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3
Apr

Facebook founder staunch immigration reform advocate

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is said to be starting an immigration advocacy group.

Though social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg may not know what it's like to send money to family members in another country, he's sensitive to the plight of many immigrants who are trying to make ends meet here in the U.S. so that they can provide for their families back home. As such, he's a stalwart supporter of immigration reform.

As anyone who's watched the news is well aware, immigration is a significant issue in America today and one that legislators on Capitol Hill are taking on with greater immediacy. From everyday Americans to the Hollywood elite, there has been no shortage of opinions on how to deal with immigration, especially the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country who would like a pathway to citizenship.

Technology industry leaders have been among those who have met with representatives and senators, as well as President Barack Obama himself. Executives, such as Zuckerberg, have expressed that immigrants play a major role in the U.S. economy, especially as it relates to technological development. Speaking to Fox News Latino, Duke University researcher Vivek Wadhwa noted that foreign-born business owners have employed more than 550,000 people since 2006, contributing more than $63 billion in retail sales to the U.S. financial system.

With these facts in mind, Facebook founder Zuckerberg is reportedly putting together a group of fellow technology industry leaders and immigration reform supporters, in hopes of forming an advocacy group. According to public policy news website Politico, the 28-year-old is said to have already committed millions of dollars toward its implementation, with the assistance of America Online founder Steve Case.

Though Zuckerberg is known to be a businessman, whose earnings put him in the upper echelon of the world's wealthiest, the advocacy group he's forming is exclusively for philanthropic efforts, as sources tell Politico that the yet-to-be-named coalition will be a nonprofit.

One of the main goals immigration reform advocates have moving forward is making more visas available to people who wish to come to the country. Each year, there are only so many visas that the government issues, controlled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The millions of people who are on the waiting list hope that Zuckerberg's efforts will bear fruit.

Facebook used regularly in Latin America
Much of Zuckerberg's success with Facebook is due to its popularity not only in the U.S. but throughout the world. According to internet analytics firm comScore, Facebook is far and away the most popular social media platform in Latin America, a site that's frequented by millions of people who live in this region of the world. In fact, in 2011, there was a 16 percent increase in usage of the social media site, which was originally started so college students could keep in touch with one another.

Latin Americans have been in good company among international visitors to Facebook. Numbers reported by comScore reveal that in June 2011 alone, Facebook had more than 734 million people log on to their servers, followed by Twitter at 144 million. Windows Live Profile, LinkedIn and QQ Microblogging rounded out the top five at 119 million, 84 million and 74 million, respectively.

As far as time spent on the website, internet users averaged 5.4 hours in June 2011, according to comScore. However, Latin American visitors spent more time there, with Argentinians averaging 10 hours, Chileans 8.7 hours and Peruvians 6.6 hours. Among primarily Hispanic countries, the fewest number of average hours spent at the website was 4.9 hours by Brazilians.

1
Apr

First-time homebuyer market led by Latinos

Latino families are contributing to the improving real estate market by representing a larger sample of homeowners.

While many of today's Hispanics working in the U.S. may continue to send money to Mexico and other parts of Latin America, they are also putting their hard-earned money toward the purchase of a new property. This is so common that real estate experts believe that their desire for a place to call their own may shape how demand plays out over the upcoming years.

According to the 24-page report released by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Latinos today are the fastest growing group of first-time homebuyers in all of America. For example, over the past 12 years, more than half – 51 percent – of the total net increase in owner-occupied homes were among Hispanics, or what translates to about 355,000, RISMedia reports.

Juan Martinez, who was recently installed as the newest president of NAHREP, said that this is just the latest sign of how much of an influence Latinos have on the country's economic well-being.

"Despite a difficult economic environment and a tight mortgage market, Latinos are making gains in all the ways that make them ready for homeownership," said Martinez.

He added that because many Hispanics today are responsible with how they manage their money, poor credit is not an issue that will prevent aspiring Latinos to become homeowners in the future should they have that desire. What may impact that reality is the pace with which homes today are being purchased – faster than home builders have been able to refresh inventory levels.

