Leaving your family, friends, and way of life to come to America is bound to take its toll on you. Imagine living the rest of your life in, say, Japan. You'd be a fish out of water for a very long time.
The General Social Survey for many years has asked respondents how happy they are. Answer-choices include "very happy," "pretty happy," and "not too happy." While only 11.6% of native-born Americans report that they are not too happy, 16.9% of immigrants feel that way. That's a statistically significant difference. And it varies by country of origin:
Percent of immigrants in America who are not happy (N = 31,869)
Puerto Rico 29.2
West Indian 28.6
Groups differ a great deal. Germans and Irish immigrants are just as happy as native-born Americans, but Puerto Ricans and Africans are 2 1/2 times as likely to suffer from unhappiness. People who are educated and speak English do better.
Immigrants lose more than familiar customs and proximity to loved ones over here. At Secular Right, Heather MacDonald recently described how African immigrants are mistreated by native-born blacks, and I know that some Mexican Americans do the same thing to immigrants from Latin America.
People argue that immigration might not be particularly good for Americans, but it's good for the immigrants. Says who? For an extra buck, you make yourself miserable? You cut your children off from relatives back home? You exchange one mess for another, and lose your way of life in the meantime. Think twice about it, folks.
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