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Media contact: Brian Mahl, 202-419-4372, email@example.com
As Mexican share declined, U.S. unauthorized immigrant population fell in 2015 below recession level
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2017) – The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2015 fell below the total at the end of the Great Recession for the first time, with Mexicans continuing to represent a declining share of this population, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on government data.
There were 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015, a small but statistically significant decline from the estimate of 11.3 million for 2009, the last year of the Great Recession. And according to a preliminary 2016 estimate, the unauthorized immigrant population is 11.3 million, which statistically does not show a change from the 2009 or 2015 estimates and is inconclusive as to whether the total unauthorized immigrant population increased, held steady or continued to decrease. (Note: the preliminary 2016 estimate uses a different data source with a smaller sample size and larger margin of error.)
Mexicans have long been the largest origin group among unauthorized immigrants – and the majority for at least a decade – but their numbers have been shrinking since peaking at 6.9 million, or 57% of the total, in 2007. In 2014, they numbered 5.8 million (52% of the total). In 2015, according to the Center’s new estimate, they declined to 5.6 million, or 51% of the total. According to the preliminary 2016 estimate, while the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico remained the same at 5.6 million, their share fell to 50% of the total unauthorized immigrant population, which would mark the first time since at least 2005 that Mexicans did not account for a majority of the unauthorized immigrant population.
As the number of Mexicans has decreased, the number of unauthorized immigrants from other parts of the world has increased, particularly from Asia and Central America. The estimated number from countries other than Mexico declined from 5.3 million in 2007 to 5 million in 2009, but grew after that, reaching 5.4 million in 2015. The preliminary 2016 estimate (5.7 million), while higher than the 2009 estimate, is not statistically different from the 2015 estimate.
Pew Research Center estimates are derived from data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is used when ACS data are not available. The 2016 estimate is considered preliminary because it is derived from the CPS, which has a larger margin of error due to its smaller sample size compared with the ACS. All other Center estimates since 2005 are derived from the ACS.
Read the analysis: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/25/as-mexican-share-declined-u-s-unauthorized-immigrant-population-fell-in-2015-below-recession-level/
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brian Mahl at firstname.lastname@example.org or202-419-4372.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on our Fact Tank blog.
by Chris Musillo
The US legal and legislative system framework is one checks and balances. The legislative branch – the Senate and House of Representatives – creates and passes law, which in most instances must also be signed by a President.
The executive branch, which now is headed by President Trump, is tasked with administering US federal law. The President typically works through agencies and departments in order to administer the law. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security administers laws concerning, among other things, US immigration. The executive branch’s authority is limited by the underlying law that is passed by Congress.
(As an aside, the President’s authority to administer law is also limited by the third branch of government—the judiciary. In the short Trump presidency, we have seen several instances where the judiciary has not backed down from exercising their authority and limiting President Trump’s executive action.)
The scope of an underlying Congressional law is what limits the President. Accordingly, there are some things that President Trump can consider to do, and other things that he probably cannot do.
Here is our list of H-1B-related changes that President Trump can probably because these actions probably do not exceed the underlying Congressional statute.
Revoke H-4 / EAD authorization. This rule was put in by President Obama’s administration. Revoke prior Guidance Memoranda that is favorable to the H-1B program. In fact, he has already started down this path by revoking a 17 year old memorandum on the approvability of Computer Programmers.Increase H-1B employer or employee site visits. Site visits are clearly within Presidential authority. Again, the USCIS has recently released a press release notifying US employers of increased site visits.Increase obtuse/harassing RFEs and NOIDs. The President has indicated to DHS that it would like to see DHS use all its power to interpret rules against H-1B users.Delay Consular approvals under a cloak of “background checks”. The President generally has wide latitude to process or delay visa approvals.
Our next post will address whether the Trump administration could change the H-1B lottery to a system whereby H-1B lottery slots were awarded based on another criterion, such as the salary offered to the H-1B worker.
Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC
A federal judge has ruled for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a lawsuit concerning the promulgation of a 2016 regulation extending Optional Practical Training (OPT) by an additional 24 months for eligible STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degree holders. (Washington All. of Tech. Workers v. Dept. of Homeland Sec. (D.D.C. Apr. 19, 2017)).
The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers argued the 2016 regulation exceeded the authority of DHS under several provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Specifically, the Alliance asserted the regulation allows employers to skirt the H-1B temporary visa program for high-skilled workers without providing labor protections for U.S. workers.
The judge decided the Alliance, which represents U.S. workers who are STEM degree holders, did not show that the DHS had violated the INA in the promulgation of the regulation or the substance of the regulation.
Despite this favorable ruling in litigation, on a case that has been in the courts for many years, OPT STEM faces uncertainty as to whether the Trump administration will attempt to eliminate or curtail it. Under last week’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, the Secretary of DHS “shall propose new rules and issue new guidance… to protect the interests of United States workers.” Since this language is so broad, Secretary of DHS may propose new rules for OPT STEM. Only time will tell so stay tuned.
Please email your letters to email@example.com
Update, April 24, 10:16 pm:
The latest news reports say that Trump has expressed willingness to postpone his demands for funding the Mexican border Wall until September, 2017 (by which time possibly the entire idea might hopefully be quietly abandoned).
This apparent willingness to avoid a federal government shutdown could be a another one of the few but welcome signs of rationality winning out over ideology regarding immigration at the White House in the Donald Trump Era.
My original comment appears below.
Virtually all leaders in both parties agree that a government shutdown should be avoided at all costs because it would damage the economy (one estimate is to the tune of $24 billion) and cause great hardship to federal employees, veterans, and many other American citizens by interrupting essential government payments and services, as The Guardian reports:
In view of the fact that apprehensions at the border are down, net migration from Mexico is zero or minus, no terrorist incidents have been reported involving anyone coming into the US from Mexico, and Mexico is one of America's most important trading partners, why is it so important to the president to have Congress provide funding for his Mexican border Wall that he would be willing to risk shutting down the federal government if Congress refuses?
The answer can only be that it is not the practical consequences of building or not building the Wall that are of primary importance to Donald Trump.
Rather, it can only be the symbolic meaning of the Wall, as a message to the people of Mexico, and the world, that immigrants from Mexico, Latin America, and the world in general outside Europe will no longer be welcome in America, any more than they were welcome under the 1924 Immigration Act which barred almost all immigration from outside Northern Europe for the following 40 years (although, to be sure, that law did not contain quotas limiting immigration from Mexico or other "Western Hemisphere" countries - not a big factor at that time).
What is there about the proposed Wall that would constitute such a clear, even though symbolic message, and why would the president be so anxious to put such a message out that he would risk something as destructive as a government shutdown to the people of the country that he was elected to lead?
I will venture some answers to these questions below.
First, very possibly most significantly of all, one can begin with Trump's own explanation of the significance of the Wall, as he views it. On June 3, 2016, CNN reported on then candidate Trump's interview with Jake Tapper relating to Trump's claim that Indiana-born Gonzalo Curiel, the presiding Judge in a federal district court lawsuit against Trump personally over Trump University (which has since been settled at a cost to Trump of $25 million) was incapable of deciding the case fairly because of Judge Curiel's "Mexican heritage", as his parents were Mexican immigrants.
CNN quoted Trump's words verbatim as follows:
"He's proud of his heritage. I respect him for that."
Trump then continued:
"He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico." (Bold added.)
Aside from the small detail that Judge Curiel is an American, not a Mexican, having been born in this country, as provided by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which Trump has since taken an oath as president to defend and protect, the open contempt for Judge Curiel, (whom Trump also called a "hater"),
because of the Judge's ancestry, cannot be explained away, no matter how hard one might try to whitewash it.
It would be difficult to imagine a clearer illustration of the true significance and purpose of the Mexican Wall, at least as far as Donald Trump is concerned.