Real estate industry overall impacted by limited supply
This has been an issue for several months. For example, in the latest report published by the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales – which are real estate transactions based on how many contracts have been signed – fell approximately five-tenths of a percent in February. The reason for this was not diminished initiative to buy a property but rather few houses from which to select.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, indicated construction firms hold the key to replenishing the diminished supply.

"Only new home construction can genuinely help relieve the inventory shortage, and housing starts need to rise at least 50 percent from current levels," said Yun.

He predicted that how property purchases pan out over the next several months will largely rely on improving constrained inventory levels, which he says could be effectuated by making regulatory rules less onerous for construction firms. This may them avoid some of the red tape that's involved with property development.

Though Latinos do appear to be the main driver behind first-time homebuyers, Hispanic homeownership levels have dropped off on a percentage basis. According to the report, approximately 46 percent of Hispanics are homeowners, which is down from 47.5 percent in 2010. This is mainly because there are more people of Latino descent in America today than there were three years ago, RISMedia reports.

The report also revealed other aspects of life in the U.S. that the Hispanic community is having a significant influence on. For example, purchasing power – or how much a given community contributes to a country's economic function – has increased considerably among Hispanics. It now exceeds $1 trillion and is projected to reach $1.5 trillion in two years' time.

Much of this may derive from the education levels Hispanics are achieving. The NAHREP report shows that Latinos represent the largest segment of minorities currently enrolled in universities. They are doing well once they graduate from schools, too, as four in 10 earn an average of approximately $50,000 each year.

26
Mar

Poll: Jobs that require top skills satisfied through immigration reform

A greater pool of qualified teachers may come through immigration reform.

Evidenced by rising home values, greater availability of jobs and a steadily declining unemployment rate, the economy is slowly but surely recovering in the U.S. However, a considerable number of Americans believe it could be improving at a more robust pace by enabling businesses to better attract the best employees the world has to offer.

In a recent survey conducted by Zogby Analytics on behalf of the technology firm TechNet, nearly two-thirds of individuals polled said that by reforming certain components of the immigration system, business owners will be able to entice more people who come from overseas to work for them, many of whom may send money to their families back in their native country.

Respondents were particularly receptive to reform for business owners who are in a line of work that requires highly skilled or specially trained workers, such as in the sciences, technology, education or mathematical fields, otherwise known as STEM. In fact, nearly eight in 10 Americans – 77 percent – said that the government needs to commit more invest toward STEM education. More specifically, approximately 60 percent of people in the poll said that the government does not spend what it needs to in providing workers with the resources they need to better take on jobs in the sciences and technological fields.

Rey Ramsey president and CEO of TechNet, noted that American consumers today recognize that there's an abundance of people who live overseas who are more than qualified to fulfill these jobs and one of the best ways of enabling these individuals to access them is by addressing the ease which they can come to the country.

"Americans strongly support smart policies to reform our high skilled immigration system and address the shortage of workers with science, technology, engineering and math skill," said Ramsey. "Most importantly, our citizens are eager for reform and urge Congress to act now."

Delayed immigration reform risks falling behind global competition
Many are worried that failure to reform the immigration system may wind up costing Americans in the long run when it comes to staying ahead of other countries as they make their own economic improvements. For example, the poll found that approximately 43 percent of respondents believe that the country is losing its "innovation edge," saying that the next big invention will likely come from someplace other than the U.S, such as China.

John Zogby, who owns and operates his own polling firm, added that he's witnessed an overwhelming consensus from the public tying innovation to sound immigration policies.

"Americans have adapted to new technologies, see them as the path to growth and prosperity for our future, and favor a wide of policies that support more flexibility in immigration, more focus on technology in our education system, and spending on research that leads to even more innovation," he said.

