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How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

As the various candidates for the office of President of the United States define themselves and throw their hat in the ring, we should probably take a good look at their position on the American workforce and the American workplace. Especially important will be how economic policy affects these two important areas of life–both the quality of life for most working families in the country and the quality of life at the community level as it relates to access to quality education and training for working families.

More via How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Economic Recession, Economic Recovery, Family Policy, Job Sector, Mortgages, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Economy, Polls and pollsters, Presidential Election, Public Policy, Unemployment, Vote, WeSeeReason

Emotional Intelligence must not be limited to academic punditry or entrepreneurial conquest … | LinkedIn

EQ Wordle Paul

We can all agree that extremely intelligent people can disagree and sometimes succumb to irrational feelings, misunderstandings and conflict. It is not enough to be smart. It is also important to get along with people, to understand them, and to express ourselves in pleasant ways that help us all get along.

We all at one time or another let our emotions carry us to places we thought we could never reach and some places and situations we never intended to be in. Emotions are an important part of our successes and failures and that includes the emotions that drive the actions of others who impact our journey. It is hard to imagine that learning to manage our emotions and to better understand the emotions of others is not an extremely desirable thing that we can pursue in a straightforward manner. But for many it is not. The concepts that cover this important topic, “emotional literacy” and “emotional competence” can be summarized in the operational definition of emotional intelligence.

Definition of Emotional Intelligence (EQ): “… the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. We posit that life tasks such as those described by Cantor and her colleagues and constructive thinking defined by Epstein are laden with affective information, that this affective information must be processed (perhaps differently than the cognitive information), and that individuals may differ in the skill with which they do so. Emotional intelligence is also a part of Gardner’s view of social intelligence, which he refers to as the personal intelligences. Like social intelligence, the personal intelligences (divided into inter- and intra­ personal intelligence) include knowledge about the self and about others. One aspect of the personal intelligence relates to feelings and is quite close to what we call “emotional intelligence.” John Mayer and Peter Salovey, 1990

Emotional intelligence (also known as “EQ”) is an idea that grew up in academia, was popularized on pop psychology shelves and, more recently, has been made useful in leadership development and organizational management circles. From its conception, it was juxtaposed to the idea of Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Its lofty intellectual beginnings notwithstanding, EQ has been embraced by so many for so many reasons that its early paradigmatic intentions may now be lost to the many.

If the intelligence scale we call “IQ” has been controversial, EQ has been equally misunderstood. Even if we can all agree on a definition and on appropriate applications of EQ theory, it’s behavioral health benefits cannot be implemented through quick short-term programs nor can it’s salutary outcomes be made sustainable without a significant transformation in our health education and K through 12 school educational systems. Many of the individuals, that could benefit from the competencies that learning and having good EQ promises, are neither fortunate enough to access the education nor in social circumstances conducive to self improvement pursuits. In a more mindful and egalitarian world, more complex ideas may achieve greater buoyancy and utility. EQ is no exception.

Popular ideas live in the minds of the many and, perhaps because of their simplicity and utility, become sustainable and prolific for both producers and consumers. The dilemma is, however, that society often needs ideas that are more complex in order to solve and address vexing modern problems. To Goleman’s credit, in part due to his efforts, EQ is being applied through his numerous consulting activities and, for example, in his supportive role helping to organize a set of conferences that led to the publication of a 1997 book by John Mayer and Peter Salovey (Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational Implications) addressing possible emotional intelligence and social skills applications to address child development and conflict resolution in school systems (the academic team that initially developed the “theory” that led to EQ as a useful framework for researching and teaching the role that emotions play in achieving personal, social, and organizational success). Aside from this collaboration, though, much of what is popularly understood about EQ has been disseminated through Goleman’s consulting and pop psychology success NYTs best seller style.

Academic ideas and constructs more often tend to be quite different from popular ideas. They differ in that their currency tends to require intellectual specialization, academic environments akin to monasteries, and individuals with a broad understanding of the numerous currents and variables that give academic products their place in the refereed conversation of the nation’s professorial ranks. Emotional intelligence is an important flashpoint for forces with differing origins yet, ideally, common destinations–thinking individuals wanting to promote social good and noble ends. Daniel Goleman and Adam Grant are two such forces; they are social communicative pundits in the ongoing tug of war that will define the proper and productive utility, and place, of emotional intelligence, as a leadership and workforce development concept. According to Grant, Goleman goes too far in trying to apply EQ to business intelligence, heretofore an area reserved for things more mathematical and tangible. Goleman has been given a professional home on the pages of the prestigious Harvard Business Review, an instrument of both Grant and Goleman’s alma matter. A key question would be: Is EQ being misapplied or is the environment where it needs to be applied unready for its heuristic promises? Given the challenges, faced or ignored, by today’s business and organizational leaders, can we afford to dismiss this popular tool?

