6 April 2006
Great News for people studying immigration: The first-full cohort module of the New Immigrant Survey (NIS 2003) is now online. The NIS is "a nationally representative multi-cohort longitudinal study of new legal immigrants and their children to the United States based on nationally representative samples of the administrative records, compiled by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), pertaining to immigrants newly admitted to permanent residence."
The sampling frame consists of new-arrival and adjustee immigrants. The Adult Sample covers all immigrants who are 18 years of age or older at admission to the Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) program. There is also a Child Sample, which covers immigrants with child-of-U.S.-citizen visas who are under 18 years of age and adopted orphans under five years of age. Overall 8,573 adults and 810 children were interviewed. This constiutes a response rate of about 65%.
The NIS features a wide variety of questions regarding demographics, pre-immigration experiences, employment, health, health and life Insurance, health care utilization and daily activities, income, assets, transfers, social variables, migration history, etc. There is also the controversial and much discussed skin color scale test, where the survey measured respondent skin color using an 11-point scale, ranging from zero to 10, with zero representing albinism,
or the total absence of color, and 10 representing the darkest possible skin. The Scale was memorized by the interviewers, so that the respondent never sees the chart. Check out the ten shades of skin color corresponding to the points 1 to 10 and a description of the skin color test here.