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Migration at that time was largely a male phenomenon; women and children generally stayed behind until their husbands, fathers, and brothers became established.Chaldeans also fled their homeland to escape religious persecution from the Muslim majority in the Middle East.In a typical chain, a man migrates first; later he sends home for his wife and children, or if he is not married, he may return to find a bride.As he and his wife become citizens, they arrange for the migration of their parents and siblings as well.While the vast majority of Iraqis, like residents of other Arabic nations, are Muslim, Chaldeans are Roman Catholic, and practice one of the 18 to 20 separate rites of the Catholic Church.They also differ from other Iraqis in that their ancestral language is not Arabic but a dialect of Aramaic, also referred to as Chaldean, Assyrian, or Syriac.
Close relatives may even provide money for passage.
The combination of religious freedom, an established Lebanese Moronite community, and economic opportunity made the United States, particularly metropolitan Detroit, inviting.
Once members of the Telkaif community had settled in the area, they encouraged others from their homeland to join them.
(These figures are based on the statistical projections and estimates of Chaldean American community leaders.) This period also saw an increase in immigration to other parts of the country, particularly California.
The majority of Chaldean Americans left their homeland for economic and religious reasons.
Only later did some of them decide to migrate to the United States, or simply to North America.