Friday, May 19, 2006

Latino Assimilation.

By simply looking at the US Attorney General's family history, you'd think the answer to this question is pretty obvious. Yet in the current emotional debate, it seems many (mostly Conservative) people are afraid that Latinos do not assimilate - at least not fast enough. That may be a growing sentiments but facts seem to indicate otherwise. According to this very thorough study by the American Immigration Law Foundation (see here too):
Each new Latino generation not only has had higher incomes than their forefathers, but their economic status converged toward the white men with whom they competed.
As far as English being overwhelmed by Spanish in the US (a common belief even held in Europe), it is yet another myth:
Spanish is the primary language among 72% of first-generation Latinos, but this figure falls to 7% among second-generation Latinos and zero among Latinos who are third generation and higher.
My personal experience - for what it's worth - is that the second generation Latinos in the US always speaks English - which makes sense hen you think of it. They have been raised in English (in school) and English is a necessary skill in today's economy. If that's true in the world, it is certainly so in the US (outside Miami of course!).

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