Adam Grant published a provocative article on LinkedIn formulating a critique of Goleman’s more global approach to EQ. Unfortunately, Grant’s article includes academic claims and posturing that is clouded by his overall trivial tone. We need a greater focus on academic rigor and the pursuit of more robust theoretical constructs that can yield progress towards EQ program development and implementation, in the area of behavioral health, for example. This seriousness seems to be lacking at the present time–certainly in Grant’s article (

We may be exceedingly amazed to see academics, intellectuals, pundits, and intellectual entrepreneurs spar, in the marketplace of ideas, in order to promote their worth and place in the market. The debate seems omnipresent as it crosses many borders through the Harvard Business Review, on blogs, and here on LinkedIn. Certainly, Adam Grant steps into the breach and tries to hold Goleman to task for what he sees as academic obfuscation. Interestingly, he borders on ad hominem intentions and plain teasing. Perhaps Adam Grant is pandering to this electronic social media medium and finds such rhetorical tools necessary. Perhaps the conversation that is sought here with leaders understands that today’s leaders are not Plato’s philosopher kings. Indeed, Grant does not seem to see the business of management outside of specific emotional terrain so touchy feely as Goleman would. It is plain to see that Daniel Goleman’s place is secure, as the high priest of pop psychology, because his Ph.D. in Psychology and his perch on the NYTs allowed him to popularly run with the “EQ” concept and build an entrepreneurial empire which may outlive him and the rest of us. To be sure, the spoils from the ensuing popular media endeavors have favored Goleman’s lot, EQ’s intellectual forefathers have not similarly gained (John Mayer and Peter Salovey). This does not bode well for future intellectuals lacking entrepreneurial prowess. You will find Mr. Grant on LinkedIn though, promoting his intellectual wares; he’ll do just fine.

Interestingly, we can look at Salovey’s dissertation from way back in 1986 for the early intellectual ground from which the concept of EQ grew (P. Salovey, The Effects of Mood and Focus of Attention on Self-Relevant Thoughts and Helping Intention, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Yale University, 1986). We can also look at the role of popular psychology in our culture to find similar ground for Goleman’s efforts and success. Mayer and Salovey are the original promoters of the ideas and of the intellectual history which gave intellectual buoyancy to the concept. Daniel Goleman refers to his encounter with the work of these two men in a passing way and diminishes their importance by alluding to the lack of stature of the journal in which they published the original 1990 article “Emotional Intelligence.” Goleman has turned the work of these men into a cottage industry and his published retort to Grant shows his ability to popularly promote the term “EQ” in contrast to feebly defending it. Perhaps Goleman is safe behind the popularity curtain always protecting his wizard like reputation. Up and coming scholar, Adam Grant, rightly exposes Goleman’s use of the concept as less relevant outside the parameters of academic rigor and of the realms of possible scientific discipline and emotive applications. The academic trial only seems to be beginning, though, and the popular court is woefully incapable of sequestering an appropriate jury to reach a useful verdict that would bridge the cerebral gap between academic thinkers, intellectual entrepreneurs and the laboring rank and file. Given EQ’s arguably heuristic potential and the millions that are being made from its application or misapplication, we can’t have some thinking of it as business and the rest of us as “nobody’s business.”

The concept has grown to mean so many things to so many people that it now means specifically very little within the confines of academic, intellectual or theoretical query. Salovey and Mayer’s contributions to modern management and leadership are now popularly distant from their original rigorous work. The popular development of that work may possibly have obstructed the original potential of Salovey and Mayer’s ideas and constructs, further obfuscating the road to needed progressive managerial and leadership applications. Goleman has made it common coin and personal gain–neither being efforts which have contributed significantly in taking the concept further along its original intellectual journey; nor has it helped in the building of necessary theoretical constructs that can give us an applied framework that allows for clarity regarding how and when it is useful as a heuristic model for organizational, group, or individual purposes. To be sure, Goleman now makes these claims; but his arguments are devoid of the rigor evident in the original works of the real pioneers from which the potentially useful constructs originate.

