2012-13 Annual Report

This is the 2012-13 report of the activities of the Gifford Center for Population Studies. Director Philip Martin accepted a five-year term effective July 1, 2012, and this report outlines Gifford interdisciplinary research and dissemination programs in 2012-13that assessed the impacts of population growth, including fertility, mortality, and migration, on a wide range of factors, from climate systems to labor markets.

There were three major Gifford Center conferences and three faculty-student workshops in 2012-13. The quarterly newsletter-journals Migration News and Rural Migration News were produced with the support of the Gifford Center. More information on the events and workshops is available at the Gifford Center web site.

Conferences

Gifford Center conferences include Distinguished Speakers and events featuring UC professors, graduate students, and non-UC participants.

November 8-9, 2012

The Gifford Center hosted Distinguished Speaker Joe Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division and editor of International Migration Review, to discuss Population and Migration Issues in the 21st Century. In addition to talks in several classes, Chamie gave a lively public talk that highlighted growing demographic inequalities between countries fast-growing and shrinking nations. He discussed the options to stabilize populations in the almost 50 countries that have below-replacement fertility, including encouraging migration.

November 16, 2012

A quarter of the 40 million foreign-born US residents are unauthorized, and a panel of UC professors addressed 60+ faculty and students on the immigration reform options being debated in Congress. The discussion centered on the three key elements included in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S 744), viz, (1) more fences and agents on the Mexico-US border and a requirement that all employers use DHS's E-Verify system to check the legal status of new hires; (2) a 13-year path to US citizenship for unauthorized foreigners who arrived in the US before December 31, 2011 and remained "continuously since" their arrival; and (3) new guest worker programs for low-skilled farm and nonfarm workers and significant increases in the number of H-1B visas available to foreigners with college degrees coming to the US to fill jobs that require such degrees.

April 18-19, 2013

This conference assessed the usefulness of expert commissions to improve migration policy making. Britain has had a Migration Advisory Commission since 2008, and most US immigration reform proposals include commissions to assess labor market, demographic, and other data to provide advice or set quotas on the number of immigrants and temporary foreign workers admitted. The discussion emphasized that expert commissions can carefully analyze labor market and other data, but they cannot escape the need to make value judgments, such as deciding exactly what level of a top-down indicator such as wage growth indicates a labor-short occupation.

Workshops

The UCD Gifford Migration Workgroup brings UCD graduate students and faculty together in an interdisciplinary setting to discuss migration-related research. 

November 15, 2013

This workshop featured papers discussing the evaluation of degrees earned outside the US by US employers and the determinants of readmission agreements in Europe, where some governments have difficulty returning unauthorized foreigners and rejected asylum seekers.

January 24, 2013

This workshop featured papers that examined how perceptions of public institutions affected individual propensities to emigrate from Latin American countries. The second paper examined the ways in which the migration impacts of climate change are discussed in the US and elsewhere, noting that there is often (1) an incentive to exaggerate the potential migration from climate change and (2) it is often hard to separate climate change from other factors that prompt migration.

February 28, 2013

This workshop featured papers that examined the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) program ordered by President Obama in June 2012 that allows an estimated 1.3 million unauthorized foreigners who are at least 15 and under 31, arrived in the US before age 16, and have been in the US at least five years to pay $465 for a two-year work permit. The second paper examined the benefits and costs of people moving to protected areas of Tanzania to receive benefits associated with international conservation efforts, and the third assessed the degree of integration of Indian Bengalis and Sikhs in the San Francisco area.

Migration News and Rural Migration News

These quarterly newsletter-journals, each about 20,000 words and published in mid-January, April, July, and October, provide a summary and analysis of the most important migration issues globally and in rural and agricultural areas of the US.  Migration News covers migration developments in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world, analyzing both policy and research developments. Rural Migration News covers developments in rural and agricultural areas of the US, with a special focus on farm labor, immigration, and more general agricultural issues.

Budget

There are two Gifford accounts, 3-GIFFINA (student support) and 3-GIFENDO (program support). Spending exceeded the amounts generated by these endowments in the years before Martin became director, prompting a conservative approach to 2012-13 spending. We were able to obtain matching support for several of the conferences, reducing the need for Gifford funds.