December 10, 2009

Right-wing noise machine hijacked the debate


Read this from
Think Progress' The Wonk Room:

While the hacked e-mails may reveal that scientists might not have nice things to say about climate change deniers at times, they do nothing to change the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use are raising temperatures and making oceans more acidic. As the right attempts to use the Climategate story to derail the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference this week, arctic sea ice is still at historically low levels, Australia is still on fire, the northern United Kingdom is still underwater, the world’s glaciers are still disappearing and today NOAA confirmed that not only is it the hottest decade in history, but 2009 was one of the hottest years in history. But how did the right-wing noise machine hijack the debate?
Read it all.

December 08, 2009

From the Immigration Policy Center

Climbing the Socio-Economic Ladder:
An Historical Perspective on the Success of Immigrants and Latinos

December 7, 2009

Washington D.C. - As a front-page story in (yesterday's) Washington Post reminds us: "Not since the last great wave of immigration to the United States around 1900 has the country's economic future been so closely entwined with the generational progress of an immigrant group." The story highlights the degree to which the children of immigrants from Latin America have become crucial to sustaining the working-age population and tax base of the nation as the 75 million Baby Boomers retire. The parents of these children most likely would not have even come to this country if not for the U.S. economy's past high demand for workers to fill less-skilled jobs; demand which was not being adequately met by the rapidly aging and better-educated native-born labor force.

The Post story also casts a spotlight on the insecurities and anxieties of commentators who feel that Latino immigrants and their descendants aren't integrating into U.S. society and moving up the socio-economic ladder "fast enough." Although these concerns are certainly understandable, they are as unjustified now as they were a century ago when they were directed at immigrants from southern and eastern Europe .

By any objective measure, the children of immigrants from Latin America are making significant progress compared with their parents. As demographer Dowell Myers points out in a 2008 report, the experience of Latino immigrants in California reveals not only the vast strides that immigrants themselves make within their lifetimes in terms of English proficiency, homeownership, and declining poverty rates, but also the degree to which the children and grandchildren of immigrants do better than "newcomers." Similarly, the National Research Council's Panel on Hispanics in the United States concluded in 2006 that "trends in wages, household income, wealth, and home ownership across time and generations point to the gradual ascension of many U.S.-born Hispanics to the middle class."

This isn't to say that the undeniable disparities in educational attainment and income between native-born Latinos and native-born non-Latinos in the United States aren't pressing social concerns. However, to effectively address these problems, they must first be accurately identified. The challenges confronting (and posed by) a poor immigrant from Mexico differ from the "Struggles of the Second Generation" Latinos whose parents are immigrants, which in turn differ from those of a poor third-generation Latino whose parents are native-born. Some of these challenges are unique to the immigrant experience, others derive from being part of a "minority" group in U.S. society, and others stem from dynamics of poverty that are not limited to any ethnic group, immigrant or otherwise.

For instance, if some third-generation Mexican Americans, like other minority groups in the United States, have encountered a "glass ceiling" in wage growth, this says more about the need for educational investment in poor communities than it does about a culturally specific lack of ambition. To treat Latinos as a homogeneous group inherently incapable of upward mobility, as some immigration restrictionists do, serves only to simplistically misidentify what are in fact a diverse range of issues. To deny the tremendous progress of Latino immigrants and their children over time is simply inaccurate.

December 01, 2009

New Americans in the Hawkeye State

Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are Growing Economic and Political Force in Iowa
December 1, 2009

Washington D.C. - The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an important part of Iowa's economy, labor force, and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as workers, consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs. With the state working towards recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of the Hawkeye State.

Highlights from Iowa include:
Iowa was home to 117,437 immigrants in 2007.
34.5% of immigrants in 2007 (or 40,473 people) in Iowa were naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote.
Latinos accounted for 4.0% (or 119,522) and Asians 1.6% (or 47,809) of Iowans in 2007.
The 2008 purchasing power of Latinos totaled $2.4 billion and Asian buying power totaled $1.7 billion in Iowa in 2007.
Unauthorized immigrant families in Iowa paid between $40 million and $62 million in state and local taxes in 2007.
If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Iowa, the state would lose $1.4 billion in expenditures, $613.4 billion in economic output, and approximately 8,819 jobs.
There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make and the important role they will play in Iowa's political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Hawkeye State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

New Americans in the Hawkeye State (Iowa)

Read our blog about Iowa, post-Postville.

Read more about immigrant contributions in other states:

New Americans in the Grand Canyon State (Arizona)

New Americans in the Natural State (Arkansas)

New Americans in the Golden State (California)

New Americans in the Centennial State (Colorado)

New Americans in the Sunshine State (Florida)

New Americans in the Peach State (Georgia)

New Americans in the Prairie State (Illinois)

New Americans in the Hoosier State (Indiana)

New Americans in the Pelican State (Louisiana)

New Americans in the Pine Tree State (Maine)

New Americans in the Great Lakes State (Michigan)

New Americans in the North Star State (Minnesota)

New Americans in the Silver State (Nevada)

New Americans in the Empire State (New York)

New Americans in the Garden State (New Jersey)

New Americans in the Tar Heel State (North Carolina)

New Americans in the Buckeye State(Ohio)

New Americans in the Keystone State (Pennsylvania)

New Americans in the Palmetto State (South Carolina)

New Americans in the Volunteer State (Tennessee)

New Americans in the Beehive State (Utah)

New Americans in the Old Dominion State (Virginia)