When people come from overseas to the United States, sometimes they're fairly new in the working world. They may have had jobs when they were teenagers, but those jobs are frequently different from the ones that they're applying for, leaving them with limited experience.
Because of this, it can often prove difficult to find the job needed to send money back to their home country and their loved ones. By building a strong resume, however, individuals can increase their chances of getting hired, thanks to some suggestions offered by job posting website CareerBuilder.
In addition to a strong educational background, one of the most important things companies and employers like to see is that the applicant has experience and initiative. In other words, that they have shown a willing desire to learn so that they can become more skilled in whatever profession they're pursuing.
This makes becoming an intern a worthwhile endeavor, CareerBuilder notes. Traditionally, college students serve as interns, as some of their coursework may require them to apply with a company that's affiliated with their major, giving them the experience outside the classroom needed to succeed. But students aren't the only ones who serve as interns, as anyone and everyone is encouraged to apply.
Applicants should keep in mind, however, that these internships are often unpaid or low-paying, perhaps requiring them to take up a second job while they're on the internship. Depending on the company, these jobs can be up to a year or only a few months long.
Volunteer work highly valued
Something else people ought to be willing to do, CareerBuilder says, is volunteer. This is similar to an internship but slightly different, in that the work that's done is not necessarily related to the field the volunteer wants to get into. But volunteering is look upon favorably by employers, as it suggests that the applicant is concerned about humanity and philanthropic pursuits.
Another tip CareerBuilder recommends is honing one's cover letter. A cover letter accompanies a resume, wherein the applicant provides the reader with a brief background about who they are and why they're qualified for the job. It may be wise to work with a job placement professional who can serve as a guide in highlighting one's strengths and convincing the hirer that they have what it takes to succeed.
The job placement website also advises individuals to learn as much about the job as they can. When companies interview someone, they like to know that that person has an understanding of what the job is all about. This suggests that they take a keen interest in the position, not just applying because they need to make money. This can be done by reviewing the company's website or reading books that talk about that general field of work.
"Just because you've graduated, it doesn't mean that you're done learning," said Matt Tarpey, writer for CareerBuilder.
No matter where people live, it seems that nothing these days comes inexpensively, whether it's gas, grocery bills, utility expenses or rent. And what proves to be no exception to this rule is the exorbitant cost of the average wedding.
According to industry statistics, U.S. couples shell out between $19,000 and $32,000 for the average wedding and reception. While weddings are meant to only be a one-time event, many people can justify spending this amount. And while some may have the desire to throw a wedding party that's top-of-the-line, finances can get in the way, especially when people have responsibilities that require them to send money to loved ones.
With this in mind, many people are throwing their own wedding party. Do-it-yourself weddings – or DIY's, as some refer to them as for short – have become increasingly popular in the U.S., as couples are able to cut back on spending while at the same time forming a stronger bond with one another and their friends who may help them organize.
And according to polling data from TheKnot.com, many brides to be take a lot of pride in the things they make. For example, the survey found that the majority of brides implement at least one DIY element into their weddings, whether it's making ceremony programs, party favors or escort cards.
And what they give out isn't just to a few people. The poll also revealed that Iowa and Nebraska residents tend to have some of the biggest weddings, with upwards of 200 people being invited to attend the nuptials and the reception afterward.
DIY weddings are more than just a passing fad. The Knot.com showed that at one time, wedding planners were often frequently hired to set things up and provide soon-to-be newlyweds with a framework for how everything would be planned. But today, less than 20 percent of brides hire a wedding planner, opting either to handle it themselves or share the responsibility with friends and family.
It can be difficult, however, to come up with a theme for a wedding. That's where specialty gift and wedding retailers may be helpful. The Texas-based retailer and seasonal merchandiser Michaels recently released a list of some of the most popular DIY wedding trends in 2013, such as heirloom romance, purple luxe, seaside bliss and events inspired by certain types of art. Of course, there are many merchandisers who specialize in weddings throughout the U.S., and a quick internet search will likely yield results for how to get in touch with them.
Average engagement ring nearly $6,000
Here are a few other statistics that suggest DIY weddings may be the best option for finances. The Knot.com revealed that the average engagement ring today costs about $5,850 and weddings that are held in the city are often more expensive than in more rural locations. It's estimated that some of the costliest weddings are held in New York City and Long Island, averaging $57,000 for all of the expenses.
