Despite fear-mongering and paranoia that pervades certain radio programs and national debates, it seems that immigration is, to borrow the words of Talking Heads, same as it ever was. A new study published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reveals that immigrants to the United States today assimilate as fast “and broadly” as earlier waves of immigrants did. In other words, Mexicans, Indians, Pakistanis, and the rest of 21st century US immigrants look a lot like the Irish, Germans and Italians who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries.
English-speaking becomes the norm very quickly, the study revealed. And in another surprise to some conservative pundits: crime rates were lower in U.S. cities with large immigrant populations, a statistic that remained true right down to the neighborhood level in neighborhoods where immigrants make up a large portion of the population. Currently America’s 41 million immigrants make up 13.1% of the U.S. population. The study is called The Integration of Immigrants into American Society.