The Living Arrangements of Children of Immigrants

Author: Nancy Landale, Kevin Thomas, and Jennifer Van Hook.
Organization: Princeton University and Brookings Institute.
Year Published: 2011

Nancy Landale, Kevin Thomas, and Jennifer Van Hook explore the challenges facing immigrant families as they adapt to the United States, as well as their many strengths, most notably high levels of marriage and family commitment. The authors examine the human capital, legal status, and social resources of immigrant families and describe their varied living arrangements, focusing on children of Mexican, Southeast Asian, and black Caribbean origin. Though some problems may be off-set by living in a two-parent family, that stability erodes over time. Other risk factors for immigrant families include potential separation caused by migration, reduced access to public benefits due to unauthorized status. The authors conclude by discussing how U.S. immigration policies shape family circumstances and suggest ways to alter policies to strengthen immigrant families, most importantly by reducing poverty. The United States has no explicit immigrant integration policy or programs, so policy makers must direct more attention and resources toward immigrant settlement.


Landale, N., Thomas, K., Van Hook, J. (2011). "Demography of Immigrant Youth: Past, Present, and Future." Immigrant Children 21 (1). The Future of Children. Retrieved from: