25 Dec

Immigrants flock to relatives

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Most Mexicans do not cross the border because they are destitute and penniless, but because they have family in the United States and want better-paying jobs, a study released Tuesday found. The report by Washington, D.C.-based Pew Hispanic Center found many recent immigrants held steady jobs in their home country and were not unemployed or farm laborers . “One would imagine before the facts, it would take unique circumstances for people to take risks before crossing the border … but that does not seem to be the case,” said Rakesh Kochhar, the study’s author. The study, which surveyed 4,836 immigrants in seven cities including Los Angeles, New York, Fresno and Atlanta, said newer immigrants have more schooling than those who arrived 15 or more years ago. And 38 percent of those in the United States for less than six months were high school graduates or had some junior college or university experience, compared with 27 percent of migrants 15 years ago. Once those immigrants have crossed the border – regardless of immigration status or ability to speak English – they quickly snap up varying jobs. “It’s significant that the immigration status has little to do with the likelihood of employment in the United States,” Kochhar said. The report comes as the Bush administration pushes an immigration reform package and Congress takes up guest-worker legislation. Its authors say the report offers a snapshot of how undocumented Mexican workers – who arrive at a rate of about 300,000 a year – assimilate into the U.S. work force. For many, surveyed as they applied for Mexican government identity cards at various consulates, family was one of the most important draws. About 54 percent of those who answered the 12-page questionnaire now lived with a relative and about 80 percent knew a relative here before arriving. rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741 583-7604last_img read more