Centuries have passed since the monastic catacombs of the original academy, with its religious literati and the ensuing work of the eventually enlightened philosophers and scientists. That is work that was preserved and discriminatingly shared through coveted books and into modernity. But all that has now changed and continues to change. Academia is only one voice in a cacophony of social and intellectual media now fueled by e-commerce and consumed on billions of instantaneous screens. Ideas are now increasingly, and literally, in the clouds, ubiquitous cannon fodder for daily consumption; their value and retention seems now to be more tethered to the common cause than to the lofty undertaking. Can you imagine that?

More via Emotional Intelligence must not be limited to academic punditry or entrepreneurial conquest … | LinkedIn.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Education Policy, Education Reform, Leadership, Literature & Literati, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Pundits, Social Media, Using Social Media, WeSeeReason

Ignore Emotional Intelligence at Your Own Risk – Claudio Fernández-Aráoz – Harvard Business Review

Understanding ourselves within the social and psychological context we share with those we interact with every day is vital for success in any social endeavor.  Emotional Intelligence or “EI” is an important theoretical framework for understanding the importance of mastering the motives and passions that we personally embrace and those of others we interact with within the context of working with and through others.  One way of looking at this social context is interpersonal communication.  Another is Emotional Intelligence; which is an important area of human behavior and psychology being developed and practiced by management and human resource gurus today.  The field has matured in terms of leading representatives whose ideas and constructs are grounded not only in sound research but the workshop of practice. This month’s Harvard Business Review has a useful article by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a leading practitioner.

“Call it Grant vs. Goleman. Two academic heavyweights face off on a topic that every student of leadership and HR cares — or at least hears — a lot about: emotional intelligence. Wharton professor Adam Grant kicks it off with a LinkedIn blog post, “Emotional Intelligence Is Overrated,” arguing that “it’s a mistake to base hiring or promotion decisions on it” and that “even in emotionally demanding work, when it comes to job performance, cognitive ability still proves more consequential than emotional intelligence.” Daniel Goleman, the psychologist credited with coining the term EI (and, full disclosure, a friend), issues his rebuttal, “Let’s Not Underrate Emotional Intelligence,” questioning the specific assessment of EI used by Grant, and referring to the various studies conducted by “The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence.” And the comments fly.”

More via Ignore Emotional Intelligence at Your Own Risk – Claudio Fernández-Aráoz – Harvard Business Review.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Culture Think, Pop-Psychology, WeSeeReason

FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals

American immigration enforcement is necessary.  It’s goals and means at the present time may need reforming though.

Fueled by fear and political opportunity in the aftermath of the post 911 decade, this policy went into full force in 2010, despite the fact that so called “illegal immigration” had significantly tapered off.  The Obama administration, nevertheless, went full force ahead with this policy to appease popular fears and to give a sense of being tough on crime and of being pro national security.  It is clear that the affect of the current immigration policy is disproportionately falling on the Latino immigrants.  It is also labeling them criminals.  THIS POLICY MOST BE REASSESSED… In light of the hardships that illegal immigration causes for men and families running away from political, economic stress or toward the pull of the American dream, and the problems that it causes for an America whose labor markets have been themselves greatly stressed by the long, deep and lingering national recession, perhaps we need to take a good long look at how America is investing in its labor force and how it might better integrate and recruit needed talent from its neighbors to the south.  America will continue to age at an alarming baby boomer pace, by the time we hear all the reports of the “unintended consequences” of the current skewed immigration policy it may be too late.

The report fails to mention the nearly 12 million people who are not in the country legally.  According to the report only a fraction of this number (368,644) were removed, or deported, from our country.  The report fails to discuss the apparent problem that this policy is disproportionately affecting Hispanic immigrants.  For example, according to the PEW Foundation’s Hispanic Center:

“About three-quarters (76%) of the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population are Hispanics. The majority of undocumented immigrants (59%) are from Mexico, numbering 7 million. Significant regional sources of unauthorized immigrants include Asia (11%), Central America (11%), South America (7%), the Caribbean (4%) and the Middle East (less than 2%).” Source: 

People from Asia, for example, are underrepresented in the ICE immigration dragnet.  The connection to immigration from the Eastern European former soviet block and Russian gangs, for example, is also missing from the national security report.  Although we should not paint former Soviet block countries with a broad brush, the absence of many other groups from the demographics of this dragnet needs closer examination.

