Dominican Immigrants in the U.S.: Poverty, Education and Welfare
I came across this report a while back, and decided it might be good to share:
Immigrants in the United States, 2007: A profile of America's Foreign-Born Population | Center for Immigration Studies
It's from the Center for Immigration Studies, and is called: Immigrants in the United States, 2007: A profile of America's Foreign-Born Population
It offers an objective, statistical and methodologically sound insight into legal and illegal foreign-born people in the U.S., and specifically there are some very interesting findings about Dominican immigrants.
Here are some of the Dominican-related highlights that I have pulled from it:
-The DR as a country ranks 10th in the quantity (not percentage of population) of immigrants living in the U.S.
-Of the "top 25" countries that are covered in the report, the DR ranks last for the percent of immigrants that are "self-employed" (5.1%)
-The Dominican immigrants are the group that is most likely to live in poverty (27.9%), and when considering Dominican immigrants with children it's even higher (31.2%)
-27.9% of Dominican immigrants live in poverty vs 17.8% for Haitian
-Dominican immigrants are more likely to have their own health insurance coverage than other Hispanic immigrants and all immigrants in general
-Dominican immigrants have the highest usage of any group in the "top 25" of usage of "means-tested programs" (aka welfare), with 63% getting some type of public assistance (38.8% of Haitians use it)
-38% of Dominican immigrants have below a high school education, while 10% have a college degree or higher (for Haitians it's 17.6% / 23.8%)
One of the conclusions from the report:
"The current immigration system allows most legal immigrants into the country through family re-unification channels primarily based on whether they have a relative here. This fact, coupled with widespread tolerance of illegal immigration, means the foreign-born population as a whole is much less educated than the native-born population. Given the nature of the modern American economy and the existence of a well-developed welfare state, it seems unavoidable that less-educated immigrants will tend to have lower incomes, make heavier use of means-tested programs, and be more likely to lack health insurance than natives."
So, perhaps common sense would say that lower education = more likely to be poor = more likely to use welfare.
But that's not true for the Dominicans. They don't fare the worst for education, and then they lead some of the countries whose immigrants are "less educated" than they are by some 20% in use of of public means-tested programs (welfare).
What do you think about the report? Can you get anything else out of it?
What cultural, social or policy-level factors, either in the DR or the US, could contribute to the Dominicans being the poorest and highest users of welfare?
Please support your posts with data from this report, other research, the census, etc. and NOT your own, a friend's or family member's personal experiences or observations. There are always exceptions, good and bad, but I am hoping for a more objective and evidence-based analysis of Dominican immigrants in the U.S.
P.S.-I mentioned some Haiti stats to show that the poorer the country the immigrant comes from does not mean the poorer the immigrant in the U.S. There must be some cultural, social or policy influences at work.
Unless you live abroad I'm surprised you are surprised about these data. Most Haitians that immigrate have a higher education. The same is true about their migration to DR. If you watch what happens in our barrios, a huge number of apartments being rented to Haitians are high school and college students. Perhaps one of the reasons only 5.1% Dominicans are self employed is because is very hard to sell yanikekes and drive around in a clunker truck selling vegetables with a noisy loudspeaker. That's what is called "small businesses" in DR and the new PYMES. When Dominicans first arrived in New York in big droves in the 60's they noted inmediately how Puerto Ricans(Newyoricans) could support their families in PR and in the U.S. by just having children and applying to welfare. Not knowing the language and finding poor job opportunities they enlisted in the welfare programs and food stamps. Now the welfare program has become a double welfare, because it helps to fuel the Dominican welfare living style of thousand who live in DR waiting for their welfare piece of the pie from New York. That's why you see so many able bodied men playing dominoes everyday early in the morning.
For now all I can say is "embarrassing". Oh, and since I have my own business I wonder who are the other 4.1 guys.
Originally Posted by minerva_feliz
Not necessarily, Minerva is not ranting or trying to offend anybody, she is just objectively posting a very interesting information, which by the way is going to help me settle some very old argument I have with friends here in the State. We Dominicans, for some unknown reason think too high of ourselves, the time could not be more right for a reality check.
Originally Posted by windeguy
Thank you so much for the post. It is nice to see that what I have been seeing and feeling in my job and what I have been being told by Americans who live in the US full time, is not just a crock of crap in our heads.
Wow, how embarrasing, but not surprising.
Most car accidents happen within 10 miles of your home. Are you moving?
Originally Posted by Vacara
Originally Posted by Vacara
Vacara - what inspired you into becoming a thinker / reader / writer?
To take part in debates?
Could the same be done for all Dominicans?
embarrassing but not surprising what with the culture of being "el mas vivo". in other words, if its there to be taken, ima take it. im gonna say its a part of our culture that needs some serious revamping. its doing us no good, as it also fuels the corruption that plagues us.
A very important point for that same source Minerva:
I believe the lack of education or knowledge of the English language, force them to get low skilled low payed jobs, of which they can't make end meets and have to apply for welfare. There is also the lack of compatibility and recognition of DR universities in the USA, as there a LOT of DR lawyers driving black taxis in NY, or doing some other low skill type of job. The same happens if you are a doctor (now they are starting to recognize the UASD and UNIBE titles in the states), or an accountant.
Most immigrant households have at least one worker. We estimate that 82 percent of immigrant households have at least one worker compared to 73 percent of native households. But this in no way means they will not use the welfare system because that system is increasingly designed to provide assistance to low-income workers with children, a description of immigrant families given their education levels and relatively high fertility. In fact, a worker is present in 78 percent of immigrant households using at least one welfare program. For native households it’s 62 percent. Most immigrants work, but this does not make them self-sufficient.
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