Report: Mass immigration causes California’s lack of education and rise in inequality

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a report last week that said California is last in a list of states ranked by the number of immigrants who have completed high school. The report further attributes this lack of education and the state’s sharp rise in inequality to mass immigration.

But A State Resilient: Immigrant Integration and California’s Future offers a more balanced view of the center’s report. A State Resilient presents California’s standing in terms of education, inequality and the immigrant labor force.

Though California has its share of educational challenges, Manuel Pastor, Justin Scoggins and Jennifer Tran of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) believe it is important to clearly understand the facts.

Pastor, Scoggins and Tran said California is simultaneously one of the most and least educated states in the nation. In their analysis, they found that 40 percent of California’s doctorates are foreign-born. They also found that, though inequality is an issue in the state, the rise in inequality has occurred mostly among the native-born. They said the “changes in our economic structure have not been driven by immigrants, but rather, have drawn immigrants to the state.”

They also argued that, if the state’s immigrant workforce really contributed to a slip in the quality of the workforce, it is difficult to parallel that with the state’s high standing when it comes to median household income and gross domestic product employed per worker.

“With the tough economic and fiscal challenges facing California, we need a balanced and common base of information,” Pastor, Scoggins and Tran said in an article. “[But] for those of us in the Golden State, the future remains bright, particularly if we can maintain the sense of openness and opportunity that have helped make California both resilient in the face of restructuring and a beacon to the people of the world.”