E.g., 06/25/2024
E.g., 06/25/2024
Los Angeles on the Leading Edge: Immigrant Integration Indicators and their Policy Implications

This report seeks to provide an analytical framework for considering key immigrant integration indicators and their policy implications within and across key policy and service areas, levels of government, and stakeholder constituencies who must act on them. To do so, authors examine the large presence of unauthorized and mixed-status families, and the growing size of the second generation and its concerns within Los Angeles County and in California, drawing comparisons to broader national demographic trends and rationales for immigrant integration. They then review individual program and service areas that are particularly relevant to the discussion of immigrant integration indicators with respect to the labor market, English language education, K-12 education, poverty, and healthcare.

The report’s key findings indicate that the challenge of economic integration affects immigrants in both high and low skilled occupations, as educational attainment does not guarantee smooth integration into the labor market. Insufficiencies in adult literacy education, both in supply and scope, further exacerbate this underutilization of the immigrant labor force. Furthermore, language acquisition seems to be a problem not only for the foreign-born, but also for second and third generation children of immigrants, who comprise the bulk of K-12 English language learner population. These issues, coupled with noncitizens’ higher poverty rates and lower participation rates for public benefit programs—in particular, those concerning health care and health insurance—point to a need for both the public and private sector to take a more proactive approach to immigrant integration.

Authors conclude with a number of recommendations for stakeholders.

Table of Contents 

Introduction: Los Angeles on the Leading Edge

Chapter 1. The National Framework: Integration Imperatives and Trends

Economic Self-Interest
Institutional Mismatch
Decline in Mediating Institutions
The Collapse of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Chapter 2. Immigration Trends in the United States and Los Angeles

High Flows
Legal Status Changes
Transition from First to Second Generation

Chapter 3. Immigrants in the Labor Force

Credentialing Issues
Immigrants in the California and Los Angeles Labor Markets

Chapter 4. Adult Immigrant English Language Needs

National Results
Adult English Language Needs for Los Angeles
The Supply of Adult English Instruction

Chapter 5. PreK–12 Education of English Language Learners

Most Children Who Lack English Proficiency Are U.S. Born
Rising Concentrations of English Language Learners
English Language Learner Student Performance

Chapter 6. Poverty and the Costs of the Uninsured

Immigrants and Poverty in the United States
Immigrant Poverty Rates in Los Angeles
Immigrants Public Benefits Use
Immigrant Health and Public Insurance Coverage