Friday, May 19, 2017

“Immigration is a controversial topic in the public discourse today'

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Chanting “Immigrants are welcome here, say it loud and say it clear,” and holding up signs that read “Hate has no home here,” about 20 protesters gathered in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars building to support immigrant communities. 
The demonstration was initially planned to protest a discussion on immigration hosted by director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Jessica Vaughan that would have taken place in the building Thursday night. 
However, the event, sponsored by the Franklin Republican Town Committee, was cancelled during the afternoon after Larry Bederian, commander of the VFW Post 3402, refused to host political events under the VFW’s roof. 
“We will not have a part of it. We are neutral,” said Bederian. “The VFW is not to be used for political harassment.”

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sign on some Franklin lawns
sign on some Franklin lawns

Thursday's Boston Globe covered a study by MIT on the effects of immigration on Boston's economy.
"At hotels, nursing homes, and restaurants in and around Boston, roughly half the workforce is made up of immigrants. Among doctors, scientists, and software engineers, a third were born in another country. 
Greater Boston’s economy relies on immigrants much more heavily than the country as a whole. And with the city’s unemployment rate at less than 4 percent and foreign-born workers providing nearly all the growth in the labor market in recent years, a continued stream of immigrant workers is essential for the local economy to thrive, according to a report out Thursday by MIT researchers that provides a detailed breakdown of who these local immigrants are and where they work. 
President Trump’s clampdown on immigration could have serious consequences on Boston-area employers, local workforce development and business leaders say, and some are calling for more liberal immigration policies to fuel the region’s economic growth."

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"Executive Summary

Immigration is a controversial topic in the public discourse today. Are we a stronger nation and economy because of our historic openness to immigration or should we close the borders and restrict access? What would happen to the economy if we took these steps, and what would be the impact on jobs, employers and economic growth?

The goal of this report is to answer these questions for the Boston area. We will see that our
economy and our firms depend heavily on immigrants, and the implications of restricting
immigration are grim indeed.

America is a nation of immigrants, as is Massachusetts and the Boston area even more so. In
2015, immigrants accounted for 13 percent of the United States civilian population, yet they
represented 16 percent of the Massachusetts civilian population and 22 percent of the Boston area civilian population. Even more strikingly, immigrants make up 29 percent of the adult working age civilian population in the Boston area.

If immigrants represent a large fraction of the people in the Boston area, then it makes sense to expect that they are important to the local economy. This report addresses this, but does so by focusing on a narrow version of the question – how do immigrants contribute to the workforce of the employers in the region? The many other contributions of immigrants to our economy—such as their consumption of goods and services and their entrepreneurial energy—will be left to another investigation.

The findings in this report are based on an analysis of large scale surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015 and additionally on interviews with employers that we conducted during the winter of 2017.

Details on the surveys and how we organized the data are provided in the box on methods below.

Some of the highlights of our findings are:
• Boston immigrants are settled members of our community. They are just as likely to be married and have children as are natives, and 68 percent have lived in the United States for 11 years or more.
• Boston’s immigrants come from all parts of the world. For example, 32 percent are from Asia and 25 percent are from the Caribbean and Central America.
• Boston’s immigrants constitute 27 percent of employees aged 25 to 64. Many industries are
heavily dependent on them, and in 18 industries immigrants constitute 20 percent or more of the workforce. For example 22 percent of employees in professional, scientific, and technical industries, 56 percent of employees in hotels and motels, 53 percent of employees in home health, and 29 percent of employees in hospitals are immigrants. The Boston region could not succeed economically nor provide goods and services to its citizens without the contribution of the region’s immigrant employees.
• Employers speak highly of the contributions of immigrants to the success of their firms and express concerns that immigration may be curtailed.
• Immigration is a key source of growth for our workforce. In 2015, a remarkable 54 percent of working age people moving into the Boston area were immigrants, and two-thirds of them came directly from abroad.
• Despite the central role of immigrants in our workforce, significant challenges to fulfill the
true potential of immigrants remain. Too many immigrants have low earnings and low levels of education. Policies to address these challenges are important."

The full MIT Study PDF can be viewed here

The full MIT Study PDF can be viewed here
The full MIT Study PDF can be viewed here

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