Monday, October 1, 2018

The Facts on Current Immigration

It's always good to have the facts, right? The indispensable Bill Frey provides them in his latest from Brookings. Lots of great maps and charts. The facts alone will not defuse the immigration issue; it's far too deep and complex an issue for that. But having the facts is still helpful. Frey observes:
"Many politicians—including President Donald Trump—suggest that the nation is being overwhelmed by less skilled immigrants from Mexico and the rest of Latin America, necessitating the government building a wall across the southern border. However, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey numbers make plain that immigration from Latin America is slowing, as recent arrivals are coming from countries in Asia and are more prone than native-born Americans to obtain a college education. Moreover, these “21st century immigrants” are locating in parts of the country where immigrant concentration has been low, and in many states that supported Trump in the 2016 election....
The current messaging regarding immigration by some politicians—including President Trump—diverges from the facts. That is, assertions that Latin American origin immigrants are overwhelming the country and largely low skilled migrants are draining public resources may have been relevant for some parts of the country in the 1990s. But recent immigration waves do not conform at all with this picture. This is especially the case for states with moderate and low foreign-born concentrations, most of which voted for Trump in 2016. Other research has shown that metropolitan areas located in these states are increasingly dependent on immigration as a means of stemming population decline and, by extension, contributing to their human capital. The current shifts in immigrant countries of origin, attributes, and residential destinations suggest that a different narrative about immigration, based on the facts, needs to be emphasized—one that is consistent with emerging 21st century immigration."
If only a factual narrative was enough to turn things around! But, like I say, still useful.
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As immigration from Latin America is slowing, recent arrivals are coming from countries in Asia and are more prone than native-born Americans to obtain a college education.

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