Nancy Foner Discusses Immigration on The Brian Lehrer Show

April 20, 2017

Distinguished Professor Nancy Foner discusses why immigrants to the United States often experience downward mobility.

Distinguished Professor Nancy Foner (GC/Hunter, Sociology) was featured on a recent episode of The Brian Lehrer Show that focused on why immigrants to the United States often experience downward mobility.

Foner described the challenges of transferring education credentials from a home country to the United States. "A substantial number of immigrants who come here have college degrees and more," she said. But "they face a lot of difficulties here...if you're a dentist, or a doctor, an accountant, or teacher, you can't simply take up these professions here without meeting licensing requirements."

In addition, Foner said, many immigrants come to the United States when they are older, and therefore lack the mobility and professional networks of native-born Americans. "It's much harder, if you're in middle age or late middle age, to move into a profession than if you're just coming out of college or graduate school."

Foner was recently awarded a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of sociology. She is the author or editor of 18 books, including Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe (Princeton, 2015), coauthored by Distinguished Professor Richard Alba (Sociology).