As immigration reform moves through Congress, one claim by opponents is that this time immigration is different because the country’s latest arrivals aren’t assimilating. On the contrary, however, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that today’s immigrants are acculturating and moving up the economic ladder like previous generations.

The media’s tendency to report “averages” in educational attainment, English-language skills, income and other traditional measures of assimilation can make it difficult to determine whether immigrants are making gains. Since Latino immigration continues, averaging together the poverty rates or homeownership levels of large numbers of people who arrived recently with those who have been here for decades can provide a skewed view of progress.

Measuring assimilation properly requires following the same immigrants over generations. And the good news is that longitudinal studies that take this approach show that Latino immigrants have made gains similar to other groups who preceded them.

via Review & Outlook: America’s Assimilating Hispanics –