Currently, people who wish to work in the sciences, or who have specialized skills and expertise, typically turn to H-1B visas in order to come to the country. Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has begun accepting petitions from foreign residents for the 2014 fiscal year. There is a 65,000 cap on how many people will be able to come to the country with this via. However, the first 20,000 people who file a H-1B petition and who have a master's degree or higher will not count against the cap. This behooves prospective workers to file the necessary paperwork as soon as possible.

25
Mar

Hispanics reveal what drives them to be the best business owners they can be

Family and giving back to the community are chief motivating factors for Hispanic entrepreneurs.

It's clear that one of the leading factors that drives Hispanics and Latinos to start a business of their own is so that they can send money to their loved ones who may live in Mexico or some other part of Latin America. There are a variety of other reasons why Hispanics set out to start their own businesses, though.

Recently, life insurance company MassMutual released the results of its report, "Business Owner Perspectives: 2011 Insights in an Uncertain Economy." While it's contents focused on entrepreneurs in general, it made a point of detailing the factors that motivate Hispanics to start their own business ventures.

One of the leading aspects that compelled many Hispanics to start companies of their own was due to a fervent desire to give back to their community. More than half of the business owners who took part in the survey – 54 percent – noted that they felt a sense of duty to give back to their locality by providing for its residents through goods or services. They also hoped that their operations would contribute to the community's economic strength as well. This contrasts sharply with the general public population, as approximately one in every five said giving back to the community was what drove them to begin their business.

Additionally, extended family members served as sufficient motivations for Hispanic business owners. The report found that roughly one-third of all business owners of Latino descent began their company because they wanted to help their extended family members out by giving them a job. About 19 percent of the general business owner population cited this as their reasoning.

Overwhelmingly, though, immediate family members served as the top inspiration for beginning a business. Close to nine in every 10 said providing for their loved ones was the most influential factor, a feeling shared by 77 percent of business owners overall.

March 29 is National Mom-and-Pop Business Owner's Day
Small business owners – no matter what their origin – serve as the lifeblood of the American economy. So much so, that there's a day devoted to celebrating what they do for the country's financial system and job market.

March 29 is National Mom-and-Pop Business Owner's Day. The annual occasion is often recognized by consumers by purchasing some of their everyday needs at local small business operations rather than at big box stores or supermarkets.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 27 million small businesses in the country. These operations account for roughly 60 percent of all new jobs that are added to the economy on an annual basis.

To a certain extent, local convenience stores and markets aren't quite as commonplace as they once were. That said, they still represent a considerable share of the businesses that are in operation today. SBA notes that the number of small businesses in the U.S. has jumped nearly 50 percent since 1982. In addition, while big businesses have made workforce cutbacks – as many as 4 million since 1990 – small businesses have created 8 million jobs over the past 23 years.

Many of these jobs wouldn't have been possible without Hispanic entrepreneurs.

However, that's not to suggest that today's business owners don't have struggles. The MassMutual study found that roughly 30 percent of Hispanic business owners have trouble with keeping up with everyday operational expenses, roughly one in four have financial concerns about retirement and 18 percent say they don't know where to go for financial assistance. Approximately 12 percent of business owners in general expressed the same unawareness.

Small business owners who are having trouble financially may want to talk about it with their local chamber of commerce, which serves the business community.

21
Mar

Foreign workers with special skills urged to apply for residency

Engineering professionals often use an H-1B visa to gain access to the U.S. workforce.

People looking to send money to their families by utilizing a unique skill or sphere of knowledge may now be able to live in the U.S., thanks in large part to what they can bring to the American workforce and economy.

As of March 15, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has begun accepting H-1B applications, which are given to foreign workers who have a background in a special field of study. These visas benefit both the worker and the business, as they allow those who wish to come to the U.S. with a means of entry and business owners get to take advantage of talented workers.

The earlier that foreign citizens apply, the more likely it is that they'll be able to be considered. USCIS notes that a maximum of 65,000 applications will be accepted for the 2014 fiscal year, which will begin on October 1.

