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Immigrants are Assimilating, Just Like Always


A new poll indicates that Hispanic immigrants, just like the many immigrants before them, are assimilating in pretty quick order. More Hispanics get their news from English language sources than from Spanish ones, and the gap is growing as time goes by. Pew has more:

The rise in use of English news sources has been driven by an increase in the share of Hispanics who say they get their news exclusively in English. According to the survey, one-third (32%) of Hispanic adults in 2012 did this, up from 22% in 2006. By contrast, the share of Hispanic adults who get their news exclusively in Spanish has decreased to 18% in 2012 from 22% in 2006.

In spite of what the pessimists say, the melting pot setting is turned to “ON” and the pot is bubbling away. There are legitimate questions about the rate of immigration and every serious country needs to police its frontiers, but Americans can make immigration policy from a standpoint of confidence and optimism. We are actually pretty good at integrating newcomers into American society, and this poll is one more piece of evidence that we haven’t lost our skills.

[Statue of Liberty photo courtesy of Shutterstock.]

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  • lukelea
  • Nick M.

    I had a professor/head of our poli sci dept (who is an Indian immigrant trying to get her citizenship no less) made it clear during one of our classes that we are the envy of Europe in terms of our immigration in how well we’ve done so far assimilating immigrant populations, and she agrees with that assessment (despite her frustration with the paperwork in trying to get her citizenship).

    • bfancher

      I don’t doubt it, but that’s a pretty low bar.

  • rheddles

    I increasingly fear we are good at integrating, not assimilating. The question is how much of their peonic Latin American culture our American culture will absord as our educational institutions fail to assimilate them into knowledge of and appreciation for that American culture is what I fear. As long as our elite does not believe in American exceptionalism, we will suffer cultural dilution.

  • SouthwesternSongDog

    Perhaps, but Latino immigrants are highly conscious of their ethnicity and vote reliably for the politicians who promise the most largess from the government. they are not conditioned to regard political promises with suspicion and seem to believe it’s “free” when it comes from the government.

  • VictorErimita

    The “pessimists” link is to an MSNBC article purporting to describe (as racist, of course) statements by someone at Heritage. All they quote him as saying is that Hispanics (along with Asians and others) have not become indistiguishable from white, as Irish and Italians have. Duh. If appearing to be white is the definition of assimilation, then ok, but isn’t it a little more complicated than that? I don’t trust MSNBC to present anything accurately, and my guess is the Heritage guy is not as simplistic, nor as racist, as the apparatchiks at MSNBC would like us to think.

    But does the Left want assimilation? Assimilation flows from the 18th Century notion of universal pluralism. Isn’t the contemporary “diversity” narrative all about pluralism, without the universal part? Isn’t it about not assimilating? What is identity politics, the core of leftism, about if not separation, division, alienation and resistance to assimilation (all, of course, while blaming the “far right”)?

  • jmatt55

    Is that so? So why when I visit Home Depot do I enter through the Entrada and exit through the Salida?

    Why do I have to press one for english?

    If I step into Walmart, why does it sound like I’m shopping in Ecuador?

    My family came from Italy. I’m pretty sure telephone operators didn’t ask phone users whether they would like to converse in English or Italian.

  • solotar

    Unfortunately, the author is dead wrong. The fact that Mexicans get their news from the MSM is meaningless. Mexicans perform very poorly in schools, even after multiple generations, they don’t start businesses, they have children out of wedlock, they break the law … all of this is “relative” to other immigrant groups. The reason is obvious: if you are forever surrounded by other Mexicans, if you are taught to feel the country you moved to was always yours, if your ballot and your everything is printed in Spanish, if your kids go to Spanish-speaking schools … blah blah blah why assimilate?

  • GSR

    Yeah, I believe polls. What a joke. Come to my neighborhood Mr Mead. You will never a never ending parade of hijabs, burkas, Mexican flags, La Raza bumper siickers, et. al.
    Time to slooow down legal immigration and deport illegal immigrants. Period.

  • The Skeptic

    The majority of immigrants do assimilate, but the question is to which socio-economic segment of society will an immigrant assimilate to? I have see the children of poor immigrants from rural Mexico rise up the Harvard, and assimilate to the prosperous, educated, middle class. I have also seen the children of hard working Mexican immigrants, who risked their lives to come to this country, assimilate to poor, dysfunctional, crime prone segments of American Society. On the whole, the children of educated immigrants, with middle-class values are far more likely to gravitate towards the former.

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