April 12, 2019

Weekly Brief: Three Migration Takeaways



#1: This week, three GOP Senators (Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and freshman Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) re-introduced the RAISE Act. The legislation abolishes the diversity visa (DV), makes severe cuts to family-based immigration, and purports to rebuild the U.S. immigration system to select skills over family ties. But as my colleague Jeremy L. Neufeld demonstrated in original research published last year, gutting the diversity visa is a miscue for those prioritizing merit in immigrant admissions.

Neufeld finds the DV immigrants have higher skill levels than other immigrants and native-born Americans, and more educational attainment, depicted in the chart below. He also finds that the amount of diversity visas awarded to immigrants from a country for a given year is positively correlated with H-1B workers from that country in the next year. He concludes, “diversity-based immigration should thus be considered an important component of an immigration system designed to foster economic growth.”

Takeaway: As Neufeld writes in Real Clear Policy, “ending the Diversity Visa would choke off a skilled flow of immigrants, narrow the application pool of high-skilled temporary workers, and homogenize immigration flows — all to our cultural and economic detriment.”

#2: Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, published a fascinating look into the a little-discussed benefit of the H-1B program: scholarship and job training for Americans. Anderson finds in the last two decades, nearly 90,000 college scholarships have been awarded to U.S. students in science and engineering paid by employers petitioning for H-1B visas. His findings are presented below:

Takeaway: Too few American students are studying STEM fields, and fees associated with H-1B petitions are helping pave the way for Americans to enter the STEM workforce long-term.

#3: The NBA playoffs begin this weekend, and international players are taking center stage. Earlier this season the league announced that 108 international players from 42 countries were on team rosters, making it the 5th consecutive season with at least 100 international players and at least one on all 30 teams. While the international pipeline to the NBA continues growing, the major development is the amount of international players with pivotal roles on championship contending teams. The chart below highlights some of the top players on playoff teams.

Furthermore, the NCAA Men’s National Championship game in Minneapolis included some prominent international talent as well, like Texas Tech’s Brandone Francis from the Dominican Republic, Davide Moretti from Italy, Josh Mballa from France and Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite from Guinea and Jack Salt from New Zealand.

Takeaway: As the playoffs tip off this weekend, let’s all recognize how the NBA—and more importantly the fans—have been handsomely rewarded by recruiting international talent.  

Recommended Weekend Reading:

Brandon Fuller: The Case for a Visa Auction  

Neil Irwin & Emily Badger: Trump Says the U.S. if ‘Full.’ Much of the Nation has the Opposite Problem

Kristie De Peña:TVPA Supporters Should be Aware of Detention Centers’ Alleged Violations

Jacqueline Varas: The Economic Value of Work Permits for H-4 Visa Holders

Sarah Bermeo: Central Americans Need Less Violence, More Development and a Safe Place to Stay