politically conservative whites showed depressed feelings of belonging when state policies support immigrants. Patterns remained constant across states that vary in their historic reception of immigrants (Arizona and New Mexico). These findings suggest that debates about the polarizing effects of immigration policies by racial group are misplaced. With a majority of whites nationally identifying as either liberal or moderate, welcoming immigration policies have direct and spillover effects that can further national unity.
Related:
Immigrant-friendly policies make most whites feel welcomed, too
Source: John Timmer, Ars Technica, January 17, 2018

Only Caucasian conservatives feel uncomfortable in a state that welcomes immigrants.

Florida’s disposable workers: Companies profit from undocumented laborers, dump them after injuries

Source: Maria Perez, Naples Daily News, December 14, 2017

Florida law makes some immigrants in high-risk jobs disposable, allowing businesses and insurers to benefit from their work without covering injuries. …. Some Florida businesses profit from the labor of unauthorized immigrants after accepting phony identification when hiring them, and then the employers or their insurers report them after a work injury for using false documents, a yearlong Naples Daily News investigation found. ….

Employment Authorization, Alienage Discriminiation and Executive Authority

Source: Leticia M. Saucedo, Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law, Volume 38 Issue 2, 2017

Employees, regardless of immigration status, have rights and protections that come from employment and labor laws. This proposition, while established doctrinally, continues to be highly contested and questioned, in part because it seems to contradict congressional intent to control the flow of undocumented labor in the workplace. As history suggests, however, Congress intended to make employers accountable for pulling undocumented workers into the labor market, and the protections in employment and labor laws were meant to continue to apply to all who are eligible for the status of employee. This Article calls for a doctrinal shift in employment law that removes considerations of immigration status in enforcement. Not only does keeping immigration status out of issues of employment protection benefit all workers, but the separation of immigration status from employment enforcement adheres to long-held principles of equal protection based on alienage, and to congressional intent to hold employers accountable for exploitative treatment of the most vulnerable workers. The Obama administration’s attempt to provide employment authorization to undocumented individuals can be viewed as an attempt to use its authority under the immigration statute to keep faith with these alienage anti-discrimination principles and to ensure equal treatment by providing legal status in the workplace. As the Trump administration uses this authority in its immigration policy, it should heed the same anti-discrimination principles….

How ‘dreamers’ and green card lottery winners strengthen the US economy

Source: Ethan Lewis, The Conversation, September 15, 2017

…The commonplace argument that increases in the volume of immigration, by themselves, lower wages and take jobs from Americans – an argument which Attorney General Jeff Sessions used to defend ending DACA – has neither empirical nor theoretical support in economics. It is just a myth.

Instead, both theory and empirical research show that immigration, including low-skill and low-English immigration, grows the pie and strengthens the American workforce…..

Dirty Laundry: An Investigation

Source: Annie Hylton, Dissent, Summer 2017

…..While most New Yorkers recognize the thousands of storefront laundromats scattered across the city that offer drop-off washing or dry-cleaning services as well as coin-operated machines, few may be familiar with larger corporate-owned commercial laundromats, to whom these services are increasingly being contracted. Many of us have likely used a sheet or table cloth cleaned in a commercial laundry, which typically provides services for hotels, hospitals, restaurants, and neighborhood laundromats that outsource their laundry. The commercial laundry industry is growing: in the New York metropolitan area alone, the number of laundry and dry cleaning workers grew from about 9,480 in 2011 to 12,680 in 2016, according to the Department of Labor.

Commercial laundries can range from massive industrial operations employing hundreds or even thousands of workers to more modest “sweatshop” laundries, with anything from a dozen employees to fifty or more, like Suffolk, where Marlyn Gonzalez worked. It is in such commercial laundries, most of which are housed in large factory-like buildings in Queens, Long Island, and the Bronx, that thousands of laundry workers—largely African-American or immigrant women—labor in hot, crowded, and often dangerous or toxic conditions to clean the linens used by millions of New Yorkers. And it is these workers who endure the consequences of an industry plagued by poor working conditions, exploitation, and abuse…..

Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and the Wages of Native-Born Americans

Source: Asadul Islam, Faridul Islam and Chau Nguyen, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Volume 56, Issue 3, July 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The paper examines the effects of skilled immigration on wages that can be credited to immigrants’ contribution to innovation. Using both individual and state-level datasets from the United States, we find a significant and positive effect of immigration on wages that is attributable to skilled immigrants’ contribution to innovation. Our results confirm previous findings that immigrants contribute substantially to the host economy’s innovation, which is a major driver of technological progress and productivity growth. When we augment the analysis to an immigration–innovation–wages nexus, the results suggest that as the share of skilled immigrants in a particular skill group increases, the wages of both natives and immigrants in that group also get a positive boost. We also identify evidence in favor of a positive spillover effect of skilled immigrants on a state’s wage level of all workers, including those who do not directly contribute to innovation.

The Immigration Effect

Source: Lena Groeger, ProPublica, July 19, 2017

There’s a Way for President Trump to Boost the Economy by Four Percent, But He Probably Won’t Like It.

President Trump has promised to increase U.S. economic growth – in fact, he’s banking on it. The budget he proposed to Congress in May assumes a 3 percent growth rate, and the White House website promises a return to 4 percent annual economic growth. Both predictions are far higher than the roughly 2 percent growth rate assumed by the Congressional Budget Office or the Federal Reserve.

In fact, most economists doubt that a 3 to 4 percent growth rate is possible at all without some fundamental policy shift. Sustained periods of such high growth haven’t occurred since the tech boom of the 1990’s and, before that, the baby boomers entering the workforce in the 1960’s. But according to a new analysis, there is a quick route to high growth: a massive increase in immigration.

In an analysis for ProPublica, Adam Ozimek and Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics, an independent economics firm, estimated that for every 1 percent increase in U.S. population made of immigrants, GDP rises 1.15 percent. So a simple way to get to Trump’s 4 percent GDP bump? Take in about 8 million net immigrants per year. To show you what that really looks like, we’ve charted the effect below. You can see for yourself what might happen to the economy if we increased immigration to the highest rates in history or dropped it to zero – and everything in between….