According to the most recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report, the principle investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “ICE has prioritized its limited resources on the identification and removal of criminal aliens and those apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.”

The data provided by ICE shows that most of the immigrants being affected by this policy are involved with the criminal justice system or are coming across our southern border from a handful of Latin American countries (see table 1 below).  Coming across the border without appropriate immigration paperwork is itself a violation of our national laws.

Table 1 – The Latino Immigration Dragnet (by the Policy ThinkShop)

FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals

The Policy ThinkShop provides this convenient link for easy access to the full ICE report:

“In executing these responsibilities, ICE has prioritized its limited resources on the identification and removal of criminal aliens and those apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States. This report provides an overview of ICE Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 civil immigration enforcement and removal operations:

In FY 2013:

ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals.

ICE conducted 133,551 removals of individuals apprehended in the interior of the U.S.

82 percent of all interior removals had been previously convicted of a crime.

ICE conducted 235,093 removals of individuals apprehended along our borders while attempting to unlawfully enter the U.S. 1

59 percent of all ICE removals, a total of 216,810, had been previously convicted of a crime.

ICE apprehended and removed 110,115 criminals removed from the interior of the U.S.

ICE removed 106,695 criminals apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the U.S.

98 percent of all ICE FY 2013 removals, a total of 360,313, met one or more of ICE’s stated civil immigration enforcement priorities. 2

Of the 151,834 removals of individuals without a criminal conviction, 84 percent, or 128,398, were apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the U.S. and 95 percent fell within one of ICE’s stated immigration enforcement priorities. 3

The leading countries of origin for those removed were Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.”

More via FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals.

Filed under: Asian, Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Discrimination, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, Latin American Alliances, Latinos, New American Electorate, News, Political Facts and Fiction, Public Policy, symbolic uses of politics, WeSeeReason

The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World. –

The business world is always selling us something.  And thank God!  

Buying and selling is a huge part of our culture.  Measuring the value of what we own and what that means to us and those around us is also central to our social experience and identity.  America is about progress and the pursuit of happiness is at its very essence; we must always strive to have things and be places.  Understanding our place in the American social hierarchy  may not be as simple as counting our possessions though.  We are all Americans but we are not all equal–not even close.  Being an American is real.  But what about the so called “Middle Class”?  Have you seen it?  Do you possess a piece of it?  Are you standing in it?  If you can make a good argument that you are in it, will your children share as lofty an address?

Today’s NYTs clamors about yet another elusive metaphor that we have lived by: The Middle Class.  Illusive and metaphor because we cannot be sure if it really ever existed, at least not in all its Hollywood and public media glory.  Like the nuclear family propelled and burned into the public mind by popular TV shows like “Father Knows Best,” the middle class is a very inclusive category which most Americans strive to get into;  and yet another very important segment labors to stay above and beyond it (including today’s infamous top 1%).

For hundreds of years the extended family and agrarian life dominated gender relations, work, time and leisure.    The modern middle class and Levittowns (Levittown was the first suburb and is considered the “archetype” for America’s suburbs America’s.) are an economic creation buttressed by Hollywood and Madison Avenue cultures.  The Nuclear family of “Mom, DAD and Children,” can be similarly understood as an ideal.   Nevertheless, in perhaps a nostalgic way, today’s popular media considers the Middle Class in danger of disappearing, if nothing else, from our imaginations.  In historical terms the middle class was here for about a relative minute.  Gone so soon?

“In Manhattan, the upscale clothing retailer Barneys will replace the bankrupt discounter Loehmann’s, whose Chelsea store closes in a few weeks. Across the country, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants are struggling, while fine-dining chains like Capital Grille are thriving. And at General Electric, the increase in demand for high-end dishwashers and refrigerators dwarfs sales growth of mass-market models.”

via The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World. –

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Culture Think, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Economic Recession, Economic Recovery, Education Policy, Education Reform, New American Electorate, News, Parenting, Philanthropy, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Economy, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, WeSeeReason

The Policy ThinkShop Policy Team Comments on Health insurance: The Obamacare software mess | The Economist

Given today’s liberalization of news information, few bastions remain where one can sift through the cacophony of media bites and babble to form an educated

opinion or assess an educated risk. The Economist is failing in this regard on the American debate on healthcare reform–The Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare reform in America is a struggle for power and wealth at the increasingly small American top and a life and death struggle for most of the people below.

