What does 1.5 generation mean?
The 1.5 generation is the term used for immigrants who arrived in the United States as children but are born in a foreign country. They have parents who are considered "first" generation parents. The 1.5 generation is often considered bridge-builders and can be cultural interpreters for their parents and often grandparents who are navigating their new home.
The 1.5 generation may also have language proficiency, educational levels, and other characteristics which mirror those of other second generation immigrants. This generation may have close ties to their home country, and they may not be considered legal U.S. citizens, which differ from other second generation immigrants who enjoy the status of US citizenship. The 1.5 generation generally speaks fluent English, but they may not be able to legally work, drive or vote. Experts estimate there are approximately 1.1 million Latino children in the United States who are unauthorized immigrants because they were born in a foreign country but brought to the United States as children.