UCI Professor: Mexicans Most Successful Immigrant Group in the United States
In news that will undoubtedly be accepted by all American and lead to widespread acceptance of Mexicans in the U.S. and everything that they do, a UC Irvine sociology professor recently wrote an essay proclaiming her findings: Mexicans are the most successful immigrant group in the United States.
That's the claim made by Jennifer Lee, professor of sociology at UCI, in an essay she published on Zócalo Public Square and reprinted online at Time.com.
"There is no question that, when we measure success as progress from generation to generation, Mexican-Americans come out ahead," she writes, presenting research she and a UCLA professor worked on published for a project called "Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles," a multidisciplinary effort worked on by a chingo of UCI scholars.
The study's rationale is simple, if a bit misleading: instead of measuring the accomplishments of immigrants and their children by end result, Lee and her colleagues instead examined by how much achievement was accomplished from generation to generation--in other words, the Vietnamese kid who ended up being a pharmacist but came from refugee parents with a college education is actually less successful than the Mexican bank teller with a bachelor's in Robo-American studies whose parents never went to high school at all.
"A colleague of mine illustrated this point with a baseball analogy: Most Americans would be more impressed by someone who made it to second base starting from home plate than someone who ended up on third base, when their parents started on third base," Lee writes. "But because we tend to focus strictly on outcomes when we talk about success and mobility, we fail to acknowledge that the third base runner didn't have to run far at all." You can read Lee's full essay here. Will no doubt change hearts and minds, right?