In the latest battle for control of the Sierra Club, immigration restrictionists are again using an “over-population” argument that is based on flawed environmental assumptions and offers no useful guide for fixing the broken U.S. immigration system.
A guest worker program that lacks a clearly defined path to a permanent status is an unlikely fit for many of the 9.3 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, most of whom have deep roots in U.S. families, communities and businesses.
Foreign-born and foreign-trained professionals play an important role in the delivery of health care in the United States. This report examines the important role of immigrant doctors and nurses – many of whom have received their training abroad – in the U.S. health industry, using new Census Bureau data as well as information from numerous interviews with health industry experts.
Children who travel unaccompanied to the United States experience not only the trauma of family separation and the frequently predatory behavior of the traffickers who bring them, but also harsh treatment by an immigration bureaucracy that often incarcerates them with little access to legal counsel or professional support.
President Bush’s proposal to address the problem of undocumented immigration by creating more opportunities for legal immigration and providing a legal status to those already here is a useful starting point in reforming a broken immigration system that costs hundreds of lives and billions of dollars every year.
In the hours following the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government took the extraordinary step of sealing U.S. borders to traffic and trade by grounding all aircraft flying into or out of the country and imposing a lock-down on the networks of transportation and commerce that are the lifeblood of our economy and society. Given the uncertainty over what might happen next, these emergency procedures were a necessary and appropriate short-term response to the attacks.
Comparisons of the mostly “minority” foreign-born and mostly “white” native-born populations that fail to account for the socioeconomic impact of ethnicity incorrectly suggest that place of birth, rather than minority status, is the primary factor explaining disparities between immigrants and natives. However, a more accurate – and fair – comparison of immigrants and natives within the same ethnic group suggests otherwise.
Latinos experience substantial socioeconomic progress across generations compared to both their immigrant forefathers and native Anglos. But this fact is lost in statistical portraits of the Latino population which don’t distinguish between the large number of newcomers and those who have been in the United States for generations. Advocates of restrictive immigration policies often use such aggregate statistics to make the dubious claim that Latinos are unable or unwilling to advance like the European immigrants of a century ago.
It is not surprising that Victor Davis Hanson’s latest book, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming has transformed him into the new darling of the anti-immigrant movement. Unencumbered by the references, footnotes, facts and figures which clutter most books about immigration, Hanson relies largely upon personal anecdotes and emotional tirades to create a pastiche of fearful imagery. In general, Hanson’s arguments are wildly inconsistent, informed more by stereotype than substance, and characterized by a remarkable unfamiliarity with Mexican history and culture.
America’s strength lies in its openness and dynamic character. Current concerns about the U.S. economy should not distract from an understanding that in the long term America’s economic success requires the nation to attract 1) skilled professionals from across the globe to increase the competitiveness of American companies and 2) workers at the lower end of the skill spectrum to fuel the growth of the U.S. labor force, filling jobs created by the aging of the population.