Interviews with Migrants in DC

This article focuses on Latin American and Caribbean migrants living in the metropolitan Area of Washington D.C. Most of the men (101) are construction workers and all of the women (54) are domestic workers; of 175 respondents only 20 men work in housework. The majority of interviewees (57%) are Salvadorians.

Data concerning migrants’ occupation in their countries of origin are quite interesting. The proportion of professionals, people employed in the service industry, entrepreneurs, and students is unexpectedly high and reaches a 45% of the total. This percentage can be related to the immigrants’ high level of education: 34% of respondents completed university, and 22% completed some years of University or College; a quarter of them completed high school. Education is highly regarded among the interviewed, since 42% of them is enrolled in an educational institution in the United States.

The very small percentage of interviewees that were unemployed in their countries of origin (1%) reveals something about migrants’ motivation to leave. The main reason for their departure seems to be the improvement of their lives and those of their families, as opposed to merely finding a job. A 39% of the respondents stressed the importance of living in a country that provides better facilities and future opportunities for their children. Two other groups fled their countries due to insecurity and crime (28%), or the political situations in their home countries (19%). Only 1% of the respondents said their motivation was to find a job.


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