US should re-evaluate definition of skilled workers in immigration policy

US should re-evaluate definition of skilled workers in immigration policy
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New immigration research from Rice University, the University of North Carolina and the Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies suggests the U.S. should re-evaluate its definition of skilled workers to include informal skills of migrant workers.

The study, "Identifying and Measuring the Lifelong Human Capital of 'Unskilled' Migrants in the Mexico-U.S. Migrator Circuit," draws on a binational multistage research project that involved interviews with 320 Mexican and return migrants in North Carolina and Guanajuato, Mexico. The study identifies lifelong human capital – knowledge and technical and social – acquired and transferred throughout these migrants' careers.

The researchers discovered that skills among these migrants not only include basic education and English, but also technical and and competencies acquired informally on and off the job throughout their lives – skills that are used in construction, domestic, retail and hospitality work.

Sergio Chavez, assistant professor of sociology at Rice and one of the study's co-authors, noted that when these life skills are acquired through education or another accredited process, it is advantageous to the migrant worker. Chavez said that current U.S. immigration policy gives preference to these "skilled" immigrants who rank high on traditional human capital characteristics, such as education levels and other formal credentials, and allows them to enter the U.S.; but the policy limits the entry of "unskilled" migrants, a categorization that ignores the substantial informal skills they bring to U.S. labor markets.

"Unlike migrants whose human capital is largely acquired in formal learning environments leading to credentialed and organized knowledge, we discovered that migrants in our study with low levels of education acquire most of their skills informally through interaction and observation both on and off the job," Chavez said. "This is not to say that migrants with formal credentials do not acquire some skills informally before migration, but that for migrants with low levels of formal education, job skills are learned predominantly in informal social contexts rather than classrooms and thus are often hidden skills. It is therefore especially important that the assessment of migrant welfare gains according to models of human capital account for the acquisition of lifelong human capital."

Chavez and his co-authors said the study has broad implications for migration policies of both the U.S. and Mexico. "These individuals with skills acquired informally often have much to contribute to the U.S. labor markets," Chavez said. "Unfortunately, current immigration policies severely limit the number of these individuals who can enter the U.S."

Chavez said that instead of focusing only on the continued expansion of immigration policy preferences for narrowly defined , the U.S. government needs to consider more carefully what is meant by "" and design fairer and more effective immigration policies that match their abilities to the specific needs of U.S. industry and thereby recognize the economic contributions of all migrants within a lifelong human capital framework.


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More information: The study will be featured in more depth in a forthcoming book, "Skills of the Unskilled: Work and Social Mobility Among Mexican Migrants" (University of California Press).
Provided by Rice University
Citation: US should re-evaluate definition of skilled workers in immigration policy (2014, June 26) retrieved 27 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-re-evaluate-definition-skilled-workers-immigration.html
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Jun 26, 2014
When you go to the polls in November, remember that the pro illegal lobby are:

Valuing illegals above lawful immigrants and US citizens.
Taking your social security contributions and using them for illegals.
Undermining the middle class by allow illegals to undercut their wages and steal their jobs.
Rewarding criminals.
Destroying your kids financial futures.
Discriminating against prospective lawful immigrants by blocking them from entry and jobs.
Undermining our laws and border security.
Bringing in hazardous diseases risking your health.
Encouraging a wide open southern border with a continual invasion of illegals, dragging the US economy down to that of their native countries.

It's your choice - you know what is right and wrong. Vote.

Jun 27, 2014
Its like advertizing where 50% is truly brilliant but no one knows which 50%. Ditto informal skills of potential immigrants--many of them could contribute massively to the benefit of the US--but no means exists to identify them. People with formal skills have certificates and it easy to check up on who has them or not. Its not a contribution issue but a measurement one.

Jun 27, 2014
Its like advertizing where 50% is truly brilliant but no one knows which 50%. Ditto informal skills of potential immigrants--many of them could contribute massively to the benefit of the US--but no means exists to identify them. People with formal skills have certificates and it easy to check up on who has them or not. Its not a contribution issue but a measurement one.

Jun 27, 2014
Why won't the Mexicans change their govt to allow more opportunities?
I welcome immigrants IFF they really want to become US citizens and support a limited US govt instead of supporting a corrupt welfare state they escaped from.
I would end visa programs as the State Dept really hates this part of their job at embassies around the world.
Instead, anyone with a valid passport and has no disease can enter the US and can work for who ever will hire the them, or can start a business, or just spend their money. They would not be eligible for any federal welfare.
They can stay for 5 years and if they don't want to become a US citizen, they must leave.
This would open the door to the talented and those seeking a better life from all over the world, not just Mexico and Central America. Indians, Filipinos, Taiwanese, Koreans, Europeans, ....would have the opportunity as illegals from Mexico and Central America have now.

Jun 27, 2014
Of Course all of this assumes - that there are no qualified Americans - who want the job - Right?

