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A Profile of Current DACA Recipients by Education, Industry, and Occupation

July 23, 2018

This fact sheet examines predicted DACA expirations, as well as offers estimates for the educational and workforce characteristics of the nearly 690,000 current DACA holders. Among the national and state-level estimates offered: school enrollment and educational attainment, labor force participation, and top industries and occupations of employment.

New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States

May 31, 2017

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that almost half (48 percent) of immigrants coming to the United States between 2011 and 2015 were college graduates (compared to 31 percent of U.S.-born adults in 2015). In contrast, the highly skilled represented just 27 percent of arrivals during the five-year period ending in 1990. This rise in immigrants' educational attainment is correlated with increasing flows from Asia, although it should be noted that about one-quarter of recent immigrants from Latin America are college graduates. Higher levels of bilingualism and English language proficiency accompany this increase in human capital.

Untapped Talent: The Costs of Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States

December 5, 2016

While the United States has long been a top destination for the world's best and brightest, it has fallen short when it comes to fully tapping the skills and training of these newcomers. As a result, nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees in the United States—one out of every four—are relegated to low-skilled jobs or are unable to find work. This skill underutilization—often referred to as brain waste—comes at a significant cost to families and the U.S. economy: College-educated immigrants employed in low-skilled work miss out on more than $39 billion in wages. And as a result, federal, state, and local governments lose out on more than $10 billion in unrealized tax receipts, according to this study, which offers the first-ever estimates of the economic costs of brain waste.

DACA at the Two-Year Mark: A National and State Profile of Youth Eligible and Applying for Deferred Action

August 6, 2014

Since the Obama administration launched the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, which offers temporary relief from deportation and the right to apply for work authorization for certain unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children, 55 percent of the 1.2 million youth who immediately met the program's criteria have applied, according to MPI estimates. As the first two-year eligibility period draws to a close, early DACA beneficiaries have begun to apply for renewal, with nearly 25,000 renewal applications submitted as of July 20, 2014.This report provides the most up-to-date estimates available for the size, countries of origin, educational attainment, employment, English proficiency, age, gender, and poverty rates for the DACA population nationally and for key states, based on an analysis of U.S. Census data. The report also offers DACA application rates nationally and in key states, as well as for particular national-origin groups. The MPI researchers find that slightly more than 2.1 million unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children are potentially eligible for DACA -- with 1.2 million having immediately met the age, education, length of residence, and other criteria when the initiative launched in 2012. Two other groups could prospectively gain DACA status: 426,000 youth who appeared to fulfill all but the education requirements as of the program's launch, and 473,000 who were too young to apply but become eligible once they reach age 15 if they stay in school or obtain a high school degree or equivalent.The analysis provides a mixed picture of DACA's first two years. On the one hand, the sheer volume of applicants is impressive. On the other, hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth have not yet gained a status that can change their lives in measurable ways, allowing them improved job prospects, the ability to apply for driver's licenses, and more. The report examines the educational, poverty, and other barriers to DACA enrollment.

Competing for Global Talent: The Race Begins with Foreign Students

September 1, 2006

In order to retain its competitive edge in global knowledge production and its leadership in research and education, the United States has to remain open to talented people from around the world. However, the status of the United States as the preferred destination for foreign students and scholars faces serious challenges. As global competition intensifies for professionals and high-tech workers, doctors and nurses, and university students and researchers, will the United States remain in the forefront in attracting the best and the brightest? Recognizing that today's foreign students are potential contributors to the American knowledge-based economy, as well as ambassadors of public diplomacy abroad, it is in the national interest of the United States to maintain its historical openness to foreign students. By developing a concerted strategy to attract and retain skilled and educated students and workers from around the world, the United States can turn its existing strengths into long-term competitive advantages, building upon its international reputation for superb education and cutting-edge research. Among the findings of this report: Beginning in 2002/03 (the first academic year after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) the annual growth rate of total and graduate-level enrollments by foreign students in U.S. colleges and universities fell significantly. The decline in total foreign student enrollment in 2003/04 was the first in 30 years, while the decline in foreign graduate student enrollment in 2004/05 was the first in 9 years. Tightened visa procedures and entry conditions for international students, which were implemented in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, have dampened the demand for student visas. The number of F-1 student-visa applications submitted each year dropped by nearly 100,000 between Fiscal Year (FY) 2001 and FY 2004, particularly among students from Middle Eastern, North African, and some Southeast Asian countries. Australia, Canada, South Korea, and many European countries have been actively recruiting foreign talent in order to alleviate labor shortages in skill-intensive sectors of their economies, stimulate research and development, and increase their access to foreign markets. To attract students from abroad, these nations use a combination of American-style educational programs, free or subsidized tuition for foreign students, and eased routes for permanent immigration for foreign students after graduation. While foreign students' share of the total student population barely changed in the United States between 1998 and 2003, it increased by nearly half in Australia, more than tripled in New Zealand, and almost doubled in Sweden. China and India, which together account for 25 percent of all foreign students and about 28 percent of all international scholars in the United States, are committing significant resources to boosting their own innovative and educational capacities in order to aid their economic development and better meet the educational needs of their rapidly growing populations.