Saturday, March 08, 2008

For more immigrants, suburbia's a nice fit

This article shows that new immigrants are assimilating quickly by moving into the suburbs and small towns and away from the big cities. DP

By Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Twice, Nancy Cadavid left her native Colombia to live in the United States. Twice, she settled in cities that have long attracted large numbers of immigrants — New York first, Miami second.

Now that she's here to stay, Cadavid, 44, has chosen to live far from the large cities that have been traditional immigrant gateways. She works two jobs and owns a house here in central Florida, near Orlando and Disney World. Her daughter graduated from Florida State University and works in advertising in Tampa. Her son attends community college and works part time at Disney.

Cadavid's tale is more than an immigrant success story. It reflects the path that immigrants increasingly are taking after they first enter the country — legally or illegally. Her moves eventually landed Cadavid — now a U.S. citizen — in a suburban county, well ensconced in middle-class America.

The movement of the foreign-born after they arrive sheds light on a key issue in the national immigration dialogue: How quickly immigrants assimilate into American culture and progress from a transient population to one that pays taxes, achieves homeownership and becomes largely self-sufficient.

Traditionally, newcomers settled in urban enclaves teeming with immigrants who shared their language and culture. They didn't spread out much until their children grew up and moved away.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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