Immigrants and Education

Migration remains a hot political topic in Europe and the United States. Immigration opponents often portray migrants as, among other things, poorly educated people who will become an economic burden on their new homelands. Look closer. (Full disclosure: Your Friday author is blessed to have married his way into a remarkable family who arrived in the US as immigrants.)


  • According to a recent Pew Research study, the average immigrant from sub-Saharan Africa has more years of education than the average citizen of the US or European community in which he or she settles. (Italy is the exception.) Nearly 70 percent of African immigrants over 25 who live in the US had some college experience.
  • Beyond Africans, a 2017 Pew Research study reported that a higher percentage (31 percent) of all immigrants to the US have either a university or graduate degree than do native-born Americans (30 percent).
  • The emphasis on education extends across generations. A 2015 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine found that a higher percentage of the children of college-educated immigrants earn graduate degrees and get top-tier jobs than the children of native-born Americans.
  • An important caveat: immigrant education levels vary considerably by region. Some 57 percent of immigrants from Mexico and 49 percent of immigrants from Central America have not graduated high school. The comparable figures are 13 percent from the Middle East, 11 percent from Europe and Canada, and 12 percent from Sub-Saharan Africa. Just 9 percent of US-born adults lack a high school degree.

Immigrants and their children can contribute more to their adopted countries and their economies than some seem to think.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?


Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

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In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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