Fitting in: Immigrant Children and Assimilation

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

According to the Migration Policy Institute's analysis of the 2010 Census, 15 percent of the immigrant population is between the ages of five and seventeen. Many immigrant children arrive speaking only their native language, or very limited English; many live in low-income areas and face the challenge of assimilation along with the many other issues families living in poverty have to deal with on a regular basis; many arrive in the United States having fled violence in their homelands.

Whether the Tsanaev brothers had difficulties integrating into American society as young immigrants is unknown. The brothers left a violent region for the United States; but the American public has yet to learn whether the violence in their homeland contributed to their wish to perpetrate violence on others. 

While these question may remain unanswered, Marcelo Suárez-Orozco argues that the Tsarnaev case does highlight the issues many immigrant children face in the United States. Suárez-Orozco has has interviewed hundreds of immigrant children over the course of his career as an anthropologist. He is the dean of U.C.L.A.’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and co-author of "Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society."

Guests:

Marcelo Suarez-Orozco

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

savti7 from Florida

Are you kidding? Trying to drum up sympathy for these monsters who purposely aimed their weapons at the lower extremities of innocent people, because Americans weren't "friendly". A little boy lost his life. His mother and sister lost limbs and you are concerned about young immigrants "fitting in" in America.
My parents were immigrants who came here from Eastern Europe as teenagers having survived life in a violent war torn childhood. My father came here ALONE, with no hope of returning to his native land. He left his family behind to suffer horrific murder in the forests of Belarus. He was an alien dropped in a strange planet. He never harmed another individual but rather dedicated himself to liberal causes. He didn't build bombs to maim others. Their generation built and supported hospitals, educational institutions, the arts and other causes to make the world better.
Holocaust survivors arrived here alone, having survived horrors beyond imagination. Many, hopelessly saw their families go up in smoke before their eyes. They were raised in the most sadistic, terrorized, violent environment ever experienced in human history. The arrived in the USA penniless, not knowing the language, a minority religion that was not preferred by the majority of Americans. No welfare, no bi-lingual education, no ESL, no medicaid and yet, they quickly raised families, worked, built businesses, embraced all that America had to offer. They raised a generation of businessmen, attorneys, doctor, scientists, engineers, plumbers, electricians and NEVER went on a shooting rampage, built bombs, killed and maimed innocent people,
The "new" immigrants, and refugees come here receive medical benefits, food stamps, welfare, education, social services, ESL, Bi-lingual classes and yet they are not satisfied. They decry America and Americans complaining that Americans are not "friendly". Who are we kidding here. Let's address the big elephant standing in the corner of the room with honesty! There IS NO EXCUSE for these people who turn to such violence!

Apr. 24 2013 10:11 AM
listener

It seems audio technical problems cannot overcome the platitudes and talking points.
Aren't immigrants supposed to adapt to the nation and not the other way around?
Doesn't a nation have the right to accept or not accept people who will be a benefit and not a drain or danger to the nation?

Can U.S. citizens be given the same deference and respect from
our government when it comes to taxes and regulations that pay
for all this social experimentation?

Apr. 24 2013 09:53 AM

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