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Immigrants Struggle to Attain American Dream of Homeownership

While many recent immigrants affected by the president’s recent executive order travel ban struggle to find work and generate enough income to buy a home, Trulia [1] reports [2] that immigrants who have been here longer have not only closed the gap, but often surpass other residents. Immigrants from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who have been in the U.S. for 10 or more years are more likely to afford a home than more recent immigrants.

Closing that gap still takes time. Whether they are from the six banned countries or not, some immigrants still struggle to gain homeownership upon entry. Only 18 percent of all recent immigrants, who’ve lived in the country for five or less years, and 11.5 percent of recent immigrants from the six banned countries are homeowners.

One advantage that immigrants from the six nations have to assist in gaining homeownership is education. Of people aged 25-55, 52.1 percent of those from the six countries have a bachelor’s degree, while only 30.7 percent of domestic born people in this age group have bachelor’s degrees.

Despite this, recent immigrants from these countries still lag behind in employment. Many new immigrants are found in lower-wage jobs, such as taxi driving. Immigrants from these countries are 17.9 times more likely to be taxi drivers than domestic-born people. The median income for the recent immigrants is $25,953, even less than the median number for all recent immigrants. While about 9.5 percent of domestic born people are below the poverty line, 40 percent of recent immigrants from the six countries are below that line.

However, many immigrants who have been here for 10 years or longer, especially those with higher education, are able to find higher paying jobs. Immigrants from the six nations are 8.3 times more likely than their domestic counterparts to be dentists, 7.2 times more likely to be civil engineers, and 5.9 times more likely to be physicians and surgeons.

The higher rate of employment and higher-paying jobs reflects homeownership trends among immigrants from travel-ban countries. Over 61 percent of immigrants from travel-ban countries are homeowners, coming close to the domestic-born homeownership rate of 68.8 percent. Although the recent immigration population is struggling, after 10 years, many are able to be gain the financial stability necessary to become homeowners.

Read the report from Trulia here [2].