However, there are some caveats to this rule. For example, people with advanced degrees are in high demand, mainly because they can be hard to come by. This means that approximately 20,000 H-1B petitions that are filed among people with master's degrees will not count toward the maximum allotment. In other words, 20,000 petitions will be exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000.

Cap number to be reached quickly
Since USCIS began the H-1B petition program, it's been quite popular, and the requests have always outnumbered the number of spots available. Officials expect the same this time around, as the applications that pour in will likely exceed the cap within a short period. USCIS says it took approximately two and a half months for the cap to be reached last year, 235 days in 2011 and 300 days in 2010. Based on recent history, immigration experts speculate that application activity will probably spike between April 1 and April 5.

If the amount of applications go above and beyond the maximum allotment, USCIS says it will do what it's done in the past, which is to implement a lottery-based system. This method will "randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit. This mode of selection hasn't been implemented with great frequency, as the last time it was used was in April 2008.

Though these applications are used by a wide variety of people with various nationalities, they are one of the most sought after forms of visa by many people who send money to India and are native to the country, according to the Press of India. Scientists, engineers, information technology professionals and computer programmers are just a few of the professions who would likely choose an H-1B non-immigrant visa.

For more information on H-1B applications, how much they cost and how quickly they are processed, workers are asked to visit USCIS's website, where they will be directed to a web page that has in depth information all about the program.

It's little wonder that so many businesses in the U.S. today rely on H-1B applicants, as foreign workers represent a large percentage of today's workforce. According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, between 2000 and 2010, virtually all of the net growth in jobs went to immigrants in this 10-year period, even though immigrants represented one-third of population growth. In addition, there's been an increase of 4.5 million immigrants working in the U.S. in this decade versus a 1.1 million decline in native-born workers.

Helpful links:

H-1B application form

20
Mar

Mexican youth help spawn new music craze to counter drug culture

Nueva Ola Fronteriza is music to the ears of many Latinos.

Similar to other countries, Mexico sees it's fair share of crime each year, despite officials' best attempts to quell the rate of violence on city streets and within communities. While these safety concerns are important to address and require 100 percent effort from locals committed to tamping down disorderly conduct, many Mexicans have been able to counter crime. They've done this through song and dance, effectively recommitting themselves to what makes up a significant component of Mexican culture. 

According to Highbrow Magazine, many Mexican youth have turned to music to air their frustrations about the rate of violence in the country, particularly in Ciudad Juarez. While music serves as the vehicle in which to impart what these youth feel about the high rate of crime, what their most concerned about is that their message gets through to those who listen loud and clear. That's because these youth have developed a new genre of music called "Nueva Ola Fronteriza," or new border wave.

What gives the genre its distinction is how it differs from some of the genres that are in vogue today. The magazine notes that several types of music, such as "Narco Corridos," or drug ballads, foolishly sensationalize the illegal narcotics culture in Mexico, which is further exacerbated by drug cartels that mass produce and sell them.

The wholesome, positive message emanating from nueva ola fronteriza has helped make some bands in Mexico household names. Highbrow Magazine reports that Maldita Vecindad has become so popular that major advertisers now send money to the band members when they promote their products.

Music industry professionals believe new genre is built to last
The ultimate goal of bands like Maldita Vecindad and Pajaros Sin Alas – roughly translated as Birds Without Wings – is to replace the narco corrido genre with nueva ola fronteriza, not only in Mexico, but throughout the world. The magazine notes how since 2004, bands that sing songs glamorizing the drug culture in Mexico have gained somewhat of a following in the United States. In fact, the genre produces an estimated $300 million per year for the music industry in Mexico, according to estimates from the BBC. Los Angeles is perhaps the drug ballad genre's largest market. Los Tigres – a popular band whose songs fall into this classification – sold 500,000 copies in the U.S. after the release of its latest album, many of which were in California's most-populous city.

Officials are hopeful that the glory days for these bands that sensationalize drug use are numbered, as already, stadiums that were once filled with people celebrating narco corrido are now brimming with people swaying to the tunes of the new border wave genre, Highbrow Magazine reports.