Everyone goes into a wedding confident that the person they're marrying they will be with for the rest of their lives. And as international marriage statistics show, this is often the case for many people in Central and South America. Countries like Brazil, El Salvador, Ecuador and Mexico have fairly successful marriage rates, as the divorce rate for each of these countries is less than one for every 1,000 people. Other Latin American countries with divorce rates below this threshold include Panama and Chile.
While virtually every industrialized nation has a rich history of famous artists who helped put their respective country on the art industry's radar screen, some parts of the world are sending shock signals today. This appears to be the case in the Philippines, as a motley crew of contemporary artists are bringing Filipino works to the forefront that are getting international recognition.
According to the Philippine Star, some of the art world's newest heavyweights include people like Ronald Ventura and Winner Jumalon, who have been able to successfully sell their pieces for prices in the high six-figures. The recognition of their names has not only caused some people to send money to the Philippines to invest in these pieces, but more people are flocking to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.
For more than 37 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila – or "the Met," as it's called for short – has played host to a variety of arts and artifacts from yesteryear. But the pace at which new artists are coming onto the scene has the museum devoting much of its real estate to contemporary works of art.
One of the latest is known as "The Philippine Contemporary: Scaling the Past and the Possible," which was developed by Patrick Flores from the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines. The exhibition has garnered so much attention that its earned a permanent spot in the museum's interior, the paper reports.
As the success of Ventura and Jumalon has shown, Filipino art is piquing the interest of a number of artistic enthusiasts around the world. The Philippines Star recently spoke with some of the leaders of the Met, asking them what's driven so many people toward this segment of the art world.
Colayco: Level of international intrigue 'remarkable'
"It has really been remarkable, the rise of the young artists in the international art stage," said Tina Colayco, who now serves as the Met's director. "I think it's due to a lot of things. Even our curators are being recognized."
She added that they are being given so much attention mainly because they are supremely talented but also because of who they are and the ability with which they're able to express themselves with a paintbrush and canvas.
"They are creating an identity that is distinctly Filipino," Colayco told the paper.
Art educator and publisher Colayco said that she has a lot to be grateful for when it comes to these artists, as museums and art institutions in the Philippines have gained a new life among the art-going public as more people are "willing to cultivate a more in-depth experience" when they go to museums like the Met.
Also displaying an assortment of art pieces that were created recently is the Ayala Museum as part of its Art Fair Philippines event. Inquirer Lifestyle reports that the event was held February 7 through February 10 and featured many of the artists that are on display at the Met.
"We're so excited about the inroads Philippine art has achieved within the worldwide contemporary arts community," said Lisa Ongpin Periquet when the AFP was first announced.
Depending on how successful organizers deem the event was, it may become an annual occasion that art enthusiasts can take part in.
Other famous Filipinos who have made inroads in the international art stage include Fabian de la Rosa, Ang Kiukok, Maningning Milat and Luis Eduardo Aute and Fernando Amorsolo. The 30-year-old Amorsolo graduated from the University of the Philippines and has a degree in Fine Arts.
While many immigrants living in the U.S. have been able to send money overseas to their families in recent years, they’ve also been earning enough to put money down on a home of their own, recent statistics reveal.
According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of foreign-born U.S. residents – 52 percent – owned their very own property in 2011, the latest year for which data is available. This contrasts with about a 67 percent homeownership rate for U.S. residents and citizens who were born in the country.
While the rate of homeownership was high among all foreign-born residents, it’s particularly common among individuals who’ve naturalized. The Census report notes that foreign-born residents who’ve gone through the naturalization process were more likely to be homeowners, as approximately two-thirds of them could be classified as owner-occupiers. The rate of homeownership among non-citizens, meanwhile, was 34 percent.
Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the foreign-born population branch at the Census, indicated that homeownership is something virtually every American hopes to achieve at some point in their lives and it’s clear that those who came here from overseas have similar aspirations.
“Homeownership is a goal shared by many residents of the United States, both native- and foreign-born, citizen and noncitizen,” said Grieco. “For immigrants in particular — who maintain nearly one in seven households in the U.S. – making the transition from renter to homeowner represents a significant investment in the United States.”
