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Immigrants And Their Children: Living In America

by Scott Bittle

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

In the fierce debate over immigration, one fact sometimes gets lost: the children of immigrants are actually one of the fastest-growing segments of the population.

Their numbers have doubled over the past two decades, from 8.3 million to about 16.5 million. Put another way, children of immigrants account for three quarters of the growth of America's child population since 1990. But how are they faring in American society, particularly in a time of economic stress? How do their experiences compare with their parents?

Public Agenda and the Urban Institute examined some of these questions at "Children of Immigrants and Their Parents: Two Perspectives on Life in America," a panel discussion broadcast live on C-SPAN. In addition to Public Agenda Research Director Jon Rochkind, the panel included included Ajay Chaudry, senior fellow of the Urban Institute's Center on Labor, Human Services; Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center; and Selcuk Sirin, assistant professor in the NYU Department of Applied Psychology. The panel was moderated by Tara Bahrampour, immigration staff writer for the Washington Post.

Public Agenda looked at many of these questions in our survey, A Place to Call Home: What Immigrants Say Now About Life in America, which found that most immigrants believe they made the right move in coming here, both for themselves and their children.

You can find presentations from the speakers here, or watch the entire discussion on the C-SPAN Web site.


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