Skip to content
CityLab
Housing

The March of Second-Generation Immigrants

The children of immigrants are going to be essential for the nation’s economic health. Who they are—and where they live—matters.
irving Moran, whose parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic, hold his hand over his heart during a citizenship ceremony in New York City.
irving Moran, whose parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic, hold his hand over his heart during a citizenship ceremony in New York City.Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS

The children of immigrants face enormous challenges, especially these days. Almost 60 percent have a parent with limited English capabilities, so the kids assume the burden of serving as the translators between their families and the outside world. This can have serious academic and economic consequences. More than 40 percent also have a parent who’s not a citizen, which, in the current anti-immigrant environment, can be emotionally stressful.

In a new research brief, the Urban Institute dives deep into the geographical and demographic characteristics of this segment of the U.S. population. “Schools and other institutions within cities are better prepared to serve immigrant families when they have an understanding of who they are and where they live,” Devlin Hanson, lead researcher of the brief, tells CityLab.