Lengthy stays increase likelihood of homeownership
And it appears as though that the longer immigrants have been in the U.S., the more likely it is that they wind up purchasing a property eventually. For example, among foreign-born householders that came to the U.S. 33 years ago, approximately 75 percent owned their own residence as opposed to rented. Meanwhile, among individuals who have lived in the U.S. in the past 13 years, about 25 percent owned rather than rented.
There were also some disparities when it comes to where immigrants lived. Among foreign-born householders who live in the Northeast, the rate of homeownership was above the 52 percent average in parts of New York and Pennsylvania. In fact, throughout much of New Hampshire, the foreign-born homeownership rate was in excess of 60 percent.
According to the Immigration Policy Center, there are about 69,500 immigrants who live in the Granite State, 54 percent of whom are naturalized.
There was a tremendous amount of variability from one state to the next outside of the Northeast. For example, New Mexico’s homeownership rate among foreigners was in excess of 60 percent, but it was below 40 percent in Washington, D.C.
There was also some level of unpredictability for homeownership among foreign-born householders who originated from certain parts of the world. For instance, the rate of owner-occupied status was under 40 percent among households headed by someone who was born in Africa, which contrasts with 66 percent of Europeans.
The Census Bureau’s statistics coincide with those released by the National Association of Realtors this past June. In its Profile of International Home Buying Activity, NAR notes that residential purchases among the foreign-born totaled $82.5 billion between March 2011 and 2012, up from $66.4 billion when contrasted with the same 12-month span the previous year.
International buyers represented the largest portion of real estate purchases in states where the immigrant population is high, including Florida, California, Texas and Arizona, NAR numbers show.
When Latinos send money to Mexico, they are transferring money to a country that’s increasingly becoming a global leader in environmental sustainability.
According to Bloomberg, Mexico is one of a handful of countries that has made significant strides toward improving the world’s environment by passing legislation that help reduce the carbon footprint nations leave behind from everyday living.
In a recent statement emailed to the news source from the Globe International Alliance of Lawmakers, Mexico was listed as one of 33 countries that’s made considerable headway toward cutting carbon production and increasing the efficiency of man-made technologies such as industrial products and vehicles.
Christiana Figueres, a United Nations diplomat, said that real change can only came through policy and Mexico – along with other industrialized nations – helps make this change a reality.
“The clean revolution we need is being carried forward by legislation,” said Figueres, according to Bloomberg. “Domestic legislation is critical because it is the linchpin between action on the ground and the international agreement.”
The Globe International Alliance of Lawmakers additionally noted that of all the nations that made environmental improvements to policy last year, Mexico serves as a “standout country.” Among the initiatives taken include creating a law that requires companies to reduce carbon production by 30 percent between now and 2020.
Other nations that the Globe says made significant headway in improving environmentally friendly standards in 2012 were Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, Bloomberg reports.
Traffic major contributor to carbon emissions
Mexico hasn’t always held the distinction as being among the nations most environmentally responsible. According to a 2011 report in National Geographic magazine, residents of Mexico’s capital – Mexico City – described the commute there as one of the “most painful” they’ve ever experienced, primarily due to the significant number of traffic jams, accidents and carbon dioxide emissions from running engines.
But in the short time since then, the country’s capital has been awarded with the Sustainable Transport Award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
Walter Hook, chief executive officer of the ITDP, said that the improvements observed in the past 12 months in Mexico City are as stark as night and day.
“Mexico City was like a patient sick with heart disease, its streets were some of the most congested in the world,” said Hook. “In the last year, Mexico City extended its great Metrobus BRT system straight through the narrow congested streets of its spectacular historical core, rebuilt public parks and plazas, expanded bike sharing and bike lanes, and pedestrianized streets.”
He added that Mexico’s capital city is once again a vital part of the country’s future growth and development.
Recent previous winners winners of the Sustainable Transport Award include Medellin, Colombia; San Francisco in the U.S.; Guangzhou, China and Ahmedabad, India.
Some of the most impressive elements of Mexico City earning the award – in addition to the more environmentally sustainable laws that have been put in place in Mexico at large – stem from how densely populated the country and city is. Approximately 115.2 million people live in Mexico, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, and 20 million of that total live in the city’s capital. And as the Christian Science Monitor points out, one out of every four Mexico City residents owns a car.
Yet despite this, officials are confident that the Mexican people will commit to environmentally sustainable living practices, accomplishing the goal of a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.
