Summary 3 - Immigrants and the Current Economic Crisis:...

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Immigrants and the Current Economic Crisis: Research Evidence, Policy Challenges and Implications Authors: Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Aaron Terrazas From: Migration Policy Institute January 2009 Summary by: Naila Prieto Executive Summary: Due to the current economic crisis that may be worse than the Great Depression, questions for immigration analysts and policy-makers about what will happen to current and prospective immigrants and how they will respond to the crisis. Everyone is trying to figure out the implications of these events and the issues are usually politically charged. Are both legal and unauthorized immigrants leaving the US in large numbers as their jobs are lost? And are would- be immigrants not coming? Reliable answers are not easy to find because there still hasn’t been any analog to the current situation. So what this article does is look at what is known. Looking at what happened in historical events and recent data, this paper tries to figure out how immigrant will react to the crisis. This paper examines the current crisis and its impact on immigrants to and from the US. The major findings are: Growth in US foreign born population has slowed since the recession in late 2007. Anecdotal evidence suggests that return migration to some countries has increased in the last 2 years, but data does not substantiate these reports. In result, no definitive trend can be tied to the economic conditions. Return migration flows appear to correlate more with the economic and political developments in their origin countries and ease of circulation than with the economic conditions of the US. Cracking down on immigration like anti-immigration animus, strict federal. State and local immigration enforcement policies and border enforcement and political conditions as well as the US economic crisis have all contributed to the slowdown of overall immigration. Generally all social, humanitarian, legal and employment based immigration appear to not be affected by the current crisis. On average, most immigrants share demographic characteristics of workers who are most vulnerable during recessions (youth, low education level, new workers in labor force). Because immigrants work in the most vulnerable industries during recessions like, construction, personal services, they bear a disproportionate share of the downturn consequences. On the other hand, immigrants (especially recent ones) may adjust more quickly than native workers because they are more amenable to changing jobs or moving for work related reasons. Due to public policies (no access to social safety net for unauthorized immigrants and recently arrived immigrants) they increase immigrants’ vulnerability to the worse abject poverty if they become unemployed. If this happens, they’re more than likely going to return to their origin countries.
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Immigrants have deep family obligations to continue to send home remittances, so they go extraordinary lengths to stay employed or find other work quickly. This is a good asset
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2009 for the course ECON 491 taught by Professor Clausportner during the Winter '09 term at University of Washington.

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Summary 3 - Immigrants and the Current Economic Crisis:...

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