The percentage of immigrants (including those unlawfully present) in the United states has been creeping upward for years. At 12.6 percent, it is now higher than at any point since the mid1920s.
We are not about to go back to the days when Congress openly worried about inferior races polluting America’s bloodstream. But once again we are wondering whether we have too many of the wrong sort newcomers. Their loudest critics argue that the new wave of immigrants cannot, and indeed do not want to, fit in as previous generations did.
We now know that these racist views were wrong. In time, Italians, Romanians and members of other so-called inferior races became exemplary Americans and contributed greatly, in ways too numerous to detail, to the building of this magnificent nation. There is no reason why these new immigrants should not have the same success.
Although children of Mexican immigrants do better, in terms of educational and professional attainment, than their parents UCLA sociologist Edward Telles has found that the gains don’t continue. Indeed, the fouth generation is marginally worse off than the third James Jackson, of the University of Michigan, has found a similar trend among black Caribbean immigrants, Tells fears that Mexican-Americans may be fated to follow in the footsteps of American blacks-that large parts of the community may become mired(陷入)in a seemingly permanent state of poverty and Underachievement. Like African-Americans, Mexican-Americans are increasingly relegated to (降入)segregated, substandard schools, and their dropout rate is the highest for any ethnic group in the country.
We have learned much about the foolish idea of excluding people on the presumption of the ethnic/racial inferiority. But what we have not yet learned is how to make the process of Americanization work for all. I am not talking about requiring people to learn English or to adopt American ways; those things happen pretty much on their own, but as arguments about immigration hear up the campaign trail, we also ought to ask some broader question about assimilation, about how to ensure that people , once outsiders , don’t forever remain marginalized within these shores.
That is a much larger question than what should happen with undocumented workers, or how best to secure the border, and it is one that affects not only newcomers but groups that have been here for generations. It will have more impact on our future than where we decide to set the admissions bar for the latest ware of would-be Americans. And it would be nice if we finally got the answer right.
1. How were immigrants viewed by U.S. Congress in early days?
A) They were of inferior races.
B) They were a Source of political corruption.
C) They were a threat to the nation’s security.
D) They were part of the nation’s bloodstream.
2. What does the author think of the new immigrants?
A) They will be a dynamic work force in the U.S.
B) They can do just as well as their predecessors.
C) They will be very disappointed on the new land.
D) They may find it hard to fit into the mainstream.
3. What does Edward Telles’ research say about Mexican-Americans?
A) They may slowly improve from generation to generation.
B) They will do better in terms of educational attainment.
C) They will melt into the African-American community.
D) They may forever remain poor and underachieving.
4. What should be done to help the new immigrants?
A) Rid them of their inferiority complex.
B) Urge them to adopt American customs.
C) Prevent them from being marginalized.
D) Teach them standard American English.
5. According to the author, the burning issue concerning immigration is_______.
A) How to deal with people entering the U.S. without documents
B) How to help immigrants to better fit into American society
C) How to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border
D) How to limit the number of immigrants to enter the U.S.
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