Pew Survey finds results

I don’t know why I’d expect a summary of survey results to actually have something intereesting in it, but I guess that’s a bi-product of something that reads as if it was written by committee.

Latino immigrants who have been in the U.S. for decades and those who arrived as children are less connected than those who arrived more recently or migrated as adults. There are also significant differences by country of origin, with Colombians and Dominicans maintaining more active connections than Mexicans, and with Cubans having the least contact.

Somday, I wish a complete report like this would be available online in HTML, not as a file cryptically name 80.pdf.  There are some interesting key finding within the report. "     The share making trips in the recent past is higher among immigrants with long tenure than among the recent arrivals. Acquiring U.S. citizenship, which is more common among those with more years of residence, is associated with higher levels of recent travel." I guess thats a key finding, but is it that surprising?  Recent arrivals are less likely to be able to afford a trip back, or if they are here illegaly, would not risk travelling and having to cross again.  This is a behavior that will be reinforced and compounded the harder immigration opponents try to make border crossing.  In fact, its one reason why the immigrant population has grown over the last 20 years, migrant workers who once returned South after working have been forced to stay in the US permanently rather than undertaking an ever-riskier border crossing.

Another fascinating finding, is that the longer immigrants stay here the more likely the describe themselves as American (56% of those here 30-39 years), plan to stay (73% of those those here 20-29 years, up to 96% of those 40+ years here), and less likley to consider their country of birth as real homelan (only 38% of those here 20-29 years).

Am I knocking this survey – maybe a bit.  But it does provide very useful, quantified information, about how attached latino immigrants are to their country, and points out that the longer the stay in the US the less attached, some would call that "assimilated", they become.  If you look at the report, skip the summary and executive summary, check out the data, and read the more interesting conclusions at the end.

The long-term trend, however, is toward a steadily deepening commitment to the U.S. Phone calls, travel, remittances—the three major transnational activities— start off high, but all fall off among those who have been in the U.S. for longer periods of time. By contrast, attachment to this country is strong among recent arrivals and then rises among the long-term immigrants. Even among immigrants living in the U.S. for less than 10 years, more than half are planning to stay for good and a similar proportion report that the U.S. is the locus of their political and social concerns. Levels of attachment are stronger still among more established residents.