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Assessing the Political Impact of Immigration as the United Kingdom Heads to the Polls

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Assessing the Political Impact of Immigration as the United Kingdom Heads to the Polls
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Immigration has featured early in the opening week of the United Kingdom’s general election campaign, which officially began on March 30, 2015. Prime Minister David Cameron was pressed on the issue in a televised interview and the Labour Party was criticized for producing campaign mugs emblazoned with pledges to control immigration.

As voters head to the polls on May 7, it remains to be seen how central the often-roiled debate over migration will be in what is a deeply unsettled election year. Immigration is a key political issue, brought about through major changes in immigration patterns over the past two decades, significant policy changes that have failed to reassure the public, and the rise as a political force of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)—which has pressed for a temporary ban on new immigration. Paradoxically, immigration may have less visibility during the general election, given the issue is now political poison for the major parties.

Above all, this election cycle will determine the next stage in a long-running political fight: the question of the United Kingdom’s continued membership in the European Union and a possible voter referendum on the matter. Immigration and Europe have now become entangled in voters’ minds and it is likely that the issue of free movement within the European Union could be the determining factor for many voters in any such referendum.

This article briefly reviews the politics of immigration in the United Kingdom since 2010 before examining whether immigration will impact the election and exploring how immigration politics will develop in the future, particularly in regard to the United Kingdom’s place in Europe.

Immigrant Women in the United States

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Immigrant Women in the United States
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Following a history of majority male migration through the mid-20th century, women have migrated to the United States in large numbers as a result of the emphasis on family reunification ushered in by the 1965 Immigration Act. Female immigrants represent 51 percent of the overall foreign-born population, with 21.2 million immigrant women residing in the United States in 2013, out of a total immigrant population of 41.3 million. The female share of the immigrant population is higher in the United States than it is globally, where about 48 percent of the international migrant stock is female (see Figure 1). Even as female migration has increased globally since 1980, the share in the United States—the world’s top immigrant destination—has decreased slightly from 53 percent in 1980 to around 51 percent in 2013.

The gender of the immigrant population raises implications for sending and receiving countries, with respect to labor opportunities, family structure, gender roles, and more.

Using data from the United Nations Population Division, the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey (ACS), and the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, this Spotlight provides information on the population of female immigrants in the United States, focusing on marital status, fertility, and other key socioeconomic characteristics, with comparison to both native-born women and immigrant men.

Gendered disparities in Mexico-U.S. migration by class, ethnicity, and geography

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Gendered disparities in Mexico-U.S. migration by class, ethnicity, and geography
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Men are more likely than women to migrate from Mexico to the United States. This disparity has been shown to vary by level of education, suggesting that gender may interact with other forms of social status to inform the relative risk of Mexico-U.S. migration for men and women.

Objective:
This study examines whether and how the gender disparity in migration from Mexico to the United States varies by class, ethnicity, and geography.

Methods:
Data from two waves of the Mexican Family Life Survey are used to estimate the rate of migration to the United States for men and women across class, ethnic, and geographic groups.

Results:
The gender disparity in Mexico-U.S. migration varies systematically by class, ethnicity, and geography. The gender disparity in migration is largest among those with the least education, with the least power in the workforce, in the most impoverished households, who both identify as indigenous and speak an indigenous language, and who live in the southern region of Mexico. It is smallest among those with the most education, in the least impoverished households, with the highest occupational status, who do not identify as indigenous, and who live in the northern regions of Mexico.

Conclusions:
Social privilege equalizes the gender disparity in Mexico-U.S. migration and social disadvantage exacerbates it. This pattern may arise because social status allows women to overcome gendered constraints on mobility, or because the meaning of gender varies by social status.

The H-1B visa race continues: Which regions received the most?

April 6, 2015 Comments off

The H-1B visa race continues: Which regions received the most?
Source: Brookings Institution

Major league baseball’s opening day is still a few days away, but this week marks another opening day for America’s businesses: H-1B visa cap season.

Every April 1st, employers submit applications to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for temporary employment visas for foreigners in specialty occupations.

And every year businesses report frustration with both the limited number of visas and the first-come first served system for allocation. At the crux of the complaints: If the number of applications submitted during the first week of April exceeds the 85,000 cap, visas are awarded via lottery.

Over the past three years, the cap has been reached more quickly and all indications point to high demand again this year.

To help inform the H-1B debate, we analyzed new data (received through a Freedom of Information Act request) showing which metropolitan areas received the most H-1B visa approvals in 2013.

Resettling Refugees: Canada’s Humanitarian Commitments

April 3, 2015 Comments off

Resettling Refugees: Canada’s Humanitarian Commitments
Source: Library of Parliament

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that almost 960,000 refugees are currently in need of resettlement in a third country. These are refugees who, according to the UNHCR, can neither return to their country of origin nor integrate into their country of first asylum.

Together, the international community has committed to resettle around 80,000 refugees each year. Historically, Canada has resettled approximately 10% of this total; the government’s current goal is to resettle between 8% and 12%. In 2010, the government committed to increase the number of refugees resettled each year from abroad by 20% (2,500 people). For 2015, the government has agreed to accept up to 14,500 resettled refugees, out of a total of 285,000 new immigrants.

Canada admits refugees for resettlement on a humanitarian basis. Resettlement also provides a way for Canada to alleviate the burden for host countries and share the responsibility for displaced persons. In addition to commitments to resettle refugees, Canada has international obligations to those who come to Canada on their own and are found to be in need of protection (refugee claimants or asylum seekers).

This publication provides an overview of Canada’s refugee resettlement programs, explaining who is eligible for resettlement and the different programs in place. Finally, it concludes with some of the operational issues involved in refugee resettlement.

The State of Immigration: U.S. is Far Behind in the Race for Global Talent

April 2, 2015 Comments off

The State of Immigration: U.S. is Far Behind in the Race for Global Talent
Source: Business Roundtable

Most Americans agree that the future of the U.S. economy depends on the ability of its businesses to compete globally. One of the key factors that allow U.S. employers to grow their businesses and create new jobs is their ability to recruit and retain talent from other countries. How well does the current U.S. employment-based immigration system support this goal? Based on original research and analysis, Business Roundtable found that the United States falls short when compared to other advanced economies.

Living in the United States: A Guide for Immigrant Youth

March 31, 2015 Comments off

Living in the United States: A Guide for Immigrant YouthImmigrat (PDF)
Source: Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Immigration issues are tricky. There are many ways in which your immigration status—whether you’re a green card holder or undocumented—can impact your ability to get a job, go to college, or even remain in the United States. That’s why we created this resource especially for immigrant youth. We hope you find it useful.

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