Hudson Institute historian and political scientist John Fonte has written that immigrants are not patriotically assimilating. Fonte blames this supposed development on many factors but frequently credits changes in public school curricula away from the nation building Americanization Movement of the Progressive Era toward a multicultural ethos today. In previous posts, I have challenged Fonte’s claims about a lack of patriotic assimilation amongst today’s immigrants and have shown that his claims about the success of the Americanization Movement are based on anecdotes and that there as many that show it actually slowed assimilation.
A more subtle reading of Fonte’s work is that he is worried about immigrants and their descendants weakening American political institutions by not supporting them as much as Americans whose ancestors have been here for many generations. The General Social Survey (GSS) asks many questions of immigrants and their descendants that can help lessen Fonte’s worries.