But Trump's open attack on Judge Curiel based on his ethnicity didn't tell America, or the world, anything about his motivation for the Wall with Mexico that was not already obvious from June 16, 2015, the day that Trump announced his campaign for president of the United States and his plan to build a Wall with Mexico in the same speech.
Just in case there is anyone whose memory doesn't go back to that day, not quite two years ago, here is the way that Trump introduced the Mexican Wall plan, as quoted by Time:
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
This was Trump's only explanation for his promise in the same speech, to build a "great big, beautiful wall" with Mexico (and to humiliate Mexico by making Mexico pay for the Wall).
Whatever else one may say about Trump, he often speaks in plain, clear language, without legalisms or parsing. There was nothing ambiguous in the above statement. The Wall was necessary, in Trump's view, because Mexicans in general are bad people - inferior to Americans - "criminals" and "rapists" who do not deserve to be in this country.
2,000 years ago, in his Aeneid, Virgil used the phrase gens invisum - a despised nation - to describe the goddess Juno's opinion of the Trojans - whom she was anxious to keep from coming to Italy by any means possible (and Virgil's great epic poem describes quite a few - this does not mean that I am impugning the slightest knowledge of Virgil or any other great classical literature to Donald Trump - I am not).
If Virgil were writing today he might well be using the same phrase, gens invisum, to describe the Mexicans whom Donald Trump wants to keep out of the United States, even at the cost of the damage to America's economy and the hardship to millions of Americans that almost everyone on both sides of the aisle in Congress agrees would result from a federal government shutdown.
However, Trump is far from being the only leader in either ancient or modern history who has tried to use a Wall as a symbol of contempt for a despised group of people whom the leader in question has wanted to keep out of his territory at all costs, no matter what it takes.
In the 20th century, one thinks of the Berlin Wall, and, even more ominously and tragically, the Wall which the Germans built to separate the doomed Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto from the non-Jewish part of the city during the Holocaust in WW2.
Going back further in time, both the Great Wall of China, impressive parts of which are still standing today (I have visited this Wall myself), and the Roman Emperor Hadrian's Wall near what is now the dividing line between England and Scotland, were intended to keep out people who were considered inferior and undeserving because of their ethnicity from crossing into the territory of nations, or empires, which considered themselves superior.
The irony is that what remains of all these ancient and modern walls is now treasured and preserved by historians as mementos of the inhumanity which some groups of people have inflicted on others throughout history.
For more details, see:
If Trump ever builds his Mexican border Wall, one prediction can be made with absolute certainty. Just as Trump's predecessor, President Ronald Reagan, predicted would happen to the Berlin Wall, and just as has happened to every other such wall throughout history, Donald Trump's Wall will also one day, most likely sooner rather than later, inevitably be torn down.
There cannot possibly be the slightest doubt about this.
When it is torn down, let us hope that historians, just as happened with the Berlin Wall, the Warsaw Ghetto Wall, and other more ancient walls such as those mentioned above, will be able to preserve a few fragments of them as mementos of man's inhumanity to man and as a warning to future generations.
If and when this happens, then, and only then, might one be able to say that there was a useful, or rational, purpose to Donald Trump's Mexican border Wall.
As an additional note, Walls against outsiders are not normally built by democratic societies, but by autocratic or totalitarian regimes, as in the case of the Berlin Wall and the Warsaw Ghetto Wall. But one does not even have to go back as far as the 20th century to see examples.
Hungary, according to recent news reports, is now building the second stage of its wall against Middle Eastern and North African refugees, even as that country turns away from democracy toward dictatorship, as The Guardian chillingly reported last October:
It is a disturbing, though not surprising, sign that top presidential adviser Stephen Bannon's Breitbart News recently published an article praising Hungary's treatment of immigrants, even as The Guardian reports that refugees in that country have been treated "worse than wild animals".
Is this the future that Donald Trump has in store for America? Is this why he is so willing to shut down the federal government if he does not get his way on funding for the Mexican border Wall?
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world receive work visas and green cards.
Roger's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 04-24-2017 at 09:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs