Brown report finds "immigrant paradox" in education

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Immigrant children in the United States are more likely to do well in school and less likely to engage in crime and drug use than their American-born peers. That according to a new report from researchers at Brown University called The Immigrant Paradox.

The report challenges some commonly held ideas about new immigrants, most notably that they are a problem for schools. In fact, this research suggests that immigrants who bring their children to the United States are more likely to push them to go to college. Brown Education Professor Cynthia Garcia-Coll is one of a dozen researchers featured in the report.

"They value education in ways that other families don't," Garcia-Coll says. "They have a very strong working ethic, some of them have 2 and 3 jobs, sometimes what's interesting is that they don't even see discrimination or racism."

But racism may still be taking a toll on today's immigrants, most of whom are Latino and Asian. Garcia-Coll says after two and three generations in this country, many are not achieving the same economic success as earlier immigrant groups.