Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Immigrant assimilation critical, report finds

The Task Force on New Americans has finished their report and decided what we all thought was obvious; assimilation is very important and we must integrate immigrants into American society. DP

By Stephen Wall, Staff Writer

As the United States becomes more diverse, a greater effort must be made to integrate immigrants into American society, according to a new report by a federal task force.

The steady rise in the foreign-born population and shifting demographic patterns make it essential for the country to embark on a renewed "Americanization" movement to preserve social unity, the report states.

President Bush created The Task Force on New Americans in 2006. The task force, which included members from 20 federal agencies, delivered the report to Bush this month. The 67-page document provides recommendations to strengthen immigrant-integration efforts across the United States.

"The task force believes that immigrants do generally assimilate in the United States," said Alfonso Aguilar, chief of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Office of Citizenship. "But trends show government can do more to help newcomers learn English, learn about America and promote integration across our nation."

The report, "Building an Americanization Movement for the 21st Century," recommends enhanced English language education for immigrant adults, including a focus on electronic learning and distance learning.

It also calls on the federal government to work more closely with the private sector and community-based organizations to promote language and civics programs.

The need for increased assimilation efforts has become stronger because of the rapid
growth in the immigrant population over the past 40 years, according to the report.

Between 1966 and 2008, the U.S. population grew from 200 million to more than 300 million. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children accounted for 55 percent of that growth.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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