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US paradoxes for immigrants

I came across two articles this weekend that I thought were particularly prescient for our upcoming discussion on immigrant incorporation and the importance of context.

The first points out that despite what we may think, the US has historically been quite good at incorporating new immigrants and it's likely to continue to be pretty good at it. The article specifically compares the US experience with those of several European countries.

Why the U.S. Is So Good at Turning Immigrants Into Americans - Jason DeParle - The Atlantic:

However, the story doesn't end there. The same popular publication (Atlantic Monthly) also reports about the glaring inequalities in the US education system. And while the article doesn't specifically say, it seems that part of the comparison is to more egalitarian European systems. While the general perception is that US students are falling behind, this article points out that when we disaggregate the data, students in many US states outperform many countries.

Why are these articles important? Because together, they point out that the positive aspects of US incorporation, but also speaks to the issue of what new immigrants and, more specifically, their children are integrating into and this context might shape their experiences (and ultimately, their outcomes). It appears that we do a great job incorporating new immigrants into a remarkably unequal society. Given how much time we spend in the education system and its the ever rising importance, such levels of inequality in this institution is incredibly important to note.


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