December 19, 2016


Syrian-Americans: model immigrants? (Monitor's Editorial Board, DECEMBER 19, 2016, CS Monitor)

An indicator of how these new arrivals may do in the United States is found in data on the 90,000 Syrian immigrants who have been in America over a much longer period of time. It shows them to be nothing short of a model group of new Americans.

"[I]mmigrants from Syria who live in the United States are in fact doing very well. They are learning English, getting good jobs, owning homes, and starting businesses at impressive rates," say the authors of an analysis of these earlier Syrian immigrants conducted by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Center for American Progress. "These findings are reassuring and should provide the basis for more informed and thoughtful consideration of how to think about current and future Syrian immigrants and refugees," the analysis concludes.

Takeaways from the report include the following:

Syrian immigrants in the US earn a good living, with a median annual wage of $52,000. This compares very favorably with the $36,000 median wage for all immigrants in the workforce and the average $45,000 annual median wage for workers born in the US, the analysis says.

Syrian immigrants are often entrepreneurs and have a high rate of business ownership. Some 3 percent of people born in the US own their own businesses; more than 11 percent of Syrian immigrants do.

Syrian-Americans tend to be well-educated, too. More than a quarter (27 percent) of Syrian-born men in the US hold advanced college degrees (master's degree or higher).

After living in the US for at least 20 years, the data show, more than 90 percent of Syrian immigrants have become US citizens, a rate about 20 percent higher than that of US immigrants in general.

Posted by at December 19, 2016 5:01 PM