Are Hispanic immigrants assimilating?

Read the comprehensive treatment over at the ever-wise

Here is just one bit:

Start with language. [Samuel] Huntington worries that large homogenous enclaves of Hispanics will weaken the incentive to learn English. The key test for this assertion is not whether first-generation Mexican immigrants speak English, but whether second-generation Mexican-Americans speak it. On this question, Huntington concedes that “English language use and fluency for first- and second-generation Mexicans thus seem to follow the pattern common to past immigrants.” He then voices concern that this trend may not continue to third-generation children. But according to Richard Alba and Victor Nee’s Remaking the American Mainstream, 60 percent of third-generation Mexican-American children speak only English at home. A 1990 Census study showed that only 5 percent of first-generation Mexican immigrants spoke English at home; another study showed that 30 percent of second-generation Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles spoke English at home. Taken along with Alba and Nee’s evidence, this suggests that Mexican-Americans, like other immigrant groups, are becoming more likely with each generation to adopt English as their primary language.

Support for immigration is very thin on the side of the American public, so it is important that we get these facts right.

Addendum: Here is much more from Dan. By the way, Hispanics are ten percent of the U.S. military. By 2007, one out of ten small businesses will be Hispanic-owned. See the 15 march 2004 Business Week.


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