Immigrant transnational organizations and development: A comparative study

Alejandro Portes, Cristina Escobar, Alexandria Walton Radford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


This article explores how ninety Colombian, Dominican, and Mexican transnational immigrant organizations pursue philanthropic projects that aid in the development of their country or community of origin. We find that each nationality's context of exit and reception affects the origin, strength, and character of their organizations. We produce "maps" of the interaction of transnational organizations with each country of origin and conduct multivariate regressions to establish determinants of key organizational characteristics, including their degree of formalization and form of creation. Generally, Colombian organizations assume more middle-class forms, Dominican organizations stem largely from politics in the country of origin, and Mexican organizations are primarily hometown associations with greater involvement of the national state. We observe that regardless of nationality, transnational immigrant organizations' members are older, better-established, and possess above-average levels of education, suggesting that participation in transnational activities and assimilation are not incompatible. The character of proactive activities by each national state are examined. Theoretical implications for immigrant adaptation and community/national development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-281
Number of pages40
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Immigrant transnational organizations and development: A comparative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this