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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

“Merit-Based” Immigration: Designing Successful Selection Systems

The U.S. administration is calling for the United States to adopt a more “merit-based” immigrant selection system, looking to Canada and Australia as potential models. An immigration proposal under consideration by the administration would adjust the composition of legal immigration, giving greater preference to skills over family ties. Much of the advanced industrial world—from Germany and the European Union to China and other Asian states—is also grappling with how best to attract and retain highly skilled immigrant workers as a means of enhancing human capital and economic competitiveness.

The conversation between Jean-Christophe Dumont, Head of the International Migration Division at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Migration Policy Institute (MPI) President Emeritus Demetrios G. Papademetriou focused on what policymakers should consider in designing—and managing—immigrant selection systems in a time of intense labor-market and demographic change. The discussion relied on recent MPI and OECD research on this topic, focusing primarily on the Canadian and Australian selection systems. MPI’s Julia Gelatt commented on the conversation from a U.S. policy perspective, discussing how lessons from abroad could apply to the United States.

A Mirror for the Nation? The Changing Profile of Mexican Immigrants in Texas

Posted in US Immigration Policy by migrationpolicy on May 9th, 2019

While much of the U.S. debate on immigration from Mexico has focused on low-skilled immigrants, recent data suggest that the share of college-educated immigrants among recent Mexican arrivals is rising considerably. Texas is home to the second-largest U.S. population of highly skilled Mexican immigrants, a reflection of its proximity and deep economic ties to Mexico.

At this discussion experts from MPI and Southern Methodist University’s Texas-Mexico Center offer an overview of trends and key characteristics of highly skilled Mexican adults at the national level and for Texas, including educational levels by legal status and demographic differences and top industries of employment across Texas metro areas. The panelists engaged in a discussion on what these findings mean for Texas and its metro areas, causes behind the changing trends, and implications for immigration policy. They also examine the opportunities that addressing “brain waste”—the underutilization of college graduates’ skills—presents for the Texas economy and more broadly for the nation.         

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