LABOR MARKET ASSIMILATION OF IMMIGRANTS: THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE SKILLS
WALTER S. McMANUS
The pending Immigration Reform and Control Act (Simpson-Mazzoli) would require current illegal aliens to demonstrate minimal proficiency in English or to enroll in an English language class to attain permanent-resident status. This paper examines the importance of English language skills in the assimilation of immigrants. Data on 1975 earnings for men from 11 language /ethnic groups are used. English skills are found to play an important role in determining the earnings of immigrant and minority-language men in the U.S. Costs of deficiencies in English are substantial for most immigrants-more than $1,000 per year for eight of the 11 groups. Copyright 1985 Western Economic Association International.
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