Analysis of ZIP code-level data from the IRS and Census 2000 reveals that:
- Over half of all foreign-born individuals in the United States lived in just 5 percent of the nation’s ZIP codes in 2000. Most of these high-immigrant communities were located in major gateway states like California, New York, and Texas. Overall, 20 percent of their foreign-born residents lived below the poverty line, versus 16 percent nationally.
- Twenty-one percent of families in high-immigrant communities received the EITC in tax year 1999, compared to 15 percent of families nationwide. Tax filers in these communities claimed $6.7 billion from the credit, more than one-fifth of total EITC dollars claimed that year. By tax year 2002, EITC dollars claimed in these same communities had risen to $7.8 billion.
- Low-income working families in high-immigrant communities were more likely to use a paid preparer to file than those in other communities. However, EITC recipients in high-immigrant ZIPs were less likely than their counterparts elsewhere to claim their credit dollars via a refund anticipation loan (RAL).
- Communities with moderate numbers of immigrants (between 2 and 13 percent of the population) may have lower EITC participation rates than communities with either high or low numbers of immigrants. In these areas, immigrants’ awareness of the EITC and other tax benefits may be lower due to a lack of targeted outreach, or to less active social networks among immigrants than may exist in high-immigrant communities.
To further harness the benefits of the EITC for immigrant families and communities, local leaders in the public and non-profit sectors should boost volunteer tax preparation capacity in high-immigrant neighborhoods, fund research on the economic impacts of the credit and related tax programs in these communities, and target EITC outreach to eligible immigrant families living in suburbs and other locales where the immigrant population is less concentrated.
The battle over the border: Public opinion on immigration and cultural change at the forefront of the election
[Korea] has been a homogeneous society linguistically, culturally, for so long. It has prided itself on the purity of the bloodline, the so-called bloodline. Right now, [integration] is about fitting into the Korean context, learning Korean language and not teaching your kids Vietnamese or Tagalog or some other foreign language. True multiculturalism would involve mixing and blending and fusing of different languages, cultures, customs. We don't see much of that — except in places like Wongok Village.
Discriminatory behaviors often don't draw any legal consequences [in South Korea] and this has led to crimes going unpunished. Moreover, public awareness on discrimination in the country is mostly absent… [Seoul] has been more progressive than one might assume, [but] relative ethno-national and linguistic homogeneity has been the norm for a long time…is hard for Koreans to peel off.