August 15, 2002
Middle Eastern immigration

Somewhere along the line since I started blogging, I started receiving email from Center for Immigration Studies. I'm not exactly sure how they came to get my email address, but at least the mail they send me is interesting. Today in the inbox is a link to this overview of Middle Eastern immigrants in the US. A few of the bullet points they highlighted in the email:

  • Middle Easterners are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in America. While the size of the overall immigrant population (legal and illegal) has tripled since 1970, the number of immigrants from the Middle East has grown more than seven-fold, from fewer than 200,000 in 1970 to nearly 1.5 million in 2000.

  • The INS last estimated that 150,000, or about 10 percent, of Middle Eastern immigrants are illegal aliens. Preliminary Census Bureau estimates show a similar number.

  • Assuming no change in U.S. immigration policy, 1.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) from the Middle East are projected to settle in the United States by 2010, and the total Middle Eastern immigrant population will grow to about 2.5 million.

  • These figures do not include the 570,000 U.S.-born children (under age 18) who have at least one parent born in the Middle East, a number expected to grow to 950,000 by 2010.

  • The religious composition of Middle Eastern immigrants has changed dramatically over the past thirty years. In 1970, an estimated 15 percent (29,000) of immigrants from the region were Muslim; the rest were mostly Christians from Lebanon or Christian ethnic minorities such as Armenians fleeing predominately Muslim countries. By 2000, an estimated 73 percent (1.1 million) of all Middle Eastern immigrants were Muslim.

  • Interest in coming to America remains very strong in the Middle East even after September 11. In October 2001, the Department of State received approximately 1.5 million applications from the Middle East (not including Pakistan) for the visa lottery, a program which awards 50,000 green cards each year to randomly selected applicants.

  • Middle Eastern immigrants are one of the most educated immigrant groups in America. In 2000, 49 percent had at least a bachelorís degree, compared to 28 percent of natives.

  • There is little evidence of discrimination in the job market against the group. Median earnings in 2000 for Middle Eastern men were $39,000, slightly higher than the $38,000 average for native workers.

  • Given their high citizenship rates, relative affluence, and strong interest in Middle East politics, absent a change in U.S. immigration policy, continued Middle Eastern immigration appears likely to lead to changes in U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict as elected officials respond to this populationís growing electoral importance.

  • California has the largest Middle Eastern immigrant population, with nearly 400,000. Of states with the most Middle Eastern immigrants, Virginia has the fastest growing population, followed by Texas, Michigan, and New York.

There's more, so take a minute and check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 15, 2002 to Society and cultcha

CIS is a moderate anti-immigration group (as opposed to some of the whacko anti-immigration groups); I've been running across them more and more recently.

I still find it amusing that they send you mail and not me, considering how regularly I blog on the topic of immigration. Maybe I should sign up for their mailing list too.

Posted by: Ginger on August 15, 2002 9:20 AM

Charles: Was this contact from Staten Island? The Scalabrini Order runs a center for Immigration Studies, with a headqauters on Todt Hill.

Posted by: Dud on August 15, 2002 11:03 AM

Dad, as far as I can tell, this outfit is in DC. Didn't know there was such a center on the Island.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on August 15, 2002 4:10 PM