Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It's a myth that immigrants don't "assimilate" into U.S. society

Here are the facts (note 1):

Immigrants learn English and climb the socio-economic ladder over time,and their children and grandchildren make even greater strides.

  • A comprehensive 2007 study released by the Russell Sage Foundation found that Latino immigrants in California exhibit exceptionally large gains in home ownership -- a key indicator of entry into the middle class. Home ownership rose from 16.4 percent of Latino immigrant householders in California who arrived in the U.S. in the last 10 years to 64.6 percent among those who have lived here for 30 years or more.
  • A 2007 study by the Pew Hispanic Center found that among "adult first-generation latinos, just 23% say they can carry on a conversation in English very well. That share rises sharply, to 88%. among the second generation of adults, and to 94% among the third and higher generations."
  • According to a 2003 study from the RAND Corporation, "2nd and 3rd-generation Hispanic men have made great strides in closing their economic gaps with native whites. The reason is simple: each successvie generation has been able to close the schooling gap with native whites, which then has been translated into generational progress in incomes. "

Note 1: Excerpt from "Top 5 Immigration Myths from this Campaign Season" from the American Immigration Lawyer Association