Dancing and music are emblematic of Mexican and Latino culture. Recently, Latino Appreciation Day was celebrated in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Capitol Building. One of the ways in which the city recognized the occasion was through a performance done by Viva El Folklore, who went through an elaborate dance routine in front of dozens of Utahns on March 13.

Latino music, of course, isn't confined to Mexico. Variations on the genre are found throughout South America, especially in Brazil. According to Fox News Latino, with Brazil hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, there's been a renewed sense of interest in Brazilian music throughout the world, led by popular artists like Lucenzo, Taio Cruz, Jarina De Marco and Nelly Furtado.

19
Mar

Minorities saving more for their kids’ future

New research shows that many African Americans, Hispanics and Asians are saving for their own medical costs that their kids can use to help pay for them.

Whether people send money abroad or to a family member that lives within the U.S., they often do so because they love them and want them to live more comfortably. And as a new study shows, many minorities today are also putting more of their money away for their loved ones to use at a later time so that they won't have to worry about medical expenses once they get older and are in need of care.

The report, which was conducted jointly by the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services as well as the American College of Financial Services, found that six in 10 women of color save money for retirement, primarily so that they won't be a financial burden for their kids should they become infirm in their latter years.

What was particularly noteworthy was the way in which women are saving and how they saved depending on their ethnic background and economic status. For example, the report found that Asian women who earned more than $75,000 per year made saving more of a priority than did women of the same ethnicity but whose annual salary was less.

This shouldn't suggest, however, that people who earn less aren't just as concerned about saving money for their children once they become adults. The poll also found that regardless of personal economic circumstances, women found a variety of ways in which to save money.

Sophia Duffy assistant professor of employee benefits at The American College, noted that defined benefit company pension plans are becoming less frequent number, mainly because employer are cutting them in order to save on costs.

"Personal savings must be encouraged if individuals are to achieve financial security in retirement," said Duffy.

Cost of living heavy load for many minorities
Another potential reason for why many minorities are putting an emphasis on saving for their kids may stem from the cost of living. According to a newly released report, which was conducted jointly by the Poverty and Race Research Action Council as well as the National Low Income Housing Coalition, close to 50 percent of today's African American and Hispanic families face challenges when it comes to housing costs.

Based on cost of living calculations and average salaries, NLIHC indicates that someone who who works at least 30 to 40 hours per week has to earn approximately $19 an hour if they want to rent out a two-bedroom apartment affordably. Housing experts say that, ideally, no more than one-third of an individual's salary should go toward rent costs.

However, approximately 48 percent of African American families do not have the type of income they would need to fulfill this ideal. A similar percentage – 46 percent – of Hispanics face similar financial straits.

Phillip Tegeler, president of the PRRAC, indicated that these results are truly sobering and ought to send a message to legislators that more needs to be done to support hard working Americans who are making less than they're worth.

"Finding affordable housing is a challenge for all low-income Americans, but our analysis demonstrates it is even more burdensome for families of color," said Tegeler. "This should be a wake-up call for the administration and Congress that addressing housing costs, and creating more affordable housing, must be a national priority."

The NLIHC recently released a separate report on how many hours the average person has to work in order to afford an apartment. Some of the best places were in the Midwest – such as North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas – as low rent rates enabled renters to do more with their money while spending less time on the job.

18
Mar

NBA celebrates Hispanic heritage with Noche Latina

Metta World-Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers is among the players who participates in Noche Latina.

When workers have some spare cash and their families are taken care of after completing a money transfer, sports fans will splurge now and then on some NBA tickets, where they can witness live and in person the world's best basketball players taking center state. And with many of the NBA's fans originating from Latin America, over the past several years, the players within the league have acknowledged them with a special recognition program.

