Immigrant Assimilation

The Manhattan Institute study about immigrant assimilation attempts to measure civic values of immigrants. Participation in the naturalization process and military service are used to gauge this metric. But the study admits that this is problematic:

“Changes in civic assimilation could, in theory, reflect either changes in immigrant civic attitudes or changes — perhaps even anticipated changes — in policy” (4).

Many in the anti-immigration crowd complain about a lack of immigrant assimilation. Although immigrant assimilation into American society has never been quicker or more widespread, our terrible immigration laws encourage many to forgo civic assimilation. This is a clear case of unintended consequences.

This comment raises two obvious questions:

1) Are there any better metrics to gauge immigrant civic assimilation?

2) How much does government hostility toward immigration prevent assimilating?