Tuesday, June 13, 2006

You will be assimilated

The immigration debate is SO 1980s. In fact, I remember this debate taking place in the middle of that decade before Ronald Reagan signed the bill to update the immigration laws. Many of the same arguments made then are being made today. In fact, scrolling through the histories of past waves of immigration will reveal virtually the same arguments being made time and again. All of which is to say that either we're not learning from that history or that we're insane as far as immigration is concerned (I vote for the latter since I think that the borders should be opened for people to move across at will to any country with the possible exceptions of criminals). The Washington Post had a good editorial that addresses some of the more ignorant, fear-mongering, issues raised (time and again). Clip:

Only 7 percent of the children of Latino immigrants speak Spanish as a primary language, and virtually none of their children do. Just as they did a century ago, immigrants largely come knowing little English. But they learn, and their children use it as a primary language. The United States is not becoming a bilingual nation.

A key indicator is the rise of the English-language Latino publication market. National magazines such as Hispanic Business (circulation 265,000) and Latina (circulation 2 million) are published in English. So are regional publications in cities including New York, Houston and Los Angeles. The reason is simple: English is becoming the language of Hispanic American commerce and culture. Just as few Jewish-interest magazines are published in Yiddish, in a generation most Latino-interest publications will probably be in English.

The family has long been the core social unit in America, and immigrants share that value. Census data show that 62 percent of immigrants over age 15 are married, compared to 52 percent of natives. Only 6 percent of Latino adults are divorced, compared with 10 percent of whites and 12 percent of African Americans. Latino immigrants are more likely to live in multigenerational households rather than just visiting grandparents a couple of times a year.


Albatross said...

Oh. There's your blog. It's been blank for the last several days, at least when I looked at it. Wonder what happened?

Glad to see you back.

B.D. said...

Thanks, Albatross. The post above explains all that happened. Luckily, I'm anal about back ups. It's good to be back. I'll post more later.