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Despite any hardships they might face, immigrants in America are more optimistic than U.S.-born Americans, according to a new survey of 3,358 immigrant adults.
“They said, ‘You know, I face challenges here in the U.S., but it’s far better than where I came from. And I have this belief that things will be better for my children,’” says Shannon Schumacher, a senior survey analyst at KFF, a nonprofit organization focused on health policy, formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Whether that’s their education, their safety, their economic opportunities — on a number of measures, they think that they’re better off and their children are better off.”
The survey, a partnership between KFF and the Los Angeles Times newspaper, was conducted between April 10 and June 12, 2023. Respondents completed surveys by telephone, mail and online. The questions could be answered in any of the 10 most commonly spoken languages in the United States, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole, Arabic, French and Tagalog.
The result is the most comprehensive survey of immigrants in the U.S. today, according to Schumacher.
“The survey can really help inform the public more about immigrants and really bring their voices to the forefront,” she says. “As these debates swirl around them, we don’t actually hear about immigrants often in their own voices.”
Immigrants comprise 16% of adults in the U.S. They come from different countries and have varying immigration and socioeconomic statuses. Their belief in a brighter future comes despite hardships some immigrants can face at work and in the health care system.