WBUR

Report: More Brazilian, Dominican Immigrants Than Previously Thought

A new study of Brazilian and Dominican immigrants living in metro Boston finds much larger populations than previously thought. There are about 64,000 Brazilians and a similar number of Dominicans, according to researchers at San Diego State University, University of Massachusetts Boston and Harvard University.

The new data shows that after the Chinese, the two groups are respectively the second and third largest immigrant groups in the metro area. Of those numbers, 71 percent of Brazilians are here illegally, compared to about 8 percent of Dominicans.

“Dominicans started coming to the U.S. much earlier than Brazilians have,” said Enrico Marcelli, one of the demographers who prepared the reports for the Boston Brazilian Immigrant Center and the Dominican Development Center.

“They were able to establish themselves legally here before we became increasingly concerned with unauthorized migration,” Marcelli said. “That enabled them to sponsor their relatives and others to come legally in the United States, whereas Brazilians didn’t have that foot in the door, so to speak, as early.”

Marcelli said most of the migrants come for work or because of family connections in the area, although the research showed that Dominicans were more likely than Brazilians to come to the United States in order to go to school.

“One thing we do know from our studies is that Dominicans tend to be less happy compared to Brazilians. They tend to earn less than Brazilians and they tend to be less satisfied in almost every domain in life,” Marcelli said. “This, despite their being here longer and the higher proportion (that) are legal.”

Marcelli said there is no clear reason for the difference, and he hopes to study the populations further to explain statistics like that.

The study is being billed as the first statistically credible estimate of legal and unauthorized Brazilians and Dominicans in greater Boston. It also shows Brazilians tend to be highly concentrated in Framingham, Everett, Somerville and Marlborough, while the Dominican population is heaviest in Salem and Lawrence.

Recent research suggests that the immigrant population may be shrinking in the area, as some migrants have headed home in the recession, but Marcelli said that is not clear.

According to his study, about two-thirds of all Brazilians and only about half of Dominicans said they will eventually go back home. More research would be needed to show how many of those people actually return home.

Researchers said they hope the findings will lead to more aggressive outreach by the U.S. Census Bureau to previously uncounted migrant communities.


Click the “Listen Now” button above to hear Bob Oakes’ interview with Enrico Marcelli.

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  • Delaware Bob

    “…legal and unauthorized Brazilians and Dominicans…”

    Unauthorized means that they are illegal aliens. Illegal aliens are destroying this Country, and if one can’t see that, they must have very bad eye sight.

    Illegal aliens have made America the dumping ground for all their illegal alien children, then we have to school them and give them free medical care.

    I for one, am sick and tired of these illegal aliens snubbing their nose at our immigration laws and the many other laws of this Country. If our Federal Government can not ENFORCE our immigration laws, and get these illegal aliens out of this Country, then let the States do it! One way or another, an end has to come to this illegal immigration, and not with AMNESTY! Amnesty will only encourage more illegal aliens to invade our Country and reward those who broke our laws and raped the American taxpayer in many ways…depressing our wages, taking our jobs, overwhelming our schools with their ILLEGAL ALIEN children, driving without a license or car insurance, all the crime from stolen identities to rape, drugs and everything else.

    It’s time for ZERO TOLERENCE with these illegal aliens. It’s time for them get out of this Country and back in their own Country where they belong. When we get rid of the illegal aliens, we will get rid of all the problems that go with them. THAT IS A FACT!

  • Paul

    I don’t have any statistics, but I bet most (or at least many) of the Brazilian children in this population were born in the U.S. and are therefore birthright citizens.

    Getting rid of them would require depopulating the four towns mentioned in the story. Better to make the best of the situation we are in and help them be more productive.

  • Gilmar

    If this is a Christian country, then we should act like Christians and treat these immigrants with respect and compassion. They are real people like you and me,that contrary to hate based propaganda are not here to destroy the country but simply seeking to help their families by providing the country tremendous work ethic and determination. By the way when an European descendant living in the American continent, says a descendant of Native American tribes from a time before Columbus is a foreign alien to this land, he shows himself to be ignorant about the history of the place he claims to love so much. If “In God we trust” then lets listen to Him.

  • eddie

    Delaware Bob, your opinions are laced with hatred, intolerance, and false accusations. I’m sure you don’t care. This is not about what is rigtht or wrong. From your comments, it is clear that your ideas are driven by ugly feelings toward immigrants, legal or not.

    There is no evidence that immigrants bring crime, drugs, or anu of the other hysterical claims.but I suppose you don’t care. The only reason I’ve bothere to respond is that it is about time crazy, hysterical, racist diatribes like yours needs to be checked and challenged. For you to feel so strongly about “facts” that are false makes you either gullible or blinded by hatred. People like you will drown in your hatred.

    Chill out.

  • http://yahoo.com James Gregory

    I would like to see so called immigrants given a chance to (SERVE)the country in positive way. Open the military to them and gays. Start new branch or division, like what was done for Blacks-Indians-in a time of need. Young men are not stepping up as they should. So why not give-Immigrants a chance to step up and fill this job. they take up other jobs. It would be an all voluntary assignment. 18-31 years old.

  • paloosa

    First of all, it’s a good thing that Delaware Bob is not Massachusetts Bob.

    Also, “start new (military) branch or division, like what was done for Blacks-Indians-in a time of need.” Are you serious? Should we put illegal immigrants in the front lines to be shot and killed first too?

    And we are not a Christian country. Separation of church and state, people!

    Illegal immigrants are here because the demand for them exists. When able-bodied Americans get off welfare and start applying for jobs, maybe this situation will change. Until then, just deal with the consequences of a supply/demand-based free economy.

  • Helio

    Interesting story and the comments … well, if we go by what the law says we should send back the entire US population because this country belongs to the Native Americans. Not Italians, Brazilians, English or other race… is common knowledge that this is a capitalist country and everyone is bound to work and get paid for their work. Or as the times dictate, send the work to India or Mexico or other country where they’re paid even less than here and profits for the corporations are enormous creating then the big welfare demand as well as lay off of those who need the work. So, if to keep this country alive and kicking is to have illegals working HERE instead of some other country, then lets do it. Go after that work !!!. Competition is good for the heart and a reminder that we have to work everyday, not when we want to …. and by the way, yes, separate the church and state, man and woman, children and parents. Why do you think this country has a large problem with kids these days ? Understand this : one can not live without the other and morals are given by parents, not government. Or more specifically : Church is a reminder of how we should be and the Government understands that its role is to abide by it… not the other way around where you do as you please with no consequence. That’s why we have laws. And Church.

  • Caio

    Where can I find this research and are there any other researches on other urban areas?

  • Delaware Bob Rules

    I’m with you Bob, it’s compleatly out of control. Anyone have any idea how much money illegals cost this country? All they do is send the money back home anyway and couldn’t give a crap about this country. They bring a lot of crime into this country too, we have to get tougher with this. Come into this country legally like everyone else and pay your taxes.

  • Amanda

    Delaware Bob, I couldn’t agree with you more! The fact that we are in this situation is ridiculous. Paul, have you heard of the term anchor-baby?? Send em back!!

  • Mariano

    Delaware Bob wrote: “It’s time for ZERO TOLERENCE with these illegal aliens. It’s time for them get out of this Country and back in their own Country where they belong.”

    Delaware Bob, I am an immigrant and can teach you some English: It is spelled “tolerance”, not “tolerence”. Also, when you say “It’s time for them get out of this Country…” you need a “to” before “get” or you sentence makes no grammatical sense. By the way, why “Country”? It should be “country”.

    Finally, if you write so many words in CAPITALS, they will think you are shouting, apparently angry at something or someone. When people get angry, or feel angry, they write stupid nonsense. You don’t want anyone to think that way about you, do you?

    Please write more. I’d love to give you another English spelling and grammar lesson.

  • http://www.immigrationcounters.com Scott

    More research…no no no, enforcement.

  • annejyb

    hate ridden statement from the biggest demagogue himself! Keep in mind, the vast majorities
    are not illegals (read between the lines in here!)

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