More US health aide workers from Caribbean/Latin America

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States, August 30, 2007 – More than fifty percent of foreign-born women employed as personal and home care aides in the United States are from Latin America and the Caribbean.

That’s the consensus of a study by Dr. Walter N. Leutz of the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The study, titled ‘Immigration and the Elderly: Foreign-Born Workers in Long-Term Care,’ found that a whopping 55 percent of the women who work in the health care industry as health aides are Latin American or from the Caribbean or largely people of color.

Leutz also found that nursing-home aides had the third highest injury rate among U.S. workers, but only 30 percent had health insurance. About 44 percent of foreign-born workers in direct-care jobs were between age 45 and 65, compared to 34 percent of natives.

Foreign-born women in direct-care jobs, on average, were older than either foreign-born men or native-born men and women while the majority of direct-care workers tend to have low levels of education, although there are significant differences among workers.

Nearly two-thirds of personal and home care aides age 25 and higher had a high-school diploma or less education in 2005. While slightly less than 60 percent of nursing and home health aides had no more than a high-school diploma.

And about 15 percent of foreign-born direct-care workers had a college degree – twice as high as their native-born counterparts.

Meanwhile, compared to men, women were twice as likely to

be employed in home healthcare services. Home health aides provide routine personal healthcare such as bathing, dressing, or grooming to elderly, convalescent, or disabled persons at the patient’s home or n a residential care facility.

Personal and home care aides who assist elderly or disabled adults with daily living activities at patients’ homes or in daytime non-residential facilities. Duties include keeping house, preparing meals, and performing supervised activities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the long term care workforce will grow from 2.8 million to 3.7 million workers between 2004 and 2014. Still about 28 percent of aides lived in poverty in 2000 and, among single-parent aides, 20 to 35 percent received food stamps.

This as the study found that by 2030, the number of older people in the United States is likely to each 72 million—or nearly one out of every five people.

U.S. immigration law provides virtually no opportunities for foreign paraprofessionals to work in the United States on a temporary basis or to come here as permanent immigrants. There are no temporary visas designed for direct-care workers. –