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ERIC Number: ED513490
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 76
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Place to Call Home: What Immigrants Say Now about Life in America
Bittle, Scott; Rochkind, Jonathan
Public Agenda
Congress and the Bush administration tried to reform immigration policy in 2006 and failed. A year later they tried again, with no more success. The truth is that if this nation is going to overhaul immigration policy, it only makes sense to listen to the people who will be most affected by it: immigrants. To craft a just and practical policy, this nation needs to see America through the immigrant's eyes. That's what the authors hope to accomplish with this report, the follow-up to their pioneering 2002 survey of immigrants, "Now That I'm Here". In this report, they have extended their sampling to gain a more detailed view of Hispanics and Muslims. Findings of their survey reveal: (1) Overall, immigrants say they're quite satisfied with life in the United States, for themselves and their children. Discrimination against immigrants doesn't seem to be part of their daily lives, because while majorities say it exists, majorities also say they haven't experienced much discrimination personally. Right now, the biggest concern for immigrants is much the same as for native-born Americans: the economy and their own financial well-being; (2) Most immigrants say that they have become comfortable in the United States quickly, yet ties to their birth countries have become stronger since 2002, particularly among recent immigrants. Most of the immigrants the authors surveyed either were citizens already or were in the process of being naturalized. For most of them, citizenship was a practical step. So is learning to speak English, with most immigrants reporting that it is difficult to get ahead or keep a job without language skills; and (3) Although there are common themes among immigrants, certain groups do have unique perspectives. Mexican immigrants are more likely to say they're happy in the United States, but also significantly more likely to perceive discrimination against immigrants. They're also more likely to be lower-income and perhaps face more language barriers. Muslims, by contrast, are less likely to report discrimination and overwhelmingly more likely to say the United States will be their permanent home. (Contains 13 footnotes.) [This paper was written with Amber Ott and Paul Gasbarra. For the related report, "Now that I'm Here: What America's Immigrants Have To Say about Life in the U.S. Today", see ED473894.]
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Carnegie Corporation of New York
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda
Identifiers - Location: United States