As anyone who’s relocated from another country to the U.S. knows, futbol is not as popular in America as it is in their part of the world. While what those in the States refer to as soccer does have a devoted following, it’s nowhere near as big a sport as it is in Latin America and most of Europe.
That’s not to suggest that the U.S. citizens aren’t wild about sports that you play with your feet – it’s just their preferred brand has a ball that’s shaped differently and strapped with white laces.
Similar to the World Cup for soccer, professional football has its own championship known as the Super Bowl. Each year right around this time, most of the country watches the sporting event, which for the 2012-13 season takes place on February 3, between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.
Some of the statistics detailing just how popular the event is provides a glimpse into America’s football-crazed culture.
The viewership of the Super Bowl may be the best indicator of how many people take part in the annual event. For example, last year alone, Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and New York Giants broke television records, with nearly 167 million people throughout the country watching the three hour game, according to Nielsen Media. That’s more than 50 percent of the American population. It marked the fifth straight year that that year’s Super Bowl became the most-watched televised event, according to the National Football League.
Advertisers spend millions for commercials during Super Bowl
Because so many watch the gridiron action, advertisers pay top dollar to air 30-second commercials in an effort to gain a potential customer’s business. According to John Bogusz, executive vice president of sports sales for CBS, the television network that aired the Super Bowl, advertisers spent as much as $3.5 million for a half-minute commercial. And for this year’s game, the average cost will likely be north of $4 million. Some of the most common advertisers have worldwide representation. In fact, when immigrants send money overseas to their family, their kids and spouses may spend their money on many of the products that these companies promote, such as cars made by Volkswagen, candy made by Mars and soft drinks produced by Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
Many immigrants who choose to relocate to the U.S. do so for the business climate. And the Super Bowl is a major contributor for businesses of various types. According to Rockport Analytics, spending that derives from watching the big game helps produce more than 5,500 jobs each year, contributing nearly $180 million to employer payrolls.
Immigrants have had their influence on the Super Bowl, not only among those watch but also those who are actually in the NFL and have a chance to play in the yearly event that’s hosted by a different city each year. For instance, Mat McBriar, punter for the Philadelphia Eagles, is originally from Australia. Igor Olshansky, a defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, was born in Ukraine and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 8. And former Arizona Cardinals guard Rolando Cantu hails from Mexico. He now works in the front office for the team.
Football may be a ways away from catching up to futbol among the Latino community, but it is making headway. Recently, the Dallas Morning News reported about the popularity of American-style football, with some of the biggest fans rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. The paper notes that the NFL opened offices in Mexico back in 1998 and has since made a concerted effort to market itself to the Latino community.
Thanks to the advent of the internet, numerous types of transactions are done much more quickly than they once were, from purchasing merchandise to sending letters, buying movie tickets to when people send money overseas online or through a smartphone. And as the world becomes more web savvy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is adjusting to this new, online-age reality.
Recently, USCIS announced its transition to making various immigration policies and rules available online rather than one written out in multiple books or catalogs. Immigration officials say they didn’t make this decision lightly, but rather incorporated the thoughts and opinions of many different agency employees, consumers and interest groups.
Alejandro Mayorkas, director of USCIS, indicated that this new policy will make immigration information more widely available and to a greater number of people both in the U.S. and the world at large.
“With the introduction of the Policy Manual, we take a further step to provide our customers, stakeholders and workforce with an efficient and effective adjudication process that provides a high level of quality and consistency,” said Mayorkas.
For those who are unfamiliar with this informative piece of documentation the USCIS Policy Manual is just as its name suggests: It chronicles all the guidelines and policies in today’s U.S. immigration system. But because these policies can change quite frequently, the information often has to be adjusted or amended. Making the manual available online will not only give more people access to this information, but it will enable officials to change various statutes when needed.
Centralized Policy Manual will be more comprehensive with time
Currently, USCIS uses the Adjudicators Field Manual. The new policy manual will present consumers with much of the same information, but over time, it will become even more comprehensive than it is already, detailing important information regarding citizenship, visa issuance and the application process as well as knowledge about adjustment of status procedures, asylum protection, waivers and employment opportunities.
The guidelines and procedures laid out in the policy manual have yet to go into effect fully, but they will starting on January 22. At this time, USCIS says a somewhat limited amount of information is available to consumers, as only the first volume has been made public. However, as more volumes are added to the manual, the public will be apprised and invited to comment on any changes to policy that may or may not be welcomed.
