Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Another report: New immigrants do, in fact, assimilate

A girl waves the flag at a naturalization ceremony, July 2010
A girl waves the flag at a naturalization ceremony, July 2010
Photo by Samantha Decker/Flickr (Creative Commons)

I promise that I won't post any more reports after this, but one released today by the Center for American Progress is pretty interesting. It's a report on immigrant assimilation that points to key benchmarks being met by relatively new immigrants. From the executive summary:

Integration is occurring fastest in the areas of citizenship and homeownership, with high school completion and earnings also rising. The share of foreign- born men earning above low-income levels in our country, for example, rose to 66 percent in 2008, the last year for which complete data is available, from just 35 percent in 1990 when the immigrants were recently arrived.

And Latino immigrants in the first 18 years of U.S. residency swiftly attained the hallmark of the “American Dream“—homeownership, with 58 percent achieving this feat in 2008, up from only 9.3 percent in 1990. This is a substantial leap. While lower than the 66.6 percent homeownership rate for non-Hispanic native born men, the homeownership levels for Latinos and other foreign-born immigrants rises as their time in the United States lengthens.

The report points out that in Arizona, lately the immigration-debate hotbed, 66.6 percent of Latino immigrants who have been in the country for 18 years are homeowners and 59.2 percent speak English well.

I'll reveal here that my uncle and aunt, who arrived from Cuba almost 15 years ago, just bought their first home this summer. And their English isn't bad, either.