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Rural Migration Blog

February 2019

Walls, Caravans, and the Mexico-US Border

President Trump allowed nine of the 15 federal agencies to close on December 22, 2018 after Congress refused to appropriate $5.7 billion for construction of a wall on the Mexico-US border. The result was a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in modern times; the previous longest shutdown lasted 21 days in 1995.

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Farm Labor Shortages

There are many complaints of farm labor shortages; Google returns over nine million links for “farm labor shortage.” Most are media reports quoting farmers who say they cannot recruit enough workers to harvest perishable commodities before they lose value. Surveys find that a third of growers would like to hire more workers.

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California: Higher Minimum Wages and Overtime

California's minimum wage rose to $12 an hour January 1, 2019 for employers with 26 or more workers, and will be $15 an hour for large employers after January 1, 2022. Some 2.3 million California workers earned less than $12 an hour in 2017.

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Immigration to Canada

Canada admitted 286,500 permanent residents in 2017, down from 286,400 in 2016. The immigrants admitted in 2017 included 56 percent in the economic stream, meaning that one member of the family achieved enough points to get an immigrant visa. Of the 159,300 points-test immigrants admitted in 2017, 57,800 arrived under the federal skilled worker program, 49,700 were provincial nominees, 22,300 were caregivers, and 29,500 were Quebec selections; Quebec selects its own immigrants.

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