2008 Immigration Trend 1/2

Posted on January 20, 2008 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

US Immigration Trend in 2008 1/2

In a blink, two weeks of 2008 have passed.  In order to have a correct analysis of the US immigration trend, we need to have an overall understanding of the US economy and politics.  Although we are just at the beginning of 2008, we can say with confidence that 2008 will turn out to be a challenging year for most immigrants in the US and immigrants who are looking to come to the US.

In regards to the outlook of the US economy in 2008, it is very unlikely that the US can avoid a recession in 2008.  The only question is how long it will last and how deep it will be.  The current economic slowdown started from the real estate market.  Last year, the subprime mortgage crisis began to break out, and it quickly worsened.  It gave a heavy blow to subprime mortgage companies and other mortgage lending companies nationwide.  Moreover, it brought heavy losses to big banks and investment companies.  Merrill Lynch reported a loss of $8.4 billion in the subprime mortgage area.  Citibank reported loss of $3.5 billion, with a profit drop of 57%.  Morgan Stanley reported a loss of $8.4 billion, with a profit drop of 57%.  Bank of America reported a loss of $1.33 billion, with a profit drop of 93%.  Bear Stearns reported loss of $200 million, with a profit drop of 61%, after it closed two subprime mortgage funds which had $16 billion during more prosperous times.  The second largest mortgage company, Freddie Mac, declared a loss about $2 billion, which is the biggest loss recorded in its history.

In order to prevent the subprime mortgage crisis from spreading to the real economy and hurting economic growth, the Feds have rushed to cut interest rates since the second half of last year.  Nevertheless, due to the concerns of rising inflation, the Feds have been hesitating in cutting the rates aggressively.  Moreover, by looking at the actions taken by the Feds in dealing with the subprime mortgage crisis, we can see clearly that they have underestimated the impact of this crisis and have failed to recognize the real causes of the crisis.  As Bill Gross, the “King of Bonds”, said, “What the Feds are facing is not a subprime mortgage crisis, but a crisis of the modern financial system; it is not a problem of liquidity, but a crisis of the credit system in the financial industry.”  Although current official data shows that the US economy is still growing, data from the field shows that the economy has come into a recession that will last for a considerable amount of time.  As a result, it is said that the Bush administration is considering several emergency fiscal measures to support the economy, the top one being a tax cut.

In the history of US immigration law, whenever the US economy faces a recession, anti-immigration sentiments have increased.  Thus, in view of the current status of the US economy and where it is going, we will see little relief or reform in the immigration areas in 2008, even though in certain areas like H1B, proposals have been made to increase the quota.

In summary, 2008 will be a tough year for immigrants in the US.

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