13 May 2008

Immigrants That Become Good Citizens

Which group of immigrants become the best American citizens? The best immigrants are not only the ones who participate in the economic system and adopt American culture. The best immigrants also participate in civic activities. They become citizens, they own homes, they enlist in the armed forces and participate fully in the system.
The study, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank, used census and other data to devise an assimilation index to measure the degree of similarity between the United States' foreign-born and native-born populations. These included civic factors, such as rates of U.S. citizenship and service in the military; economic factors, such as earnings and rates of homeownership; and cultural factors, such as English ability and degree of intermarriage with U.S. citizens. The higher the number on a 100-point index, the more an immigrant resembled a U.S. citizen.

... Mexicans, for example have an index of 13, while Vietnamese were at 41. And although immigrants who arrived as children tend to be nearly identical to their U.S.-born counterparts, apart from their lower rates of citizenship, those who come from Mexico are less assimilated and have higher incidences of teenage pregnancy and incarceration.

A major reason for these disparities in assimilation levels may be the high percentage of Mexican immigrants who are in the country illegally, Vigdor said. When only cultural factors are considered, Mexicans score almost as high as Vietnamese and higher than immigrants from countries such as India and China, which tend to have a high rate of immigration to the United States. __WashPost
According to the study, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Korean immigrants tend to adapt to American civic life the quickest. Cubans also assimilate quite well to civic life. Intermediate civic life adapters include Canadians, Chinese, Dominican, and Indian immigrants. Poorest of all to adapt to America's civics, are the Mexican and Salvadorean immigrants--perhaps, as suggested in the article, because such a large proportion of these are illegal.

It is well documented that Central American immigrants contribute inordinately to crime rates in their communities, perhaps again because many of these immigrants are in the country illegally in the first place.Overall, the study suggests a fairly good composite rate of assimilation in all but the Mexican immigrants. It is likely that a firm and forceful reduction of illegal immigration would place the Mexican and Central American immigrants who remain in a better light.

Read the Manhattan Institute report here.

H/T Dennis Mangan


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Blogger Barba Rija said...

Nice series of posts.

More interesting to the point is the perhaps forgotten notion that america is mostly an immigrant people's country. There are few indians left, really. So it is a problem of older immigrants vs younger immigrants...

Europe, OTOH, has a darker tradition of problems regarding immigration and sectarism...

And sorry if you feel that I'm trolling or smth. Last comment I make on your blog, that's a promise.

Wednesday, 14 May, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

You may comment at will, BR.

When someone complains about one of my blog posts, I naturally make the assumption that they themselves should be able to take criticism as well as they give it out. That is not the same as a total dismissal of that person.

In a face to face setting, it is easier to be light and clear about exchanging criticisms, and to make barbed comments without cruel intent. On the internet, much nuance is lost.

Wednesday, 14 May, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

America is NOT a country of immigrants. Immigrants come into essentially a foreign culture. Euros have also fitted in rather quickly.

The first euros came to what was essentially a wilderness, excpet for sparse settlements of aboriginals. Virtually all newcomers 1700 - 1900 were western Europeans. They came to a place where they virtually clicked into place. The culture (FYI, the West) was European, the same as their origin. So they were coming to a new continent, but still living in the context of their existing culture.

As such they were SETTLERS.

Second issue. Nobody yet has seen a stable multicultural country.

Third issue: the US should be looking at improving the average IQ by such means as tax credits for embryo selection. Fertilize 20, high-grade the best...your kid will thank you...or curse you when he competes against his peers whose parents were more thoughtful.

Fourth issue: we don't improve the average cognitive ability in our country by importing low scorers, or allowing illegal low-scorers to sneak in. Jobs and opportunities these days are zero sum, and Americans suffer everytime a new immigrant comes.

Fifth: Sustainability. Immigration is unsustainable, we don't have the resources to grow into the future with the kind of immigrant influx seen today. (Relaistically we should plan on few Americans in the future, with relatively more resources & longer life.) Immigration compromises the future of all Americans, and the imm home countries too as they don't have to face problems if they offload their excess to the North.

