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Thread: Samuel P. Huntington Comes Out Against Immigration From Mexico

  1. #1
    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/001952.html

    2004 February 24 Tuesday

    Samuel P. Huntington Comes Out Against

    Immigration From Mexico

    Yet another serious thinker and accomplished scholar has come out for a radical change in current US immigration policy. Harvard historian Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, has come warning of the dangers of the current trend in US immigration in the March/April 2004 issue of Foreign Policy in an important article entitled The Hispanic Challenge.

    The impact of Mexican immigration on the United States becomes evident when one imagines what would happen if Mexican immigration abruptly stopped. The annual flow of legal immigrants would drop by about 175,000, closer to the level recommended by the 1990s Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Illegal entries would diminish dramatically. The wages of low-income U.S. citizens would improve. Debates over the use of Spanish and whether English should be made the official language of state and national governments would subside. Bilingual education and the controversies it spawns would virtually disappear, as would controversies over welfare and other benefits for immigrants. The debate over whether immigrants pose an economic burden on state and federal governments would be decisively resolved in the negative. The average education and skills of the immigrants continuing to arrive would reach their highest levels in U.S. history. The inflow of immigrants would again become highly diverse, creating increased incentives for all immigrants to learn English and absorb U.S. culture. And most important of all, the possibility of a de facto split between a predominantly Spanish-speaking United States and an English-speaking United States would disappear, and with it, a major potential threat to the country's cultural and political integrity.

    Contemporary Mexican and, more broadly, Latin American immigration is without precedent in U.S. history. The experience and lessons of past immigration have little relevance to understanding its dynamics and consequences. Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration, persistence, and historical presence.

    ...

    In the past, immigrants originated overseas and often overcame severe obstacles and hardships to reach the United States. They came from many different countries, spoke different languages, and came legally. Their flow fluctuated over time, with significant reductions occurring as a result of the Civil War, World War I, and the restrictive legislation of 1924. They dispersed into many enclaves in rural areas and major cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest. They had no historical claim to any U.S. territory.

    On all these dimensions, Mexican immigration is fundamentally different. These differences combine to make the assimilation of Mexicans into U.S. culture and society much more difficult than it was for previous immigrants. Particularly striking in contrast to previous immigrants is the failure of third- and fourth-generation people of Mexican origin to approximate U.S. norms in education, economic status, and intermarriage rates.

    If you are not yet convinced that current immigration trends are deeply harmful for the United States then I encourage you to read the article in full. Huntington focuses on the cultural reasons why current immigration policy is harmful in contrast to many commentators who focus on the economic costs. His cultural arguments are important and deserve more attention than they receive.

    However, the economic arguments also bear repeating here because, yes, they matter too. For instance, 100 years ago for someone to come to the United States without a high school level of education - let alone a college degree - was not much of a problem because most jobs didn't require advanced training or a great deal of cognitive ability. Industrialization was producing factory jobs that required the ability to do incredibly monotonous and simple tasks over and over again. A much larger portion of the labor force were manual laborers and many worked outside doing things that required considerable physical brawn. Well, automation has advanced to the point that a continually dwindling portion of the workforce does factory jobs or outside hard manual labor jobs.

    The upshot of the continuing changes in the economy is that the relative value of less skilled workers has declined and looks set to continue to do so. At the same time the Western democracies have all built up welfare states that seek to maintain a minimum level of education, medical and other services and goods available to all. A substantial and growing portion of the population gets more in goods and services from the government than it pays in taxes. When considered on top of the economic problem the cultural and political problems outlined by Huntington become even more serious. We can not afford - either economically or culturally - to continue on the current path on immigration policy. We need to deport the illegals, stop Hispanic immigration, and put both the need to maintain the existing culture and the advantage of much higher skilled and talented immigrants as key factors in determining who is eligible to immigrate to the United States.

    For more on Huntington on other subjects see my previous posts William H. McNeill On Samuel P. Huntington and Stanley Kurtz on Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington.

    Update: One argument made by defenders of massive immigration from Mexico is that the initial immigrants may not be well educated but the successive generations of their children and grandchildren will eventually approach US norms. Well, no. The most stunning table in Huntington's article shows little improvement in education attainment across generations of Mexican immigrants.

    Education of Mexican Americans by Generation (1989-90)
    First Second Third Fourth All Americans *
    No high school degree (%) 69.9 51.5 33.0 41.0 23.5
    High school degree (%) 24.7 39.2 58.5 49.4 30.4
    Post high school degree (%) 5.4 9.3 8.5 9.6 45.1
    * Except Mexican Americans, 1990


    Look at the bottom row showing post-high school achievement even into the fourth generation. This is happening in spite of the fact that racial quotas for college admissions used by so many colleges and universities have long applied not just to blacks but to Hispanics as well. This is a stunning result. I honestly expected a higher figure just because enough universities have enough dubious departments with low standards that it is possible to get a bachelor's degree without studying much difficult material.

