ISR Awards

The Muslim Immigrant Experience: Trends and Outcomes

In the 21st century, immigration to the United States includes individuals from diverse religious faiths. The proportion of immigrants who identify with a religion outside of Judeo-Christianity is higher than that of the native born population. Muslims, in particular, represent a growing presence among new immigrants. Concerns about integration arise as many in the U.S. fear that religious principles characterizing Islam conflict with the main beliefs and values of democracy.
Moreover, Muslims are often presented as a homogeneous group. No systematic analysis of diversity in the Muslim immigrant experience has been conducted due to the lack of available data. This project seeks to use the New Immigrant Survey (NIS), where 8% of the sample are Muslim (N=643), as well as the PEW 2007 Muslims in America (N=1050) data where 62% of the sample are immigrants, to describe the Muslim immigrant experience. First, descriptive analyses will be carried out to identify demographic, pre-immigrant, migration, and social capital
profiles. Next multivariate regression analysis will be used to predict the extent to which each set of profile characteristics explain Muslim integration in the areas of linguistic, political/civic, and economic incorporation. Theoretical advancements concerning integration increasingly call attention to the complex number of factors including homeland and host country characteristics that influence successful integration. The planned project aims to contribute to the emerging literature by focusing on a growing but understudied immigrant group. Identifying trends and
assessing outcomes will provide key insights into supporting immigrant integration and participation in American civic culture.