In their new book, Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Stories of Immigrant Success, authors Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan use tools of modern data analysis and pioneering research to provide evidence about the past and present of the “American Dream.”

They debunk myths fostered by political opportunism and sentimentalized in family histories, and draw counterintuitive conclusions regarding:

* Upward Mobility: Children of immigrants from nearly every country, especially those of poor immigrants, do better economically than children of U.S.-born residents – a pattern that has held for more than a century.
Rapid Assimilation: Immigrants accused of lack of assimilation (such as Mexicans today and the Irish in the past) actually assimilate fastest.
* Improved Economy: Immigration changes the economy in unexpected positive ways and staves off the economic decline that is the consequence of an aging population
* Helps U.S. Born: Closing the door to immigrants harms the economic prospects of the U.S.-born—the people politicians are trying to protect.
* Using story-telling and research employing big data and algorithms, offers a new take on American history with surprising results, especially how comparable the “golden era” of immigration is to today, and why many current policy proposals are so misguided. Read more.

This is just one of the stories in the latest newsletter from the Chicago-based Social Justice Resource Center, whose mission is to link faith to action by providing information and resources on today’s social issues. Read this month’s entire edition, here: