Study: immigrants assimilate well, but Mexicans lag

It's the American Melting Pot, version 2.0.

A wide-ranging and provocative new study of immigrants' integration into U.S. society has concluded that newcomers today are assimilating more quickly than their predecessors did 100 years ago — with Cubans, Vietnamese and Filipinos among those leading the way.

But Mexicans, by far the most numerous nationality, lag significantly behind other big immigrant groups, possibly because a lack of legal status keeps many Mexican immigrants from advancing.

The study, conducted by a Duke University economist and published Tuesday by the Manhattan Institute, a free-market-oriented conservative think tank in New York City, seeks to break new ground on one of the most contentious topics in the debate over immigration — the question of how the record-breaking immigrant stream of the past 25 years is jelling with its sometimes wary host.

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