Immigrants in the United States

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Immigration is the movement of people from one place to another, often across long distances and to different countries. It is motivated by a variety of factors, including economic and employment opportunities, a desire to live in a more prosperous or safe community, family reunification, climate or environmental change, the desire to gain education, or to escape poverty, conflict or persecution. Immigrants are an important part of the United States’ diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions to society in many sectors.

More than 14 million immigrants live in the U.S. today, making up 14% of the country’s population. They contribute to the economy in a wide range of industries, from agriculture and construction to high tech and health care. In addition to their workforce contributions, they are also active participants in our civic and cultural lives. The United States is a country built, in large part, by immigrants, and our society benefits from the energy, creativity, and values that they bring to their communities.

Immigrants are very diverse and hail from more than 150 countries. Their ages range from children to seniors, and their backgrounds, educational qualifications, languages spoken, incomes, and immigration statuses vary greatly. However, the vast majority of immigrants surveyed say that they would choose to move to the U.S. again, with the share who would do so rising by age, educational attainment, income, and race or ethnicity.

The biggest challenges and concerns facing many immigrants are related to finances and their ability to support themselves and their families. This is a major theme in focus group discussions with immigrants and their family members, as well. In fact, when asked to name the single biggest challenge or concern they face in their new country, three in four immigrants responded with a financial issue.

Finding a job is a common priority for many immigrants, and the first step is to understand how the American hiring system works. A good way to start is by networking with other immigrants who work in your field of interest. Look up the companies they work for and try to connect with them via LinkedIn. There are also some helpful government resources that can guide you through the process.

Having a good education is important for all children, but it’s particularly crucial for immigrant children. The education systems in many of the countries of origin for recent immigrants are not as strong as those of the United States, and many parents want their children to have a better opportunity in the U.S. Some also want to provide their children with a safe and healthy environment where they can thrive.

Getting around the city can be difficult for some, and access to affordable health care is critical. Immigrants are more likely to have health insurance than non-immigrants, and they are more likely to get treatment for serious illnesses. Immigrants are also less likely to be uninsured, and they tend to have higher life expectancy than non-immigrants.