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Second-generation immigrants better off than parents

Second-generation immigrants are faring far better than their parents, earning more money, owning more homes and getting more college degrees, according to a report released Thursday.

The median annual household income for the U.S.-born children of immigrants is $58,100, a marked improvement over the $45,800 their parents generated and nearly as high as the $58,200 median income for all U.S. adults, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.

As President Obama and members of Congress consider an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws that could grant a path to citizenship to some of the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., the economics of that plan has become an integral part of the debate.

Some, including Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, say legalizing those immigrants "costs taxpayers millions of dollars" through government benefits and services that will become available to them once they become legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens.

Others, including the president, argue that adding all those people to the nation's tax rolls, allowing them to start businesses and reaping the benefits of their improved access to higher education will be a net plus to the nation's economy.

The Pew report found that immigrants will be the heart of America's working-age population in the years to come. It estimates that 93% of the growth in the country's working-age population between now and 2050 will consist of immigrants and their U.S.-born children.

"By then, the nation's 'immigrant stock' ... could grow from around 76 million now to more than 160 million, at which point it would comprise a record share (37%) of the U.S. population," the report said.


Pew says immigrants are also learning English in greater numbers. About 93% of second-generation Hispanic immigrants say they can carry on a conversation in English well or very well, compared with 48% of their parents. And 92% of Asian immigrants say they speak English well or very well, compared with 77% of their parents.

"The second generations of both groups are much more likely than the immigrants to speak English, to have friends and spouses outside their ethnic or racial groups, to say their group gets along well with others, and to think of themselves as a 'typical American,' " the report said.

Other findings from the report:

• 36% of second-generation immigrants have at least a bachelor's degree from college, compared with 29% of their parents and 31% of all U.S. adults.

• The home ownership rate of second-generation immigrants is 64%, compared with 51% for their parents and 65% for all U.S. adults.

• Most second-generation immigrants (58%) still describe themselves by their ethnic background or their country of origin. That's lower than their parents (90%).

Fonte: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/07/second-generation-immigrants-improve/1899607/ - 07.02.2013


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