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How difficult is it for immigrant kids to assimilate in the US?

by Take Two®

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Kids eat lunch at Jardín de Niños in Lincoln Heights. The program provide multi-lingual early education to low-income families. Mae Ryan/KPCC

In the days following the capture of alleged Boston bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev and the death of his brother Tamerlan, authorities have been digging into their background in the search for answers. Dzokhar is 19 and Tamerlan was 26. Both came in to the United States as kids more than 10 years ago.

The younger Dzokhar reportedly had an easy time fitting in, but it was harder for his older brother. This insight has raised some question about how easy, and not so easy, it is for immigrant children to assimilate in the U.S.

Marcelo Suarez -Orozco, Dean of U.C.L.A.'s Graduate School of Education, has spent a good chunk of his career studying how immigrants kids adapt to society here. He co-wrote, with his wife and colleague Carola, an op-ed about it this week in the New York Times.

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