The Truth About Immigrant Families

My friend is anti-immigration because he said people from the south border come from socialist countries, are programmed to think the government will do everything for them, and in America will become a permanent underclass.

I told him the story of my father, an immigrant from Jamaica who built businesses and placed 5 children on a middle-class path. I told him I was from New York, a city of immigrants, and we seem to be doing OK.

I wasn’t convincing. He thinks I’m an outlier, and he doesn’t see NYC as a model for anything good.

New data shows that kids of immigrants do better than kids from native born families

A new book, “Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success,” by two economists, Ran Abramitzky of Stanford and Leah Boustan of Princeton..linked census records to pull together what they call “the first set of truly big data about immigration.”

Mr. Abramitzky and Ms. Boustan were able to compare the income trajectories of immigrants’ children with those of people whose parents were born in the United States. The economists found that on average, the children of immigrants were exceptionally good at moving up the economic ladder.

Peter Coy, “Why So Many Children of Immigrants Rise to the Top”

So, now my friend has my personal narrative and a mass of data that that corrects the permanent underclass narrative. Many immigrants thrive in America, especially on to the second generation.


One response to “The Truth About Immigrant Families”

  1. Vantage Avatar

    I think that’s the truth of where his fear lies. There are certain groups of Americans who harken back for a time when they didn’t have to compete with others for jobs and opportunities. As a black man in a labor Union I see clearly how these men kept minorities out of their union and passed on the benefits to their children and neighbors for generations. I worked with 3rd and 4th generation skilled workers who were making 6 figure incomes in their early 20’s while living in their parent’s homes. The thought of an immigrant worker coming in and working harder than they are willing to and taking a position that would otherwise go to their son or nephew infuriates them. Because deep down they know they have not prepared their children for a fair fight.