The U.S. started experiencing large waves of immigration from the 19th century. Historically, immigrants have faced a lot of barriers. From a language barrier, lack of a social structure, various working restrictions, abuses, and more, the American Dream for immigrants often yields to a messy reality.
But if we broaden the concept of the American Dream to include the children of immigrants, you may get a different story. A new working paper by economic historians reveals children of poor immigrants achieve more economic and social mobility when compared to children of poor U.S.-born parents. We speak to economist Leah Boustan, one of the co-authors of this paper, to explain the results she found.
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