If we loose respected journals like the Economist in these times of mass information as intellectual fodder for the masses, we will be left without an intellectual meeting place where concerned minds can gather to contemplate benchmarks and directions. Regarding The Affordable Care Act debate in America, not only has the current president failed to sell and communicate the important of ACA implementation, he has once again betrayed the needs of the many for the expedient and self serving calculus of preserving power and status by appealing to an imaginary center–not too different here from the pragmatic Bill Clinton on Welfare Reform. But we digress.

The Economist has been a reliable source for decades as it has proven to be an \”objective\” source of information on the complex world stage. It\’s recent coverage of the American scene, however, requires vision and focus if it is going to support the journal\’s reputation as one of the few sources that our college professors respected that were not refereed journals.

The headline of the above story, \”The Obamacare sofware mess,\” is as semantically charged as it is irrelevant to any of the public policy issues raised by a serious American healthcare market debate addressing the important issue of how healthcare is distributed, facilitated or accessed by people in need of healthcare services.

Semantics: The term \”Obamacare\” plays directly into the divisive and charged narrative that portrays the healthcare debate in America as a tug of war between an \”evil and un-American\” president and American freedom. The framing of the current full court press, by conservatives, to obstruct the American president, at all at all costs, and the popular will of a democracy, is akin to saying that Churchill failed to stop Hitler sooner or to foresee the costs of settling with Stalin because of his neonatally determined speech impediment. It is academically irresponsible and intellectually dishonest, at least on the pages of this fine journal, to stain this usually intellectually rigorous space with narratives that are more appropriate in pop news sources that entertain people who are looking to reinforce their own deeply held biases and/or myopic political world views.

The Economics has been a leading world source of factual information relevant to the business of serious policy discourse and sober business leadership.

The foregoing comments are submitted on behalf of the Policy ThinkShop blogging team.

As a not for profit, non partisan source of policy analysis and conversation, we rely heavily on sources like the Economist to promote reason and thoughtful

conversation on all things public policy….

Please reconsider your use of the American public policy discourse and reflect on your use of language to add to and further support our current cacophony of obstructionism and self promoting pragmatism in the pursuit of popular power and further public policy noise…


The Policy ThinkShop Policy Team

via Comments on Health insurance: The Obamacare software mess | The Economist.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, European Alliances, Government Works?, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, ideology, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Medicaid Expansion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Media, Software and Hardware Change, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, Technology and You, WeSeeReason

The role of diversity in Corporate Communications — Current PR and Communications Research: Public Relations Journal: PRSA

Public relations includes the ability of an organization to communicate with many diverse publics.  This communication challenge requires special skills and competencies possessed by professionals who either received extensive training in these skills and competencies or have a combination of training and experience that exposed them to the requisite knowhow.   A collective deployment of these competencies through teamwork and organizational workforce development and leadership training initiatives can lead to the organization itself achieving a measure of competence in the area of effective public relations when dealing with diverse publics.  The following journal article addresses the current reality that diversity is no longer a choice organizations can consider but a fact of life they must learn to manage if they are going to be supreme.

Policy ThinkShop resources you can count on:

You can download the entire journal article at the following ThinkShop link …

“In recent years, diversity has been one of the prominent issues that companies have addressed on their Web sites. Yet, few studies have investigated public relations efforts on diversity communication via corporate Web sites. Using S&P 500 companies as a sample, this study examined how corporate-level public relations efforts position diversity in Web communication with the public. The results of this study suggest that diversity communication on the S&P Web sites reflected a diversity management paradigm, positioning diversity as requisite variety and competitive advantage. Occasionally, diversity was linked to corporate social responsibility. Based on the results, this article argues that, beyond requisite variety or moral responsibility, diversity should be conceptualized as a core company value established through dialogue.”

MORE via Current PR and Communications Research: Public Relations Journal: PRSA.

Filed under: Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, language and public relations, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Policy, WeSeeReason, ,

Prison reform: An unlikely alliance of left and right | The Economist

How can we square the fact that we are the number one nation in the world in the number of people we put in prison, that an African American male is more likely to end up in jail in today’s America than he would have been under South Africa’s Apartheid regime?  According to the London Economist, China is a distant second in number of people incarcerated despite its significantly larger population.

