A Closer Look At The Caribbean Immigrant Population In Two States That Helped Joe Biden Win

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Caribbean immigrants are among the black voting bloc in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for MoveOn)
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 13, 2020: Vice-President Joe Biden is now US President Elect Biden, thanks in large part to black voters in key battleground states, who showed in up in large numbers for the incumbent. And while Caribbean immigrant voters are often the unrecognized group in the larger Black voting bloc across the US, their growing presence in two states that helped put Biden over Donald Trump is no secret.

In Pennsylvania’s, Philadelphia County, which includes Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester, where Biden got most of the votes in the state, non-Hispanic Black people make up 42%.

Caribbean immigrants are put conservatively at over 143,000, with the majority being Jamaicans. Haitians and Jamaicans live in majority African-American neighborhoods in West, Southwest, and Upper North Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Trenton. Upper Darby, on the edge of the city, also has become a major destination for immigrants from the Caribbean.

Some 56 percent of Jamaican immigrants hold U.S. citizenship in the state, meaning they can vote.  By contrast, only 22 percent of Mexican immigrants have been naturalized.

In Georgia, Biden is leading Trump after winning almost 2:1 in counties like Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Clarke. The 10-county Atlanta region has approximately 42 percent of Georgia’s total population and 86 percent of the state’s Caribbean population, put conservatively at over 100,000.

The largest concentrations of the Caribbean immigrant population are in the eastern and southeastern DeKalb County outside the perimeter and south of I-20.

Most are Jamaicans, who are put at over 45,000 conservatively. Most moved from other US cities, mostly the New York City metro area, Boston, and southern Florida. A small number were emigrating directly from the Caribbean to Atlanta to attend college in the area.

DeKalb has the largest Jamaican population while Clayton County has a diverse and distinct immigrant population that includes Haitians.

The number of Caribbean black voters is estimated to be around 12 percent of the immigrant voting bloc in Gwinnett County and in six-County Metro Atlanta Area.