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Humanitarianism and Mass MigrationConfronting the World Crisis$
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Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297128

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297128.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Children of Immigrants in the United States

Children of Immigrants in the United States

Barriers and Paths to Integration and Well-Being

(p.308) 15 Children of Immigrants in the United States
Humanitarianism and Mass Migration

Mary C. Waters

University of California Press

This chapter reviews what is known about how the children of immigrants to the United States are integrating. Overall the second generation is integrating with natives, showing a great deal of progress compared to their parents levels in socioeconomic attainment. In other areas such as crime, health and family type, the children of immigrants are also converging with native born Americans, but in these three areas this makes them worse off because first generation immigrants have lower crime rates, better health and more intact families than native born Americans. While the children of immigrants suffer from racial discrimination and rising income inequality which also affects the native born, there is one area in which they face a specific barrier to their integration and well-being—legal status. Undocumented children and the citizen children of the undocumented show more psychological distress, lower educational attainment and other negative consequences stemming from their parents legal status. Universal policy solutions that address racial discrimination and income inequality are recommended. In addition, an appeal to human rights and to American shared moral values are suggested as a way forward to improve conditions for undocumented immigrants and their families and to reach a lasting solution to America’s immigration impasse.

Keywords:   second-generation, children of immigrants, assimilation, integration, undocumented immigrants, mixed-status families

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