Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The immigration warrior

Spindentist at AllSpinZone has a story you should read about Saul Arellano, a 7 year old American citizen whose mother is about to be deported. It's an ideal story for electronic media except for one thing: it doesn't mesh with the Republican talking points.
You are correct. It soesn't fit Republican talking points. It sure shows Republicans being stron against illegal immigration, but it also shows them punishing a boy, an American citizen, being deprived of his family. Family values my ass.
I read the study below and come to the conclusion that unskilled immigration from latin america needs to cease until we can figure out how to give them better socio-economic outcomes. Note that many a rosy picture can be painted by focusing on first generation immigrants of all races, but here is the outcome for second generation latin americans:

"Study sheds light on how young adult children of immigrants assimilate

Largest, longest study of children of immigrants reveals certain groups are left behind

Irvine, Calif., October 4, 2006

While the vast majority of young adult children of immigrants experience upward economic and social mobility, a new study finds that a significant minority are suffering from lower levels of education, lower incomes, higher birth rates and higher levels of incarceration. Furthermore, it is the U.S.-born children of Mexican, Haitian and West Indian immigrants who experience these problems in the largest proportions.

The study, led by sociologists Rubén G. Rumbaut of UC Irvine and Alejandro Portes of Princeton University, appears online this week in the Migration Information Source. The largest and longest-running study of children of immigrants yet conducted, the study also confirms the critical importance of education.

“The greatest educational disadvantage is found among children of Mexican immigrants and Laotian and Cambodian refugees in our sample – close to 40 percent of whom did not go beyond a high school diploma,” said Rumbaut. “Education is the key to successful upward mobility among children of immigrants, so the discrepancies that emerge in educational achievement among immigrant groups tend to persist in trends for income, employment and incarceration.”

The researchers also point to the influence of human capital (the skills and education of immigrant parents) as well as family structure, racial prejudice and government policies toward certain immigrant groups – particularly the undocumented – that influence this “downward assimilation” process.

The researchers found that children of Laotian and Cambodian Americans as well as Haitian Americans had the lowest median annual household income at just over $25,000. They were followed closely by Mexican American families, which had a median annual household income of about $30,000. On the other end of the spectrum, children of upper-middle-class Cuban exiles in Southern Florida reported a household income of more than $70,000, and Filipino Americans in Southern California had more than $64,000, followed by Chinese immigrants.

Furthermore, the study found that the most educationally and economically disadvantaged children of immigrants were most likely to have children of their own at a young age, compounding their difficulties at pursuing higher education. When surveyed at the average age of 24, none of the Chinese Americans had children, while in contrast 25 percent of Haitians, West Indians, Laotians and Cambodians did, as did 41 percent of Mexican American young adults.

Differences in arrest and incarceration rates are also noteworthy, particularly among second-generation, U.S.-born, males. While only 10 percent of second-generation immigrant males in the survey had been incarcerated, that figure jumped to 20 percent among West Indian and Mexican American youths.

“Unfortunately, these trends perpetuate the racial and ethnic stereotypes that contributed to their situation in the first place,” Rumbaut said. “On the positive side, we see that children of immigrant families with little money and low human capital can move forward positively in American society. But there is clearly a minority segment among the native-born children of some immigrant groups that is getting caught in a cycle of downward mobility, and we need to understand the trends that drive this process.”

There are more than 30 million U.S.-born children of immigrants. Rumbaut is continuing to explore the major events influencing the social outcomes of the immigrant second generation, focusing on early childbirth for women and incarceration among men.

About the Study: The surveys were conducted over more than 10 years with random samples representing 77 different nationalities originally drawn in 1991 in San Diego, Calif., and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., of more than 5,000 respondents who were then in junior high school, The most recent surveys were conducted from 2001 to 2004 when the respondents were between the ages of 23 and 27. The surveys are part of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, which was designed to examine the in-depth interaction between immigrant parents and their children and the evolution of the young from adolescence into early adulthood. Results from the CILS surveys provide the most compelling current evidence to date of how the second generation adapts – from education and income to unemployment, family formation and incarceration. The study was funded with support from the Russell Sage Foundation. More:"
One of Howard Dean's campaign issues when he ran for president was that we need to amend international trade agreements to require all signatories to meet minimum standards for wages and working conditions. His position is that we can reduce illegal immigration by making it possible for people to have decent quality of life in their home countries. Reducing the number of people who try to enter the U.S. illegally makes more sense than trying to stop them from entering.
pjgoober, I think it would be great if there were no immigration at all. That would mean that everyone was where they wanted to be.

But there's a reason for the exodus from Mexico. The country is run by a corrupt elite that manages to enrich itself but cannot lead the country to prosperity. American corporations have a lot to do with the existence and permanescence of that corruption. And American corporations like Wal-Mart and other American employers have profited from the flood of desperate labor. Perhaps so have all of us, in one form or another.

If we fail to deal with that central issue-- our role in promoting corruption and poverty in Mexico-- immigration will continue.
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