A life in the U. S., their hearts in Latin America | OP-ED
Many migrants were able to significantly improve their life conditions and kept their nuclear family close to them. Many others didn’t.
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Specialized studies about people’s lives only ratify the circumstances they are going through. A study published in December shows exactly that, and it is worth commenting on.
“The economic state of Latinos in America: The American dream deferred” is the title of a report by McKinsey & Company. It advises that Latinos could have a huge impact in the United States if they could overcome barriers that do not allow them to be fully involved in its economy.
It says that its labor force will make up 30% by 2060, a significant growth when taking into consideration that today it is 17,3%. Today the population of Latinos is close to 60 million people. That is, more than the population in Colombia, Peru and Venezuela together, or Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba together.
The report, which sets forth their difficulties, also highlights their achievements in the last years. “Latinos start more businesses and have higher rates of intergenerational mobility, and their share of skilled and higher-paid occupations has increased in the past decade. As a population, they increasingly embody—in spirit and reality—the American dream that hard work pays off and each successive generation will be better off than the one before.”
It is worth noting from this last sentence that the economic gap is decreasing as more Latinos are born in the United States.
As for entrepreneurship, Latinos, more than any other group, start more businesses per capita. In five years, 0,5 per cent started a business while the percentage for Asians and Whites is 0,3. This scenario can be seen in 45 states, where there are many success stories of how they made their way through.
Many are on the other end: difficulties to access housing, credits and fair payment. Many of those who are not having a good time are also doing Jobs that nobody else wants to do.
The study also includes another aspect, the reason for leaving their native countries: improving the financial conditions of their families, who stayed home waiting for the god news. The report by McKinsey & Company claims that 32% sends money to their relatives and many more than half transfers about 30% of their income. They left for the United States, but their hearts stayed in their home countries.
These are the cold numbers of research that serve as reference to know if the American dream was worth the adventure. The truth is that many left their countries with a goal in mind, work to live and give their families a better future. Many probably stayed trapped in Jobs that nobody wants to do without a hope to make progress. Trapped because that is better than going back home.