Since the Immigration Act of 1965 reopened large-scale immigration to the United States, immigrant children have become a substantial presence in the nation’s schools. Today, the children of immigrants, both U.S.- and foreign-born, comprise a fifth of the nation’s population under the age of 18, and a quarter of these children come from low income families. By the year 2015, the children of immigrants will likely comprise 30% of the nation’s K-12 population (Fix & Passel, 2003). This new immigration intersects with key educational and labor market transformations in the United States. Many children of immigrants, both foreign-and U.S.-born, are attending urban public K-12 schools undergoing reforms aimed at reducing the achievement gap while struggling with a lack of resources. Along with their native peers, the children of immigrants1

confront a postsecondary system of education that is more accessible than it ever has been and yet, increasingly stratified. The educational stakes will prove substantial, as the bachelor’s degree has increasingly become the key to a middle-class lifestyle, not only in the United States but progressively on the global stage as well (Contreras, 2002; Furstenberg, Rumbaut, & Settersten, 2005; Long, 2007; Louie, 2005, 2007; Wilson, 1980, 1987).