Jun 27, 2014
When you go to the polls in November, remember that the pro illegal lobby are.. -ver_acity_9
You've been licking the lead paint again, haven't you. No one is "pro illegal." There are two different pro-legal camps. One camp would like to evict all of the illegals from the country, which would make them legal. The other camp would like to legalize the illegals.
Undermining the middle class by allow illegals to undercut their wages and steal their jobs.
Legalization would force employers to pay them at least minimum wage, whereas now illegals are usually paid less under the table. This would give the native-born American citizen an advantage. Suppose an employer had the choice of paying two different people with similar skills the same wages but one spoke flawless English and other didn't - the choice would be obvious. This would also apply pressure to wages at the low end of the scale, lifting many people on the poor end out of poverty and stimulating the economy.

Jun 27, 2014
Taking your social security contributions and using them for illegals.
Legalization would force them to pay taxes.
Rewarding criminals
You're the kind of asshole that would chop a starving man's arm off for stealing bread. You have no idea what it's like to be poor and have no right to pass judgement.
Destroying your kids financial futures.
Whatever. I didn't want my kid picking fruit and mowing other people's lawns for a living anyways.
Bringing in hazardous diseases risking your health.
We can now clearly see the stereotype you've built up in your head. I'm obviously wasting my time responding to you.

Jun 27, 2014
You have no idea what it's like to be poor and have no right to pass judgement.

Do you leave your door unlocked?

" But the report, consistent with others, found that there is a labor surplus and that massive immigration reduces employment opportunities for native-born Americans. "
"U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has urged the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against amnesty because it would hurt black workers the most."
"Sessions, the Alabama Senator, said that President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, despite the data, "remain focused on the demands of activist CEOs who want new labor at the lowest price.""
http://www.breitb...migrants
DENIERS!
'Liberals' need more 'slave' labor to keep them in office.

Jun 27, 2014
Legalization would force employers to pay them at least minimum wage, whereas now illegals are usually paid less under the table.


ENFORCE THE LAW, and the illegals would go away.
Put employers in jail for hiring illegals and NOT using the E-verify.

"Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says the unaccompanied child was recently hospitalized after being diagnosed with swine flu, or H1N1. "
" "I've talked to border patrol down in McAllen. They've seen TB; they've seen chicken pox; they've seen scabies. And according to Border Patrol, 4 or 5 of their agents have tested positive for those diseases.""
http://dfw.cbsloc...-grande/

Jun 27, 2014
"in Brooks Co., Texas, which is 75 miles north of the Mexican border, county judge Raul M. Ramirez told Infowars that autopsies of dead illegal aliens are rapidly draining his county's resources which were already meager after the oil & gas industry left town."
http://www.infowa...-states/

A level 1 trauma center at Tucson General Hospital had to close a few years ago because illegal aliens were not paying and the federal govt that allowed them across the border wouldn't pay.

Jun 27, 2014
You have no idea what it's like to be poor and have no right to pass judgement.

Do you leave your door unlocked?
Yes. I'm not a coward like you. Not that it's relevant to the discussion.
ENFORCE THE LAW, and the illegals would go away.
Put employers in jail for hiring illegals and NOT using the E-verify.
That will never happen. I thought you were an expert in market economics. The black market for labor is too big and too lucrative, and that's why every administration that has tried to do something about illegal immigration has failed. Get out of your ivory tower.

Jun 27, 2014
"in Brooks Co., Texas, which is 75 miles north of the Mexican border, county judge Raul M. Ramirez told Infowars that autopsies of dead illegal aliens are rapidly draining his county's resources which were already meager after the oil & gas industry left town."
http://www.infowa...-states/
So the oil and gas industry is at fault for another hit-and-run, boom-and-bust economy. Thanks for setting that straight.
A level 1 trauma center at Tucson General Hospital had to close a few years ago because illegal aliens were not paying and the federal govt that allowed them across the border wouldn't pay.
Yeah, that death march across the desert can be hard on a person. You're making a better case for legalization than I am.

Jun 27, 2014
that death march across the desert can be hard on a person.

If they knew they couldn't cross, they wouldn't make the trek.
If the corrupt socialist govts south of the border provided opportunity, their would be no need to walk across a desert.

Jun 27, 2014
How many amnesty supporters would support ending ALL immigration restrictions allowing Indians and Russians and Chinese to work in Silicon Valley or as instructors and professors at universities?
Let's let in more English speaking immigrants who like the US.

Jun 27, 2014
That's quite the strawman you've built.

Jun 27, 2014
"The OPEC nation has suffered an increasing number of power outages in recent years, which critics have attributed to low electricity tariffs and limited state investment following the 2007 nationalization of the power sector."
" Critics call the power problems a symptom of 15 years of socialist policies that have left the country without a steady supply of energy despite having the world's largest oil reserves.

Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez in 2007 nationalized the country's power sector as part of a broad wave of state takeovers. "
http://news.yahoo...360.html

Jun 27, 2014
"Ang may have helped undercut his own claims. At trial he said that he "chose to abandon his permanent resident alien application because of the negative tax consequences of becoming a permanent resident of the United States."

