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EU — Acquisition of citizenship statistics

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Acquisition of citizenship statistics
Source: Eurostat

This article presents recent statistics on the acquisition of citizenship in the European Union (EU).

In 2012, 818 100 people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, an increase of 4.0 % compared with 2011; More people had acquired the citizenship of an EU Member State than in any other year during the period from 2002 to 2011. The main contribution to the increase at EU level came from United Kingdom (+16 300), followed by Ireland (+14 300) and Sweden (+13 500). The increase in Ireland, however, is a consequence of the efforts in the past two years to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications.

Most new citizenships in 2012 were granted by the United Kingdom (193 900 or 24 %), Germany (114 600 or 14 %), France (96 100 or 12 %), Spain (94 100 or 12 %) and Italy (65 400 or 8.0 %).

Of those acquiring citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, 87 % had previously been citizens of non-EU countries. Of these, citizens of Morocco and Turkey made up the highest numbers, followed by citizens of India, Ecuador and Iraq.

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New From the GAO

December 11, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Immigration Benefits: Improvements Needed to Fully Implement the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act. GAO-15-3, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-3
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667396.pdf

2. SSA Disability Benefits: Enhanced Policies and Management Focus Needed to Address Potential Physician-Assisted Fraud. GAO-15-19, November 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-19
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666831.pdf

3. Information Technology: HUD Can Take Additional Actions to Improve Its Governance. GAO-15-56, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-56
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667359.pdf

4. Transportation for Older Adults: Measuring Results Could Help Determine If Coordination Efforts Improve Mobility. GAO-15-158, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-158
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667376.pdf

5. Public Transit: Federal and Transit Agencies Taking Steps to Build Transit Systems’ Resilience but Face Challenges. GAO-15-159, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-159
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667394.pdf

Testimonies

1. NASA: Human Space Exploration Programs Face Challenges, by Cristina T. Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on Space, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. GAO-15-248T, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-248T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667351.pdf

2. Unmanned Aerial Systems: Efforts Made toward Integration into the National Airspace Continue, but Many Actions Still Required, by Gerald L. Dillingham, Ph.D., director, physical infrastructure issues, before the Subcommittee on Aviation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. GAO-15-254T, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-254T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667398.pdf

3. Federal Retirement Processing: Applying Information Technology Acquisition Best Practices Could Help OPM Overcome a Long History of Unsuccessful Modernization Efforts, by Valerie C. Melvin, director, information management and technology resources issues, before the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and the Census, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-15-277T, December 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-277T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667372.pdf

Canada — Taking the “temporary” out of the TFW program

December 10, 2014 Comments off

Taking the “temporary” out of the TFW program
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

In a new report released today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) calls for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to be replaced with a stronger solution to address permanent labour shortages. Geared towards entry-level workers, CFIB’s proposed Introduction to Canada Visa would simultaneously address critical shortages for small businesses while providing a clear path to permanent residence for foreign workers.

The Obama Administration’s Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer, CRS Legal Sidebar (November 24, 2014)

December 5, 2014 Comments off

The Obama Administration’s Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer, CRS Legal Sidebar (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

On November 20, President Obama announced the commencement of a multi-pronged immigration initiative that could, among other things, enable a substantial portion of the unlawfully present alien population to obtain temporary relief from removal and work authorization. The new initiative also involves other actions, including narrowing the scope of aliens prioritized by federal immigration authorities for removal; using “parole” authority to allow certain aliens to enter or remain in the United States; and modifying rules relating to visa eligibility (or processing). This Sidebar provides a brief overview of the major components of the announced initiative. A CRS Report providing more extensive analysis is in preparation.

See also: The Obama Administration’s November 2014 Immigration Initiatives: Questions and Answers (PDF; November 24, 2014)
See also: U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy (PDF; November 19, 2014)

Immigrants Continue to Disperse, with Fastest Growth in the Suburbs

December 4, 2014 Comments off

Immigrants Continue to Disperse, with Fastest Growth in the Suburbs
Source: Brookings Institution

As the White House weighs its options over whether and how to implement policy changes related to immigration, more and more places around the country are encountering a growing foreign-born population.

