Monday, September 25, 2017
Indian Immigrants in the United States
Immigrants from India first arrived in the United States in small numbers during the early 19th century, primarily as low-skilled farm laborers. In recent decades the population has grown substantially, with 2.4 million Indian immigrants resident in the United States as of 2015. This makes the foreign born from India the second-largest immigrant group after Mexicans, accounting for almost 6 percent of the 43.3 million foreign-born population.
In 1960, just 12,000 Indian immigrants lived in the United States, representing less than 0.5 percent of the 9.7 million overall immigrant population. Migration from India swelled between 1965 and 1990 as a series of legislative changes removed national-origin quotas, introduced temporary skilled worker programs, and created employment-based permanent visas. In 2016, Indians were the top recipients of high-skilled H-1B temporary visas and were the second-largest group of international students in the United States.
Today, the majority of Indian immigrants are young and highly educated, and have strong English skills. Many work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. From 1980 to 2010, the population grew more than eleven-fold, roughly doubling every decade (see Figure 1). In 2013, India and China supplanted Mexico as the top sources of newly arriving immigrants in the United States.
The United States is the third most popular destination for Indian migrants worldwide, after the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, according to mid-2015 estimates by the United Nations Population Division. Other top destinations include Saudi Arabia (1,894,000), Kuwait (1,062,000), Oman (778,000), and the United Kingdom (777,000).
Monday, September 18, 2017
How a shifting definition of ‘white’ helped shape U.S. immigration policy
After Israel Bosak’s tailor shop was destroyed in 1906 in an outbreak of violence against Jewish people in Russia, he fled to America with a respectable $65, more money than most immigrants brought at the time. But the U.S. government criticized Bosak for his small physique, claiming he would not be an asset to the workforce, and sent him back.
It was one of many racially-tinged institutional practices that empowered immigration officials to deny people of certain ethnicities or appearances — often people from South and Eastern Europe who were not considered “purely” white — by speculating about their ability to work. People with “poor physiques,” which was often said of Jewish immigrants, were “illy adapted” and would procreate “defectives,” a letter from a commissioner had warned the immigration and labor departments that year.
More than a century later, historians of that era see echoes of those tactics in the administration’s efforts to cut in half the roughly 1 million immigrants who enter the country each year. And while the concept of whiteness has changed since the 18th century, they say that white nationalism has historically been a motivation behind U.S. immigration policy and the country’s social hierarchy.
The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, introduced in February and upheld by President Donald Trump last month, prioritizes wealthy, highly-educated, English-speaking applicants over those who are trying to reunite with family through what is referred to as chain migration. Republican co-sponsors Sen. David Perdue of Georgia and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas wrote in a statement that the majority of immigrants are “either low-skilled or unskilled” and “threaten to create a near permanent underclass for whom the American Dream is just out of reach.”
And when Trump threw his weight behind it from the White House last month, he implied new immigrants strain welfare, despite a law that already bars them from collecting it the first five years they are in the country.
“They’re not going to come in and just immediately go and collect welfare. That doesn’t happen under the RAISE act,” Trump said.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Seniors’ Access to Health Care May Suffer If DACA Is Terminated
Industries across the nation may find themselves in dangerously short supply of workers if no solution is found for the 800,000 young immigrants now at risk of deportation due to the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.
One industry, however, may be struck particularly and immediately hard: Health Care.
The Trump administration recently put an end to the Obama-era DACA initiative, which gave young immigrants brought into the country without authorization the ability to work, go to school, drive, and legally reside in the United States without the threat of deportation. A significant portion of these immigrants, also known as Dreamers, now have careers in the health care industry, ranging from home health care aides, to medical specialists, to nursing assistants.
Seniors who rely on workers with DACA for health care services may now lose their aide. Surveys of DACA recipients have shown that roughly 20 percent of them are employed in the health care sector. This suggests that terminating DACA could result in a potential loss of tens of thousands of workers from in-demand health care positions.
Immigrants as a whole likewise play a significant role in the health care industry. According to recent census data, more than one-quarter of home health aides in 2015 were immigrants. That percentage spikes in certain states like California and New York, where nearly one-half and two-thirds of home health aide workers were immigrants, respectively.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Global: EB-5 VISA Program: Balancing Risk & Opportunity
For a quarter century, the EB-5 Visa Program has helped finance economic development projects across America, sparking job growth and business investment in cities, suburbs, and rural regions throughout the U.S.—all at no cost to the taxpayer. EB-5-funded projects span a diverse range of regions and industries, from charter schools in Utah and manufacturing plants in South Carolina, to mixed-use commercial property in downtown Washington, DC.
Regulated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the EB-5 program provides a path to citizenship to foreign investor-entrepreneurs for up to 10,000 visas each year. The initial application requires proof of investment in a qualified project, evidence of an investment of at least $500,000, and the creation of at least 10 U.S. jobs.
The Brookings Institute estimates the EB-5 program has generated at least $5BB in investment and directly created at least 85,500 American jobs since its inception, with most of these gains realized since 2010.
In addition to direct jobs, the EB-5 program has supported the creation of countless other indirect jobs in communities surrounding EB-5 projects. For example, a manufacturing plant built with EB-5 investment may lead to new growth opportunities for parts suppliers, while a new EB-5 funded hotel can generate more demand for local restaurants and retail shops. That’s a hefty economic punch for a program that represents just 2.9 percent of all employment-based visas.
EB-5 applicants undergo two rounds of extensive background checks administered by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State. This screening process is more robust than any other employment-based visa program, and pays for itself through fees.