American institutions have from the start been shaped around accommodating differences. Some commentators now believe that this culture has ended and that current mass immigration is speeding up this decline. ‘The future of assimilation’ looks at the current state of immigration in the United States and towards the future. Some have questioned whether the daily social and economic processes of assimilation that direct immigrants and their families into the mainstream are working as effectively as they have in the past. Current pessimism about immigration is not new. It is reinforced by a general depressed mood about economic prospects in the nation.