HISPANIC IMMIGRANTS AND AMERICAN CULTURE
July 29, 2005
The United States' Hispanic population now stands at about 40 million. Some of these are immigrants with limited English language skills, prompting some concerns over the ability of Hispanics to assimilate into American culture.
Three factors of Hispanic immigration worry some politicians and academics, says Jose Marco (Hispanic American Center for Economic Research):
- It is concentrated in a few geographical areas, such as Texas, Florida, Southern California, New York and Illinois.
- Most immigrants learn English and speak Spanish only at home, but a significant portion can live in the United States without every having to learn English.
- A large portion of the U.S. territory was at one time under control of the Mexican and Spanish Crown.
But according to Marco, Hispanics assimilate quite well into American culture:
- Hispanics tend to become homeowners and many open their own businesses.
- A growing number are participating in civic life; last year 9 million Hispanics voted in the Presidential election, with Republicans getting about 45 percent of the Hispanic vote.
- Hispanics value lower taxes, simple regulations, a quality public education system and a functioning judicial system.
Granted, the Hispanic population will present some challenges due to its number and geographical concentration, says Marco, but most Hispanics that immigrate to America do so because they believe in the principles on which American culture is based.
Source: Jose Maria Marco, "Hispanic Immigration and Assimilation into the American Culture," Hispanic American Center for Economic Research, July 18, 2005.
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