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What we need to know about immigrant families

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On the heels of increased attention to the character and intentions of American immigrants, the Urban Institute has released a report that shines a light on the state of immigration in the United States.

According to Urban, families that are crossing the border have become “increasingly diverse,” with less coming from Latin America and more coming from Asian countries.

“That diversity is reaching new parts of the country that have very different policies, demographics and public attitudes about immigration,” Urban's Julia Gelatt, Heather Koball and H. Elizabeth Peters wrote.

To offer further perspective, Urban produced charts and figures that give a more complete picture of the experiences of many of these immigrant families.

For example, families that immigrate from China are considerably more likely to have a highly educated mother than those that immigrate from Mexico.


Urban also found that Latin American countries, especially Mexico, are more likely to have families that suffer from food insecurity or come from a dangerous neighborhood. Much like what was found in the data indicating educational attainment for mothers, China comes out on top (or bottom) in both categories.


Why does all this matter? According to Urban, “Knowing more about immigrant families and their diverse backgrounds, needs and environments will help inform efforts to support their well-being and integration.”

In short, Urban argues that if Americans want to help immigrants have a better experience in the country, they need to first understand who immigrants are and where they come from.

JJ Feinauer is a writer for Deseret News National. Email: jfeinauer@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: jjfeinauer.