The number of immigrants living in the United States increased by 523,000 between 2012 and 2013, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. This represents an up-tick from the last two annual changes in which 422,000 and 447,000 immigrants were added to the population each year. There are now 41.3 million foreign-born residents in the United States and their share of the total U.S. population inched up from 13.0 percent to 13.1 percent. These small changes at the national level mask bigger changes in metro areas across the country.

Immigrants continue to be attracted to the nation’s largest metropolitan areas but are dispersing to more and smaller places across the country.
In 2000, the 10 metro areas with the largest number of immigrants (New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Riverside, and Boston) accounted for 56 percent of all the foreign born living in the U.S. By 2013, that share had dropped to just over half (51 percent). This is a continuation of a longer trend: 61 percent of immigrants lived in the top 10 metro areas in 1990. By comparison, 26 percent of the total U.S. population lived in the 10 metro areas with the largest immigrant populations in 2013.

Why a Temporary Immigration Solution is Still Problematic for STEM Workers

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Why a Temporary Immigration Solution is Still Problematic for STEM Workers
Source: Brookings Institution

In 2007 and 2008 when immigration reform failed in Congress, President George W. Bush extended the one-year OPT to 29 months for foreign students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher in STEM fields. In June 2012, President Obama maintained Bush’s 29-month OPT term limit for STEM fields and increased the number of fields eligible for extension by an additional 90 fields.

Based on my research released earlier this year, about 38 percent of all foreign students on F-1 visas, or 362,500, were studying in the STEM fields during the 2008 to 2012 time period. This means that at least 72,500 graduates per year may benefit from this STEM OPT extension.

Yet, this temporary solution is problematic on several fronts.

+ First, it does not offer a direct pathway from earning a degree to permanent residency. If F-1 visa holders want to work beyond their OPT period, their employers must compete for H-1B visas for highly specialized workers. The current visa system still limits the number of H-1B visas to 85,000 for private employers per year, of which 20,000 are set aside for graduates of U.S. universities. While H-1B visas are an option for students, only 35 percent of H-1B visas in 2010 went to former F-1 visa holders, including those extended through OPT.

+ Second, if a foreign student’s employer is able to obtain an H-1B visa and then sponsors a green card application, the wait time for permanent residency can be more than 10 years due to per-country limits (each country can only get 7 percent of all green cards), a problem particularly for Indian and Chinese nationals—two of the largest foreign student populations. This executive action can potentially add more foreign workers into the green card pipeline, creating even longer wait times.

+ Third, there are no minimum wage or salary requirements for foreign student graduates under the OPT program. Unlike the H-1B visa that involves the Department of Labor in ensuring that foreign workers are paid a prevailing wage for their specific occupation, the OPT does not collect wage nor occupational data. OPT is missing these important protections since it was originally created as an educational program to provide a year of work experience, rather than used as an employment-based visa.

See also:
Obama’s Immigration Order Isn’t a Power Grab
Four Realities about Executive Actions; Moving Beyond the Rhetoric of Immigration Reform

Foreign Nurse Importation to the United States and the Supply of Native Registered Nurses

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Foreign Nurse Importation to the United States and the Supply of Native Registered Nurses (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Importing foreign nurses has been used as a strategy to ease nursing shortages in the United States. The effectiveness of this policy critically depends on the long-run response of native-born nurses. We examine how the immigration of foreign-born registered nurses (RNs) affects the occupational choice and long-run employment decisions of native RNs. Using a variety of empirical strategies that exploit the geographical distribution of immigrant nurses across U.S. cities, we find evidence of large displacement effects—over a 10-year period, for every foreign nurse that migrates to a city, between one and two fewer native nurses are employed in that city. We find similar results at the state level using data on individuals taking the nursing board exam—an increase in the flow of foreign nurses significantly reduces the number of natives sitting for licensure exams in the states that are more dependent on foreign-born nurses compared to those states that are less dependent on foreign nurses. Using data on self-reported workplace satisfaction among a sample of California nurses, we find evidence suggesting that some of the displacement effects could be driven by a decline in the perceived quality of the workplace environment.

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