May 14, 2008


Studies show immigrants are assimilating (San Diego Union-Tribune, May 14, 2008)

First, despite what many of us like to think, previous waves of immigrants – from Germany, Italy or Ireland – were in no great hurry to dissolve into the melting pot. Instead, in many cases, they tried to hold on to their native languages, heritages and customs even while impressing upon their children the need to learn English in order to succeed in this country.

Second, there is a stack of evidence suggesting that recent immigrants are assimilating. In fact, some studies find that the immigrants of today, who are likely to come from Asia and Latin America, are actually blending into our society more quickly than did their counterparts a century ago.

That stack of evidence got a little bigger this week with the release by the Manhattan Institute of its first annual Index of Immigrant Assimilation. The study, authored by Duke University professor Jacob Vigdor, examined three types of assimilation: economic, cultural and civic. He also looked at more than 100 immigrant groups. He found that Mexican immigrants have relatively low rates of economic and civic assimilation, but that they're actually more culturally assimilated than immigrants from China, India or Vietnam. He also found that, contrary to stereotype, immigrants from developed countries do not necessarily assimilate better than others. And, in one of the most disturbing findings, he also learned that immigrants who speak English don't necessarily do better economically than those who don't. Better news was that America's capacity to assimilate immigrants is stronger than ever.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 14, 2008 10:29 AM

Okay, let's get this straight. If Italians, about 2-million of whom came during their peak immigration period, clung to their language, what hope do we have that 30-million hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal, will assimilate more easily? And that 30 million continues to grow. We simply can't digest so many people from a single source. Slow down. Assimilate. Regulate. Whatever happened to national sovereignty?

Posted by: jaytee at May 14, 2008 2:49 PM

I've just finished hiring three young Mexican-American girls as paraplegals each of which has a father that is an immigrant and only one of the three can speak Spanish.

Posted by: Ray Clutts at May 14, 2008 3:31 PM

'Gangs of New York' was a good read.

Posted by: mike in europe at May 14, 2008 3:37 PM

since they are assimilating similarly the reason to oppose them is race, on the right, and religion, on the left.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 5:12 PM