When advocates of immigration controls suggest that legal immigrants and their children “assimilate” to the United States, they usually mean acquiring a working knowledge of the U. S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, it may be easier for these kids to acquire a working knowledge of gang warfare. “There are problems with assimilating to the gang culture,” Paul Skerry, a political science professor from Boston College, said at a panel discussion organized by the Center for Immigration Statistics (CIS).
“Where we live now is in a great neighborhood with great businesses but we hear the gunshots every night from the gangs,” Juan Rangel, the founder of the UNO Charter School Network in Chicago, said at the same forum. Rangel started the UNO network to aid Spanish-speaking children, with a curriculum that emphasized English immersion, and resulted in students getting higher test scores than their peers in public schools.
“Almost one out of four (23 percent) public school students in the United States came from an immigrant household in 2015,” Steven Camarota writes in a recent report from the CIS. “As recently as 1990 it was 11 percent, and in 1980 it was just 7 percent.”
“In 2015, between one-fourth and one-third of public school students from immigrant households were the children of illegal immigrants; the remainder were the children from legal immigrant households.”