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Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Next Generations

Commentary from the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

The impact of immigration on American culture is not determined by what immigrants do, but by what their children and grandchildren do. Here the evidence is unambiguous: The children and grandchildren of Mexican immigrants assimilate and move up the income ladder. Meticulous research by James Smith at Rand demonstrates that second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans quickly overcome the educational deficit faced by their immigrant parents and grandparents. As a result, they do not constitute a permanent economic underclass; they have been steadily narrowing the income gap with native-born whites. Nor do they constitute a social and cultural group independent of mainstream America. The reason is clear: 80% of third-generation Mexican-Americans cannot speak Spanish.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not seen the Rand Study and given the Wall Street Journal's very biased views on this issue I am not inclined to take their word for it on the "meticulous research".

Here is a study from the Public Policy Institute of California that seems to partially collaberate and partially contradict the findings. It agrees to the extent that Hispanics are certainly learning English (and not learning Spanish) but it also shows them significantly lagging other immigration groups in educational achievement and economic well-being. Hispanic kids in the second generation are more than twice as likely as children from other groups to be living in poverty. While there is still economic and class mobility in America, the status of ones parents remains the best predictor of the outcome for their children.

Population Trends and Profiles - Immigrants in California

They seem to be assimilating but more slowly than other groups.

5/04/2006 11:05 AM  

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