This facts serve to put into perspective the real and urgent need to reform our “crime and punishment” system.  It is simply too expensive and the statistics clearly show that affects Americans from different communities in disproportionate fashion.

Historically, crime and punishment have been an ongoing challenge for all empires and for all leaders.  American is miserably failing in this regard and we can’t afford to continue down this path of wasting human life in a criminal justice system that is a revolving door with little accountability and without rational goals that serve society as a whole.

What will it take to get America to invest in its young in the areas of education, job training and re-training and, frankly, in a more robust and inclusive view of an America that invests in its most challenged urban and rural areas with a view to the future?  Prison reform could yield a significant downpayment on new more enlightened policies that could bring together both sides of the isle for the sake of millions of families and young people.

“ERIC HOLDER and Rick Perry (pictured) have little in common. America’s attorney-general is black, liberal and uses the word “community” a lot. The governor of Texas is white, conservative and says “God” a lot. Last month Mr Holder’s Justice Department sued Texas for allegedly trying to make it harder for blacks to vote. Last year Mr Perry ran to unseat Mr Holder’s boss, Barack Obama.

On one thing, however, the two men agree. On August 12th Mr Holder said: “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law-enforcement reason.” He then unveiled reforms to reduce the number of people sent to America’s …”

MORE via Prison reform: An unlikely alliance of left and right | The Economist.

Filed under: African American, Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Discrimination, Guns on our streets, Minority Males, News, Parenting, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Economy, Public Policy, Unemployment, WeSeeReason, , , ,

If they could, how many unauthorized immigrants would become U.S. citizens? | Pew Research Center

One of the key constructs of American immigration policy is family.  When people request entry into our country their immediate family members are given priority.  This reflects one of the most basic values of our American community.  When it comes to people who have come here via non sanctioned immigration routes, the policy is no longer applicable.  And there in lies the rub–the policy has not worked very well over the past few decades …  Even as we try to piece together four decades of uncontrolled immigration and broken immigration policy, we are still not clear about how September 11th and the recent deep recession are transforming who we are.  Now immigration policy is tearing at our fabric…

The American dream, even “What is America?”, hangs in the balance as the Nation decides what to do with 40 million immigrants to this land.  The act of becoming a U.S. citizen is increasingly under a public microscope of political scrutiny.  The lens through which we see immigrants today is increasingly made more opaque by the currently divided American polity, and the fear and controversy brewing over our National borders.

As the country struggles with economic recessions, NSA scandals, the aftermath of homeland terrorism, and crisis in its educational, incarceration and healthcare systems, it is not in a generous mood to take in the world’s huddled masses yearning to be free.

“As Congress debates a comprehensive immigration bill, one key element under consideration is whether to offer a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants. If a bill were to pass including such a provision, how many would take advantage of the opportunity?

The answer is of course speculative. The Pew Hispanic Center has conducted surveys and analyses of government data that offer some insights – but not all of them point in the same direction.

A survey we conducted in 2012 found that more than nine-in-ten (93%) Hispanic immigrants who are not citizens said they would like to become a U.S. citizen. This was true both for those who are legal permanent residents (96%) and for those who aren’t (92%). The vast majority in the latter group is in the country illegally.

Despite this near universal expression of a desire for citizenship, our analysis of government data shows that a majority of Hispanic immigrants who are eligible to seek citizenship have not yet taken the opportunity to do so. Only 46% of Hispanic immigrants eligible to naturalize (become citizens) have, compared with 71% percent of all immigrants who are not Hispanic and are eligible to naturalize. The naturalization rate is particularly low among the largest group of Hispanic immigrants – Mexicans – among whom just 36% have naturalized.

Our 2012 survey also found that the reasons most often cited for not seeking citizenship were not speaking English (as required by a citizenship test), not being able to afford it (it costs $680 to apply for citizenship), and just not yet having gotten around to trying.”

More via If they could, how many unauthorized immigrants would become U.S. citizens? | Pew Research Center.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Demographic Change, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, New American Electorate, News, Public Policy, WeSeeReason

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Policy ThinkShop: “THINK TOGETHER”

"Policy is codified knowledge that stands as a universal guide for social action. Public policy is shaped by those who know and who act on that knowledge. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."
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