The case in question is Lee Ang v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, case number 2014-53, in the U.S. Tax Court.

Yet, with all this legal activity there is no indication that Lee Ang is under threat of deportation as an illegal breaking both our immigration and tax laws. "
http://www.breitb...ck-Taxes

Jun 27, 2014
""It's ironic that Mexico says it acted accidentally in this case, and they ask we accept an apology, when they refuse to acknowledge an authentic mistake on Andrew's part," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a former Marine who has championed Tahmooressi's cause. "There are mistakes and there are excuses. Andrew's actions were the result of wrong turn, a simple mistake. Mexico is just making an excuse and no different than the border incursion that are too regular, U.S. officials should approach this incident with absolute seriousness.""
http://www.foxnew...+Text%29
Why can't the US treat Mexicans the same way?

Jun 27, 2014
"Only 22% of Americans Favor Increased Immigration"
Only 22% of Americans Favor Increased Immigration

", fully three-quarters of the country believe that reports about global warming are mistaken -- for better or worse."
http://www.gallup...ted.aspx

Majorities don't matter if socialists support an issue.

Jun 27, 2014
Post post post post socialist post post post liberal post post post.

Jun 27, 2014
"Four more bodies of immigrants left to die by human smugglers in South Texas have been found in the past two days. "
" The second, a full body of a man from El Salvador, was found west of Falfurrias on a ranch near Highway 285."
http://www.breitb...s-County

What are the Mexicans doing to stop illegal immigration through their country?
Why do the 'liberals' wink and nod at the corrupt socialist state of Mexico?

Jun 27, 2014
"One telling sign is the way business came to rely on (the Mexican) government {aka socialism}; not just in terms of policy decisions (which affect business in every nation) but personal relations with government officials.

Since the nation's founding, few private fortunes were made without colmillo ("fang" or cunning), the owner's ability to cultivate ties to the right officials and master the art of "mutually convenient" relationships. "
"the system that emerged in the twentieth century merely institutionalized what was already there: a ruling class with absolute authority that rewarded unquestioned loyalty with favors and patronage. "
{Sounds like Obama and The Chicago Way}
http://www.theatl.../277219/

Jun 28, 2014
"Despite the fact that the pro-business Latino Caucus is comprised totally of Democrats, one of its members abstained from supporting the bill. Business groups were astonished to see the bill die in an Assembly labor committee, which was seen as dominated by the state's unions. "
"Many of the Latinos in the caucus come from small towns where small businesses could be damaged by another minimum wage hike. Alejo explained that the Latino community is not monolithic, saying, "I think Latino legislators bring a lot to the table. We have a diverse range within us. We need to strike a good balance for improving conditions for working people and helping grow jobs and business.""
http://www.breitb...age-Hike
Maybe there are limits to Latino socialism.

Jun 29, 2014
Its like advertizing where 50% is truly brilliant but no one knows which 50%. Ditto informal skills of potential immigrants--many of them could contribute massively to the benefit of the US--but no means exists to identify them. People with formal skills have certificates and it easy to check up on who has them or not. Its not a contribution issue but a measurement one.


Agreed, this is an issue where the only possible solution is to establish better certifications so that skilled people who are not recognized as such can be recognized. The solution is not to dismantle the already very much weakened US immigration policy or let in hordes of unskilled workers and damage the economy.

Jun 29, 2014
"Hundreds of Chinese teens are slipping into the US a year, immigration groups say, mostly through Central America and Cuba.

They make their way to New York City, typically on buses, where they are farmed out across the country to work in Chinese restaurants."
http://nypost.com...america/
End the charade and the corruption.

Jun 29, 2014
" Officials in three Maine cities say they plan to defy the state and continue offering General Assistance welfare benefits to immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

Officials from Portland, South Portland and Bangor said Tuesday they will continue to offer the temporary, emergency aid intended to help individuals and families who show financial need pay for housing, food and heat.

The Department of Health and Human Services formally notified cities and towns Monday that the state will no longer reimburse them for General Assistance to immigrants living in the country illegally and will begin auditing municipalities in October.

Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the move was made to comply with federal law and save about $1 million annually.

Critics of the move tell the Portland Press Herald it will create homelessness and hunger. "
{Ever hear of charity?}
http://www.breitb...migrants

Jun 29, 2014
""The majority of the American people want to see immigration reform done," Obama insisted during in June 27 interview with ABC's Good Morning America.

But there's no evidence for Obama's claim. Even among Democratic respondents, only 27 percent want increased immigration, said the Gallup survey of 1,027 respondents.

That's actually less than the percentage of Democrats who want it reduced, which is 32 percent, according to Gallup."
http://dailycalle...gration/

Jun 29, 2014
When President Reagan and Senator Ted Kennedy made millions of illegals legal, they promised us that that would be the end of that problem. And of course it only encouraged millions more to flood in. We cannot adsorb the poor from all the world, or even from all of Mexico. Please, we must be honest about this and act accordingly. No country can have open borders and remain a county. Our freedom's survival hangs in the balance.

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