In the past six years the immigration trend of Dominicans in Puerto Rico have saw an upward surge, both documented and undocumented ones. Although most of what gets into the news are those who have come to Puerto Rico through illegal means and of which many have perished or have been compromised. This influx of Dominicans to Puerto Rico has been attributed to the economic crisis in their country but no singular reason has been identified at present.
At present the number continues to rise and legal actions against illegal Dominican immigrants have also been intensified but the smuggling and illegal passage continues. According to wikipedia. com, “immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ” Therefore, an immigrant is an individual who is determined to live and make a living in the country which distinguishes him/her from a traveler or visitor.
The number of immigrants in a particular country especially if it does not have stringent rules on immigration can only be approximated, and it can be said that many people living and working in Puerto Rico are illegal immigrants. The legal migrant workers can be monitored since their entry to the country is documented; it has been reported by the Migration Policy Institute that from 1998 to 2002, the documented and legal Dominican immigrants in the United States is at 20, 000 and 200,000 who were granted permanent and temporary status respectively.
Based on the same report, the illegal immigrants are said to be close to 109,000 in the same years. The legal immigrants are in a more favorable situation than those who do not and generally not much attention has been given them. This is not the same for the illegal immigrants, whose pitiful plights have been reported over and over again. Many have died at sea or have been intercepted trying to cross the Mona Passage to get into Puerto Rico aboard the notoriously dangerous yolas (Brown, 2004; Taipei Times, 2004; Matos, 2002).
The primary reason for wanting to get to Puerto Rico is to find a better life for the individual and his/her family, but research on this aspect is very limited and dated. Thus, this project surveyed Dominican immigrants to determine reasons for coming to Puerto Rico, ways in which they arrived in the commonwealth, kinds of jobs they have, income and demographic data like educational attainment, sex, and age and immigration status. The data from this project can help give a picture of the current situation of Dominican immigrants in the commonwealth and can be used as baseline data for further research.
Sample The approximated number of Dominican population in the United States is at 300,000; thus for this survey a sample of 50 Dominican immigrants was projected since it is a viable sample given the breadth of this project. The surveyed respondents were identified randomly but were recruited through a referral of friends and coworkers. The respondents for this survey were made up of 28 females and 22 males; their mean average age was 37ranging from 15-59 years old. Instrument
The questionnaire used in this survey was designed by the author and was made up of questions to determine demographic data and current work conditions (income, type of job) and their reasons for coming to the region and ways they got here. The 10 item questionnaire was in checklist form to ensure ease of answering. Data Analysis Responses were tallied and analyzed using the measures of central tendency and dispersion. Graphs were used to give a visual presentation of the results of the data.