I am not big on arguing the immigration issue from an integration perspective, any more than I like to argue about who will pick the lettuce. Free movement around the globe and the ability to take a job by mutual consent of the two parties rather than based on their country of origin should drive immigraiton policy.
I live in the state with the highest percentage of illegal immigrants, and I have never gotten my head around why this was culturally bad. I think the Hispanic culture here brings at least as much to the table as, say, the Irish do in Boston. So I did not find this to be surprising (from the Manhattan Institute, via Reason)
In general, the longer an immigrant lives in the United States, the
more characteristics of native citizens he or she tends to take on,
said Jacob L. Vigdor, a professor at Duke University
and author of the study. During periods of intense immigration, such as
from 1870 to 1920, or during the immigration wave that began in the
1970s, new arrivals tend to drag down the average assimilation index of
the foreign-born population as a whole.
The report found,
however, that the speed with which new arrivals take on native-born
traits has increased since the 1990s. As a result, even though the
foreign population doubled during that period, the newcomers did not
drive down the overall assimilation index of the foreign-born
population. Instead, it held relatively steady from 1990 to 2006.
is something unprecedented in U.S. history," Vigdor said. "It shows
that the nation's capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong."