The Migration Of Jamaican Immigrants

Good Essays
Jamaican Culture
1. Is there anything significant about the immigration experience for this group?
The migration of Jamaicans to the United States began in the early 19th century. Starting in the 1850s, there were only a couple hundred Jamaicans immigrating into the United States each year. However, by the end of the century, this number rose to approximately 1,000 per year. Between the years of 1981 and 1991, there were approximately one million immigrants from the entire Caribbean in the United States; the Jamaican immigrants made up one-fourth of that total. A common immigration scenario for this culture is for one family member to travel alone to the United States, become established, and send for other family members later. Several Jamaican families often decide to share an apartment or house, with each family occupying a bedroom, as they viewed extended family as an important resource. Jamaicans have come to the United States voluntarily, often looking for educational and occupational advancement. This immigration process was characterized by family separations (often prolonged due to the cost of flying back to Jamaica), feelings of dislocation, and adjustment to the urban settings and colder temperatures.
One of the most challenging things that Jamaicans have had to cope with is the physical and psychological isolation. On the island, the country is so small that it is easy to visit extended family members on a daily basis. Here, in the United States, however,
Get Access