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Opinion: Immorality: bringing immigrants and conservatives together?

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There’s been plenty of talk today about a Pew Hispanic report parsing immigrants’ ties to their new country and their homeland. The survey figured out how many foreign-born immigrants send remittances, call or travel to their countries of origin, and how often. It also found out whether immigrants see themselves as ‘American’ (relative to naturalized citizens), and whether they intend to return home.

An AP story puts it sunnily in its headline: ‘Most Immigrants See Future In U.S.’ It’s true — and the number of immigrants who plan on sticking around rises with the number of years they’ve been here, even if they don’t all identify as ‘American.’ The Washington Post sees it less simply, saying that the study explored the ‘complexity’ of national ties. The Immigration Prof Blog links it to a New York Times piece finding that remittances have fallen sharply (at least in cash value) this year, possibly due to fear of stricter immigration enforcement. (This despite Pew’s findings that 51% of Latino foreign-born immigrants interviewed — albeit in 2006 — send remittances home.)

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But as if all the remittance-sending and non-American-identifying weren’t enough to rile anti-immigrant conservative types, there’s a buried bit that ought to inflame them even more: a third of immigrants think that compared to their countries of origin, the U.S. has worse morals. Or maybe conservatives can finally find common ground with immigrants.


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