The Second Generation and the Children of the Native-Born
Comparisons and Refinements
Recent discussion and some preliminary research have given a negative prognosis for children of immigrants. Senior Scholar Joel Perlmann and Roger Waldinger, professor of sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, examine 1990 Census Public Use Samples (PUMS) to determine if conditions for the children of immigrants are as poor as indicated. They are particularly interested in second-generation Mexicans as Mexicans constitute the largest group among immigrants and the group most uniformly composed of workers who are unskilled or semiskilled and have relatively little education or capital. Given that Mexican immigrants make up such a large proportion of all immigrants, the authors want to find out if the Mexican experience differs from that of all other immigrants, because if it does, it may affect the data in ways that misrepresent the experience of all non-Mexican immigrants.