Thursday, February 21, 2002

IMMIGRATION: There's this TNR piece that isn't making a ton of sense to me. Richard Weissbourd writes:

The longer immigrant children live in this country, the worse, on average, their health, their attitude, and their school performance. What's more, with each subsequent generation, immigrant children do worse and worse. On average, first-generation children function at significantly higher levels than do typical American-born children. But, by the third generation, that advantage is gone. To take just one example, the school performance of first-generation Chinese teenagers--one of the highest performing immigrant groups--markedly exceeds white teens. By the third generation, the difference disappears: English proficiency and school performance are inversely related. In other words, while once upon a time people came to the United States expecting to make better lives for their children, today the sad fact is that the more Americanized immigrant children become, the less successful they are.

Once you get outside the first generation you're talking about actual mom-and-apple-pie Americans --so of course they're not going to have the competitive advantage of their forebears' willingness to take a cruddy job because it was better than what they left behind. It's like what the guy's arguing is that Americanization is an insidious process, which, I mean, fine, he can have that opinion and everything, but he doesn't need to tie it in with immigration.

No comments: