The United States and Australia Compared
Edited by John Higley, John Nieuwenhuysen and Stine Neerup
Chapter 6: Immigrant Cross-generational Incorporation in the United States
Susan K. Brown and Frank D. Bean During the past two decades immigrant incorporation has emerged as an important subject of public debates about reforming immigrant entry policies in the US, Australia and most European countries. Research on immigrant incorporation has become something of a growth industry, exemplified by large-scale investigations to assess how second-generation immigrants are faring in host societies (Kasinitz et al., 2008; Crul and Heering, 2008; Portes and Rumbaut, 2001; Bean et al., 2006). Results suggest that many second-generation members of immigrant families display significant incorporation. However, it is still difficult to reach conclusions about the extent of this, because adequate data on which to base judgements are lacking or because the immigration of various groups is still so recent (for example, within the past 40 years) that most of their second-generation children are still in early to mid adulthood. Especially vexing are cases like that of Mexican immigrants in the US. Although Mexicans have been migrating to the US for nearly a century and a half, their flows have increased substantially in recent decades, with a majority consisting of unauthorized migrants with very limited education (Bean and Stevens, 2003). This has fostered perceptions that the eventual incorporation of Mexican migrants is problematic (Huntington, 2004). It seems likely that disadvantaged forms of entry make incorporation more difficult, though research documenting this with representative data is almost non-existent (for a recent exception, see Bean et al., 2010). This chapter explores theoretically and empirically how unauthorized entry and other...
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