Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 2 » Immigrants - Types Of Older Immigrants, Origins Of Older Immigrants, Economic Circumstances, Family Ties

Immigrants - Origins Of Older Immigrants

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The major countries that are departure points for older immigrants include China, Russia, Cuba, the Philippines, Mexico, India, Vietnam, and Iran. When the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965 ended the system of national origin quotas, which favored European immigrants, there was a marked increase in Asian immigration. According to Immigration and Naturalization Service data, in 1991 Rose Lagunoff, 102, holds an American flag moments after being sworn in as a United States citizen on August 6, 1997 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Lagunoff came to the United States from Russia when she was fifteen years old. (AP photo by Gail Burton.) over half of the permanent legal immigrants age sixty-five and older entered the United States from Asia. China and the Philippines each contributed over 10 percent of the older immigrants in 1991. Asia was the birthplace of nearly two-thirds of older people immigrating as parents of U.S. citizens. To become eligible to sponsor a parent's immigration, immigrant children must become naturalized citizens. Asians have high naturalization rates. In contrast, Mexican immigrants have relatively low naturalization rates, so the large Mexican immigrant population has proportionately fewer elderly immigrants than it might otherwise have.

Few Europeans, except for those from formerly socialist countries such as Russia, immigrate to the United States today. In contrast, Europeans dominated immigration in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. These immigrants became naturalized citizens, raised their families in the United States, and assimilated economically. Today, in advanced old age, their social and economic circumstances look very much like that of their native-born American counterparts, particularly in terms of their receipt of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

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