News Flash: Canadian Immigrants Assimilate Better Than Mexicans
February 13, 2009, 02:28 AM
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It's amazing the groundbreaking research coming out of academia these days. A recent investigative project in an American university actually discovered that Canadian immigrants to the U.S. are the best assimilators, and assimilate much better than Mexicans.

What will they discover next?

You can read about it in an article (The Gilroy Patch, January 19th, 2009) which says that a professor actually designed an assimilation index to see how various immigrant groups were assimilating. Here is an excerpt:

... Hispanics have been slower to assimilate than past immigrant groups, says Jake Vigdor, and the numbers show it. The associate professor of public policy and economics at Duke University in North Carolina measured indicators such as the ability to speak English, educational attainment, military enlistment and rates of becoming citizens.

And the results:

An assimilation index he put together found Mexico far behind other countries that also send lots of immigrants to the United States. Mexico scored 13 on the index. Canada had the highest score, 53. Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines scored more than 40.

Imagine that, Canada # 1. Could that possibly be because the Canadians are so similar to us to begin with? But as for Mexican immigrants, says Professor Vigdor...

"That is troubling," Vigdor said. "What really distinguishes Mexican immigrants from other immigrants both past and present is that they don't make a lot of progress over time."

Another academic at Tufts University weighs in

Lawrence Harrison, director of the Cultural Change Institute at Tufts University in Massachusetts, said Hispanics are too resistant to assimilation. "Latin American culture has a number of attitudes that help explain why it has been so slow to develop democracy, social justice and prosperity," Harrison said.

Harrison, who is fluent in Spanish from decades of work as a U.S. government aid worker in five Latin American countries, said that Hispanic immigrants are hardworking but that they lack the entrepreneurial, small-business-founding tendencies that turn other immigrant groups into success stories.

There's more in the article, and of course another academic and another study are brought to provide a different perspective.

But given (1) the massive numbers of Mexican (and other Hispanic) immigrants entering annually, (2) a U.S. government which encourages them not to assimilate, and (3) the growing power of the Mexican ethnic lobby, it's rather hard to come to such a conclusion.