Adaptability to host country’s societal norms demonstrated through online activity
It’s little wonder that USCIS has taken steps toward developing a more centralized, online access point to gather immigration-related information. A variety of studies indicate that U.S. citizens use the internet more frequently than any other nation, and is also more widely available to a greater number of people. And the frequency with which the people from a host country use the internet is often exemplified in immigrants that live there.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Nanyang Technological University and the National Institute of Education, intercultural adaptation is often demonstrated through immigrants’ internet usage. The study’s analysts discovered that as a general rule, the longer an immigrant stays in a host country, the more likely they are to visit websites that are frequented by others who live there. This often helps them assimilate into the cultures and societal norms of the country they’ve moved to.
After years of being in a dead-end job or earning a wage that prevents them from taking care of their families, many people have resolved to make 2013 a year that they take the steps needed to immigrate to the U.S. And as a recent report suggests, it’s a good year in which to send money home to their families from there, as the job forecast in the country is stellar.
According to a recent report released by job listing website CareerBuilder, many employers within the U.S. intend to increase their staffing levels this year. Approximately one in every four employers in the country say they want to bring more people on board so that they can increase their business productivity.
Much of this optimism may stem from the economy showing modest improvements. The U.S. Census Bureau recently revealed that the unemployment rate stayed at 7.8 percent in December. In the final months of 2012, the jobless rate stayed below 8 percent, a level that the rate was above for most of the past several years.
Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, indicated that some of the least favorable job forecasts come out of Western Europe. Just 19 percent of employers in Italy expect to recruit more in 2013, with as many as 33 percent of companies intending to slash their staff levels. Other European nations whose companies predict hiring will be limited include France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
He added that there’s no real continuity in deciphering which companies from the various parts of the country will be hiring or firing.
“The job outlook presents varying degrees of growth and deceleration as governments and businesses strive to rebuild and expand and deal with large deficits,” said Ferguson. “The overall hiring picture is improving, but companies will remain watchful as they navigate headwinds and maneuver through somewhat precarious economic terrain.”
Ferguson also stated that the sluggishness with which many European companies intend to hire largely derives from the sovereign debt crisis this part of the world has experienced. Countries like Greece and Spain have had to cutback on various entitlement programs due to budget shortfalls.
Great time to be in sales
Meanwhile, with many U.S. companies expected to hire more, CareerBuilder points out which sectors will be the most likely to post ‘help wanted’ signs online, in print and anywhere else job openings are advertised. Domestic companies in sales, information technology and customer service are the major markets that look to expand their payrolls in the next 12 months. Sales was a theme among the world’s 10 largest economies, as six of them gave indications that this sector is looking for qualified candidates.
Financial experts say that the rate with which companies hire could do wonders for the nation’s economy by putting more people back to work and improving the country’s gross domestic product.
Some states have already witnessed economic recovery. According to three new reports from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the Migration Policy Institute and the University of Arkansas, the Natural State is one of those places in which economic conditions have vastly improved.
Results from the reports show that Arkansas – a state whose nickname also happens to be the Land of Opportunity – witnessed a net gain of $3.4 billion in earnings. Much of this derived from immigrants, as on a per capita basis, immigrant contributions were greater than the services they received.
Immigrants also fill many of the state’s most important employment positions. Between 2008 and 2010, nearly one in every five Arkansas physicians was an immigrant. Sixteen percent of construction workers, 13 percent of manufacturers and 9 percent of agricultural workers were also immigrants.
The Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals continues to be taken advantage of by droves of immigrants, according to newly released data from government officials.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services unveiled data that is the latest indication of how favorably the DACA program has been received by immigrants, many of whom have been able to continue to work and send money overseas to their families without having to deal with the obstacles that typically accompany the visa and green card process. In December alone, 47,331 DACA applications were received. Of these, just 1,600 were rejected. This means the overall acceptance rate was 96 percent.
The rate of acceptance was even more favorable in January. Through the first half of the month, 17,100 were received and a mere 600 were declined – another 96 percent acceptance rate.
As in previous reports, the overwhelming majority of the applications received were from immigrants originating in Latin America. To date, DACA applications from Mexico total slightly more than 290,000. El Salvador finished a distant second at 16,824, followed by Honduras, Guatemala and Peru. Of the top 10 countries, eight of them were located in Latin America, with the Philippines and South Korea being the others.
