This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sorting Out the Immigration Complexities

The immigration issue in the U.S. is currently a mess, and the New York Times has a very nice video clip that tries to provide a one-minute university on what's going on. They title it "The Immigration Debate's Twin Issues" and I encourage you to take a look since it really is only one minute. The main points are that (a) the expenses associated with unaccompanied minors when they cross into the U.S. without documents are derived from a bill signed by Pres. Bush in 2008 just before his term ended. The goal was to try to keep kids entering from elsewhere than Mexico or Canada from becoming real victims; and (b) Speaker of the House Boehner has decided that Congress will not move forward on immigration reform that could deal with this and other aspects of immigration.

A major missing element, however, is that much of the clamor over recent immigrants has to do with women who are bringing their children across the border, rather than the unaccompanied minors. These two related, but still different parts of the immigration problem are constantly conflated in the news coverage, but they have very policy implications. Very few of these problems can be solved without money, and the news seems to be full of Republican Members of Congress saying that they aren't interested in spending money on immigrants. Instead, they seem disingenously just to want to blame the Obama Administration for what's happening.

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