Since the 2006-07 season, the National Basketball Association has paid tribute to its fans with Hispanic and Latino roots with its "Noche Latina" program, which is Spanish for Latin Night. In the cities where the Hispanic community represents a considerable share of the overall population, the players wear special jerseys. For example, when the Miami Heat are playing at home, jerseys read "El Heat." And in San Antonio, the Spurs wear jerseys that say "Los Spurs."

Other cities that participate in Noche Latina are Orlando, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and New York.

Saskia Sorrosa, vice president of Hispanic marketing for the NBA, said that this outreach program has benefited both the players and the league's most diehard fans.

"The Noche Latina program is the perfect example of the ongoing commitment by the NBA to celebrate diversity as part of the fabric of our game," said Sorrosa. "This month-long celebration will bring the excitement of the NBA to Hispanic fans in ways that are culturally relevant."

Since the program was first launched seven years ago, players wore the jerseys during the month of March. They continue to do so today, as many of the games that have been played in the third month of the year have brought considerable attention from fans as well as the media. The first Noche Latina game was played on March 2 between the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets at the United Center.

It isn't just different uniforms that makes Noche Latina games special. Fans – whether they're of Hispanic descent or not – are encouraged to participate in the celebration as well, as the home team will play Latin-inspired music during time-outs and at halftime. Prizes and competitions take place during breaks in the action also.

The NBA announced 15 Noche Latina games for the month of March. While many have already passed by, there are still several that have yet to be played, including one on March 14 when Los Spurs play the Mavericks, March 22, which pits El Magic against the Oklahoma City Thunder. March 27 will close out the schedule, as Los Bulls face the league's best team – El Heat. The NBA champion Heat are currently on a 20-game winning streak, with a 49-14 win-loss record.

Hispanic players well represented in NBA
Over the years, the NBA's players have become increasingly diversified, as many players originate from overseas. There are currently 18 foreign-born Hispanic players in the league, including Luis Scola of the Phoenix Suns, Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, Gustavo Ayon of the Milwaukee Bucks and Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The NBA as a brand hasn't only made inroads among Hispanic countries. It's also earned a following in other countries that aren't known for basketball, such as China and India.

Matthew Brabants, vice president of business operations for global media distribution, told The Boston Globe that the NBA understands the importance of sports for many countries and isn't trying to replace national pastimes.

"We're not trying to take on cricket," said Brabants, referring to India. "But if we could be a strong number two in a country like India with more than a billion people, well, that's a pretty great feat."

15
Mar

Injury often not enough to squelch immigrants’ work ethic, report suggests

A new survey analyzes what health effects immigrants face in the workplace.

Thanks to their work ethic and determination, few things can get in between an immigrant and his ability to send money home to his family, as sickness, poor weather and physical ailments often prove to be no match for their drive and perseverance.

But every now and then, physical disabilities – which may have occurred while on the job – prevent even the most persistent person from being able to head to work on a given day.

With this in mind, the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health recently released the results of a poll, detailing immigrants and their work safety based on the responses from 366 immigrants, two-thirds of whom responded to the survey.

In addition to getting an idea of how many immigrants have been injured while on the job, the report also provided information on the jobs foreign-born workers are taking on in the Granite State. While immigrants are found in virtually every employment sector, the report found that they were usually in factory sectors, as well as cleaning services, food services, farming, construction and retail.

While all jobs carry a certain level of risk, as accidents can occur even in positions that aren't especially dangerous, a fairly small percentage of immigrants indicated that they were injured while on the job. Of the 10 percent of respondents who said that they had been injured, the most common injuries reported were to the extremities, specifically the hands, fingers, wrists, feet and elbows. There were a small number of injuries to the back and stomach as well among the 29 people who said that they'd been hurt on the job.

Because of immigrants' resilience, it may not come as a surprise as to how many of them stayed in their positions despite their injuries. Approximately seven in 10 respondents said that they "always" or "sometimes" maintained their post for whatever job they were involved with, even though doing so was sometimes tiring or painful.