DACA recipients are “lawfully present”
In other news related to DACA, the White House recently updated a USCIS definition for what “lawfully present” signifies. This means that henceforth, DACA recipients are to be considered as lawfully present to reside within the United States as it pertains to federal immigration law.
“An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect,” the updated rule states.
Prior to this revised ruling, many states were able to deny unauthorized immigrants certain privileges because the “lawfully present” status wasn’t fully clarified. However, with the altered definition in place, it could have lasting effects on what undocumented immigrants may be eligible to obtain.
This includes driver’s licenses. Over the past several months, many states have announced that many unauthorized immigrants – particularly those who were DACA recipients – are now permitted to obtain a driver’s license. The latest state to make this pronouncement is Connecticut. California and Illinois are among the others that have already taken steps toward this policy being put into place. Some states have refused to make driver’s licenses available to DACA recipients, including Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan.
Immigration advocates say that the revised lawfully present statute should help support the notion that beneficiaries of the DACA are driver’s license-eligible.
It appears as though the states that make these licenses available to undocumented immigrants help improve traffic safety conditions. According to a recent study conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, unlicensed drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly car accident versus those who are licensed to drive.
Think Progress, a nonpartisan organization funded by the Center for American Progress, says that providing licenses to DACA recipients who are old enough to drive may help reduce car crash fatalities and lower auto insurance rates, as accidents caused by uninsured drivers have to be paid by someone.
There are a variety of requirements undocumented immigrants have to be able to satisfy in order to be considered for deferred action. Recently USCIS produced a web video that explains what the process entails. This can be found by visiting its website.
With President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address less than a week away, there will likely be many things that the chief executive of the United States will talk about in regards to what he intends to do in his second term in office. Already, he’s given indications that much of the next four years will be devoted to solving the immigration issue, which has served as an obstacle for many people who wish to move to the U.S. so they can send money to their families.
And while the country has taken some positive steps toward providing immigrants with various privileges and rights that they may not have had before, a recent report says that the U.S.’ “enforcement first” policy has for the most part been ineffective.
Recently, the Migration Policy Institute released a report called “Immigration Enforcement in the United States.” It chronicles how for more than 25 years, lawmakers and immigration officials have attempted to reduce the number of unauthorized immigrants making their way into the country by passing various pieces of legislation, such as the Immigration Reform and Control Act.
Billions have been devoted to unauthorized immigration removal
But in the 27 years since the IRCA was signed into law, officials have spent billions of dollars on ineffective policies that often alienate those who wish to live and work in the U.S. solely so they can provide for their families. For example, adjusted for inflation, $219 billion has been spent on immigration enforcement, which is more than all the money that’s spent on all the law enforcement agencies as a whole. This includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Office and several others.
And for the most part, the money that’s been devoted to thwarting undocumented immigration has had mixed results. For example, the report says that deportations, or removals, are now the norm instead of providing immigrants with an ability to leave voluntarily. This change in policy has led to a certain level of disaffection among immigration advocates.
Ultimately, the study concludes that the amount of money that’s been devoted to an enforcement-first mentality has not led to results that justify all that’s been spent.
“At what point does the infusion of additional resources lead to dwindling returns or unnecessarily impact other national interests and values?” the report asked. “Today, the facts on the ground no longer support assertions of mounting [undocumented] immigration and demands for building an ever-larger law enforcement bulwark to combat it.”
Instead, the researchers say that legislators need to more effectively balance enforcement with realistic laws that can be effectively carried out, which also supports the nation’s economic and labor market needs. Many people who come to the U.S. from foreign countries do so to work and their contribution may help improve the country’s economic state.
Recently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported that officials apprehended and removed nearly 410,000 people unauthorized to be here in the year 2012. Barely above half of those removed were convicted of crimes, meaning that many of those deported were law-abiding.
“[Among] the 409,849 deportations are hardened criminals for whom I have no sympathy,” said Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez in reference to ICE’s report. “But we must also realize that among these hundreds of thousands of deportations are parents and breadwinners and heads of American families that are assets to American communities and have committed no crimes.”
Gutierrez and researchers at MPI are hopeful that 2013 will be a positive year for immigration reform and affording the people who come to the U.S. with opportunities for growth.
Migration Policy Institute: Immigration Enforcement in the United States