NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 14, 2006

Conservatives have never shrunk from pointing out that dysfunctional behavior creates long-term poverty among inner-city blacks. But when Hispanics engage in the same behavior, they fall silent, says Heather Mac Donald, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

While many Latinos are upwardly mobile, amnesty supporters often ignore the significant portion of Hispanic children that are getting sucked into street life, says Mac Donald:

  • The number of Hispanics in poverty rose 52 percent, accounting for 92 percent of the increase in poor people.
  • The number of poor Hispanic children rose 43 percent, according to Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson.
  • By contrast, the number of poor black children has declined 17 percent since 1990.

Given the rapid increase in the Hispanic population, the prevalence of socially destructive behavior among Hispanics should be cause for serious concern, says Mac Donald:

  • Half of all children born to Hispanic Americans in 2002 were illegitimate, twice the rate for American whites and 42 percent higher than the overall American rate.
  • Nationwide, 53 percent of Hispanics graduate from high school.
  • Of those Hispanic students who do graduate, just 22 percent have completed the course work necessary for admission to a four-year state college.
  • Linguistic and cultural segregation among Hispanics is increasing. The percentage of Hispanics living in Hispanic enclaves rose from 39 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2000.

Pro-amnesty supporters say illegal immigrants "risk everything for the dream of freedom."  But in reality, it is economic opportunity, not untasted freedom that brings the vast majority of illegals here, says Mac Donald.  Mexican immigrants naturalize at half the rate of Asians or Europeans.  This is not a recipe for assimilation.

Source: Heather Mac Donald, "Heather Mac Donald: Rule of law and other conservative principles do not allow for amnesty," Dallas Morning News, August 14, 2006


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