Immigrants often unaware of workers' compensation
When workers get hurt while working, they are entitled to workers' compensation. Many small business have this type of insurance protection, which enables them to provide payment for their workers should they encounter an injury or illness that prevents them from being able to work.

The study found, though, that many immigrants were not aware that their company had this type of coverage that they could take advantage of. More than 60 percent of immigrants said that they didn't know about workers' compensation.

This report will likely help business owners better understand their employees and why it's important to make them aware of certain protections they have in the event they can't work for health-related reasons.

New Hampshire isn't known for being a major hub for foreign residents, as the immigrant population there is a fraction of what it is in states like Illinois, Florida, California and Texas. But the Granite State is slowly but surely seeing its population become more diverse. According to the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, slightly more than 5 percent of the state's population is made up of immigrants. However, that's a full percentage point higher than in 2000. In addition, the relatively small share of foreign-born residents produced 50 percent of the state's population increase in between 2000 and 2010.

Numbers from the Immigration Policy Center indicate that New Hampshire has 69,700 foreign immigrants currently living within the state, nearly 55 percent of whom have been naturalized.

8
Mar

American homeowners increasingly comprised of immigrants

Increases in homeownership levels will be heavily influenced by immigrants, a new report says.

Thanks to the successes of immigrants in the working world, many of whom send money to their families back home, they will likely have a heavy influence on homeownership throughout the next several years, a recent report indicates.

According to a joint study conducted by researchers from the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Population Dynamics Research Group at the University of California, homeownership growth among roughly 33 percent of new households will be made up of the immigrant population. In addition, growth in more than one in every four renter households will be comprised of immigrants.

John Pitkin, senior research associate for the PDRG, said that while the report pertains to all immigrants regardless of where they originated from, the largest bloc of buyers will be the Hispanic community.

"For example, among the cohort of Hispanics who arrived in the United States during the 1980s, homeownership rose from just above 15 percent in 1990 to nearly 53 percent in 2010," said Pitkin. "[It] is projected to rise to above 61 percent in 2020 when the cohort will have resided more than 30 years in the United States."

He added that the heightened demand of homes among immigrants is a natural outflow of the pace at which individuals from other countries have come to the U.S., many of whom came seeking a better life for themselves and their family.

The report also detailed the states that would likely garner the most demand from immigrants. Perhaps not surprisingly – given how many immigrants live there – New York and California are likely to represent the states with the highest rates of foreign-born demand. Home owning immigrants already represent a sizable share of property owners in the respective states, comprising 82 percent of the increase in California and 65 percent in New York.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, 10.1 million immigrants live in the Golden State, with roughly four in 10 being naturalized citizens. In New York, more than half of the Empire State's immigrants are have gone through the naturalization process of the 4.2 million who live there.

Four other states where growth is likely to be largely represented by foreign-born citizens include New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Michigan, the report said.

Mark Zandi, a nationally recognized economist for Moody's Analytics, indicated that the immigrant population will have a heavy influence on the country's economy, as much of it depends on the real estate sector.

"Immigrants will be key to the housing market for decades to come," said Zandi, USA Today reports.

Cities with highest, lowest vacancy rates
With demand for rental and purchase households picking up, immigrants may find it difficult to find a place that's available, as vacancy rates have diminished. However, there are a number of metropolitan regions where many people have either left or are leaving their homes after they sell them.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a list of the 75 cities where vacancy rates are highest. At 4 percent, the city with the largest number of properties available is Bakersfield, California. The Golden State's ninth-largest city is followed by Greensboro, North Carolina at 3.5 percent, Las Vegas at 3.4 percent; Toledo, Ohio at 3.3 percent and the Riverside-San Bernardino, California area at 3.3 percent. Rounding out the top 10 are St. Louis at 3.1 percent, Virginia Beach, New Orleans and Providence, Rhode Island tied at 2.9 percent and Chicago at 2.8 percent.

El Paso, Texas; Springfield, Massachusetts and Rochester, New York are three places where vacancies are few and far between. Each of these metro areas has a vacancy rate of 0.5 percent or less.