J. Paige Straley

Wednesday, 14 May, 2008  
Blogger Barba Rija said...

Well, I'm sorry Al Fin. Even at face value, when I judge something as ridiculous, I say so. But I never took my judgement as a god-given talent, much the opposite. Nor do I expect (and want) people to agree with me.

Let's move on then. Paige first says that the first people were settlers. I don't have the figures, but I believe that in the entire nineteenth century, America wanted immigrants, and they went in waves. Current immigration is different, I agree: they are no longer welcomed.

I don't think that job is a "zero-sum" game. That's a lie that is perpetuated so that people get to compete with each other by lowering their wages, rather than joining up and confront their bosses, who are reaping the hugest amount of money ever. Isn't it hugely stupid? Problem is, people are afraid of the word "unions". So fight the immigrant all you want. You're making your bosses laugh pretty hard in their private jets.

Then it is proposed a sterilization program to stupid people. That's called eugenics. Now, I won't bring up Godwin's law and all, but Hitler did do that, and was considered an aberration. Why? Because you are letting people decide about other people's future using an abstract figure that is not even consensual. Talk about Scientism!

A good read about the IQ problem is not "The Bell Curve", but rather "The Mismeasure of Man", by Stephen Jay Gould. He doesn't debunk the theory of the IQ, but contextualizes its history, its huge faults, prejudices and historic mistakes. Psychologists always advise people to not take IQ as a descrimination test because it is prone to huge mistakes. Rather, it is advised to take IQ tests as a helping mechanism so that students learn where they can improve better, and where their worse thinking performance may lie.

To the problem with sustainability I cannot answer. I suspect it is not a problem at all, but an emotional take on things, that things are "bad" and people coming in only makes it "worse". I don't know, but I really doubt about that.

PS: Al Fin, I agree with your take on Murray on a subsequent post. It is very naive to consider people genetically fixed forever. Despite the fact of existing physical limits, there's always room for improvements.

Wednesday, 14 May, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

I suspect that there is good material in both Bell Curve and The Mismeasure of Man, and that both books make mistakes. S.J. Gould certainly allowed his ideology to get out in front of his better judgment on occasion.

IQ tests are very useful for what they do. But there are limits. Some important aspects of human potential cannot be measured by IQ tests.

Executive Function appears to be more important than IQ in terms of ultimate life success. Both are important, and there is a third component which I feel has not been well defined often referred to as Emotional Intelligence. EI cannot be considered to be contained within EF, although there are overlaps.

BR, it is clear that you have strong opinions about many things. When discussing controversial issues in this type of forum, sometimes it is necessary to include supplementary material to back up an assertion.

Any two people will find points of agreement and disagreement. To me, that is irrelevant. What is important to me is whether individuals can find areas where they can work together or in cooperation. The answer is not always certain.

Wednesday, 14 May, 2008  
Blogger Barba Rija said...

This sentence " individuals can find areas where they can work together or in cooperation" seems taken out of a PR statement from IBM or Microsoft to IT robots...

Not everyone is obliged to feel or think the same way. For me it is enough that people at least know there are others that think differently. It takes real curiosity to actually start to change one's mind though. And that doesn't change with the amount of links I can provide. My take on Obama is quite different than yours. I don't see the POTUS as needing to know everything, it is an impossible take that we all have on politicians. What they developed in the decades of MSM media is a fake "I-know-it-all-and-have-the-answer-just-in-my-mouth". Obama's take, more abstract and conceptual, may cost him votes and cast doubts on his actions as president, but at least its more honest and reasonable...

I won't dwell further. I hope you don't ask me to provide links to prove my political opinions though!
Good night.

Wednesday, 14 May, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

You see we already find points of agreement:

1. Not everyone is obliged to think the same way.

2. It takes real curiousity to start to change one's mind.

3. The POTUS doesn't have to know everything.

4. You cannot prove your political opinions, no matter how many links you provide.


Your comments are a fountain of unproven assertions, like most comments and commentaries. But sometimes our unproven assertions and beliefs overlap, and we can feel smug that we are right.

A wonderful feeling, smugness, no?

An even better feeling is to question smugness.

Thursday, 15 May, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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