The Second Generation of Immigrants

During the 1960s, many workers from the Mediterranean region migrated to more northerly regions of Europe. Often they brought their wives, and children were born in the host country. The situation of these children, the “second generation” of immigrants, deserves our attention.

In many respects the offspring who make up this second generation of immigrants are closer to their country of residence than to the country of their parents. Yet the desirability of integrating these young people into the country where they were born and live may be questioned. If they are able to speak their parents’ language, they could be of great value to the country from which their parents came. It has been argued that sending these children, with their European educations, back to their native countries would benefit those countries by providing a sort of “technical assistance.”