Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Becoming Americans - U.S. Immigrant Integration
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Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Becoming Americans - U.S. Immigrant Integration

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Hearing on 'Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Becoming Americans - US Immigrant Integration,' Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Serial No. 110-27. May 16, 2007. Abstract: In this statement to a House Hearing on comprehensive immigration reform focusing on immigrant integration, English and foreign language competencies, preferences and use among immigrants and their children in the United States are examined, based on both historical and contemporary census and survey data. The findings of key studies measuring inter-generational language change are summarized, including longitudinal and cross-generational analyses. Data are then presented from research measuring the “linguistic life expectancies” of immigrant languages in Southern California, the region of main immigrant settlement in the U.S. - that is, the generational point at which an immigrant language (Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese) effectively “dies” and is replaced by English language preference and use. Responses are also provided to these post-hearing questions posed by House members: “Is there such a thing as too much immigration? Legal immigration? Illegal immigration? How many immigrants are too many? Is there a limit to how many immigrants we can successfully assimilate? What are the criteria? What are the consequences if the wrong judgment is made about how many immigrants we can assimilate? How did previous generations of immigrants learn English without federal programs?”

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