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4M U.S. Hispanics Would Migrate Permanently

 WASHINGTON - A newly released Gallup study of U.S. Hispanics reveals that more than one in seven -- or an estimated 4 million adults -- would leave the U.S. permanently if they had the opportunity. A slim majority (52%) say they would like to move to a Latin American country, including nearly a third (32%) who would like to relocate to Mexico. A sizable minority -- or nearly 2 million adults -- would like to move to places such as Canada (8%), Spain (8%), the United Kingdom (5%), and other non-Latin American countries.

HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY

These results are based on interviews conducted in 2009 with adults of Hispanic origin or descent who reside permanently in the continental United States. Gallup has also studied adults' migration desires in 147 other countries since 2007 and finds similarities and differences among the desires of U.S. Hispanics and those of the U.S. general population and Latin Americans.

The 15% of U.S. Hispanics who say they would like to move to another country permanently if they could is higher than the 10% of Americans nationwide who say the same and lower than the 22% of would-be migrants in Latin America. The desire to migrate is slightly more pronounced among U.S. Hispanics born outside the U.S. (18%) and more in line with the level of desire measured in Latin America. The 12% of U.S.-born Hispanics who would like to move aligns more with U.S. adults overall.

HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY

Several of the top desired destinations among Hispanic potential migrants in the United States, such as Canada and Spain, are the same top desired destinations for potential migrants in Latin America. U.S. Hispanics, of course, already live in the No. 1 desired destination for potential migrants from Latin America.

Potential Migrants Less Integrated; Worse Off Economically

U.S. Hispanics who would like to migrate are caught between two worlds. Gallup's data show they are less integrated than those who don't want to migrate -- they're more likely to feel good only among other Hispanics, feel more discriminated against, and are less likely to speak English well. They not only experience more cultural tension, but also seem to be doing worse off economically, particularly with regard to their ability to afford healthcare for themselves and their families. Further, U.S. Hispanics who would like to migrate are more likely to say they have sent remittances back home in the past 12 months and are less optimistic about the future possibility of increasing or maintaining the amount of these remittances.

HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY

And, although they live in the land of the free, U.S. Hispanics who would like to migrate are less likely to feel that they are enjoying this benefit. While 91% of those who do not wish to migrate are satisfied with the freedom they have to choose what they do with their lives, 77% of would-be migrants say the same.

Bottom Line

Gallup's survey suggests that U.S. Hispanics who would like to migrate are more likely to be struggling, foreign-born residents who are ready to give up the American dream and move home or try again somewhere else. These findings not only have implications on the national debate about immigration reform in the United States, but also on the immigration policies and economies of other countries to which these potential migrants would like to move.


STORY TAGS: HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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