    Update II: Huntington is also the author of a new book on immigration entitled Who Are We : The Challenges to America's National Identity.

    Update III: A later issue of Foreign Policy features a large number of mostly vitriolic responses to Huntington's article. Here's part of Huntington's reply to his critics. (free registration required)

    Yzaguirre and Roger Daniels allude to Benjamin Franklin's concerns about German immigrants in Pennsylvania maintaining their language and culture. They do not go on to quote Franklin's argument that to correct the situation, the government should "distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools where they are now too thick settled."¯ George Washington and Thomas Jefferson endorsed similar policies. One can only hope that Yzaguirre and Daniels now support measures like these which our nation's founders thought essential to maintain the United States' identity.

    Bruce Wright accuses me of promoting the "lazy Mexican stereotype."¯ Yet the only sources I quote on Mexican culture are Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Along with Yzaguirre and Jacoby, Wright also attacks me for saying that America's core culture is "Anglo Protestant."¯ Historians have, however, repeatedly shown that to be the case, and I document this point at length in my forthcoming book, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity. As I point out in the article, if America had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics, it would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil. The differences between the cultures of the United States and Mexico have also been highlighted by the Mexican philosopher Armando CĆ*ntora, Mexican Foreign Ministry official AndrĆ©s Rozental, and Mexico's premier novelist, Carlos Fuentes, who has commented with Tocquevillian eloquence on the gap between Mexico's Spanish-Indian heritage, with its "culture of Catholicism,"¯ and America's Protestant culture descended "from Martin Luther."¯

    The last refuge of those unable to make reasoned arguments based on facts and logic is to resort to slander and name-calling, as do Daniels, Wright, Jon Lindsay, and Edward Lopez Jr., who variously refer to me"”or my argument"”as "unsavory nativis[m],"¯ "chauvinism,"¯ "European nativism,"¯ "unabashed racism,"¯ or "xenophobic."¯ Such charges should have no place in FOREIGN POLICY.

    In general, the critical responses demonstrate how difficult it is to have a serious, informed, and reasoned exchange on what is, as Pei accurately writes, "the most fundamental question about the United States' future as a nation and a culture."¯

    Also see my later posts Samuel P. Huntington On Cosmopolitans, Imperialists, And Nationalists and Samuel P. Huntington On Nationalism Versus Cosmopolitanism.

    By Randall Parker at 2004 February 24 09:22 PM Immigration Culture Clash | TrackBack

    Comments
    I read the article in Foreign Affairs and really have no arguement with his major points. Although, my objection to unskilled immigration is largely on economic rahter than cultural grounds. I'll comment on a couple of points though, his prediction of a federation with mexico will be clear in 2050 not 2080, although it will not completely implemented yet. Canada will also be imvolved, with the Maritime povinces joining with New England, Alberta and Saskatewan joining the Rocky Mountain states Spanish English and French will be the offical languages, the governing details will probably still be being worked out in 2050 but the framework will be clear.
    As far as the spanish english question, it is over, the future is bilingual. Almost all government forms are already published in both laguages. Parents are flocking to get their children enrolled in dual laguage programs, large numbers of English only teachers take spanish emmersion classes in the summer. I live in South Florida, I recently bought a condo (mid Range $s ) At the real estate office almost every one spoke Spanish, including the Israeli who ran the mortgage unit. My realtor was Colombian born here and a graduate of Fla.St. She was totally bilingual. Based on preliminary obseravtion, I think a slight plurality of tenants in my building or close to it are Hispanic.
    Re Mr. Huntington's statistics, I expect the % of hispanic males who marry outside to be about 10% higher than female. I myself personally have found very little differnce in middle class hispanics, other than keeping the spanish language alive. Now that weve eliminated bilingual miseducation I would expect things on the assimilation front to improve. I do agree with Mr. Huntington that bilingual speakers will have a advantage in the job market and that this will advsely effect African Americans. As I said on the whole an excellent article. Dan



    Posted by: Dan Van Zile on February 26, 2004 01:32 PM
    The article focuses on the Mexican immigration using the same old optic of seeing the US separate from the rest of the world. Social evolution happens and it has happened in the US from its conception by the founding fathers and before. A quick look at the newspapers of the late 1800's shows arguments similar to those used against Mexicans (uneducated, poor linguistic skills, etc.) applied to the Germans, Italians and Irish. On this article, I think that Dr. Huntington continued with his tradition of esoteric claims based more on personal opinions than on historic and economic facts. Immigration is omnipresent both in time and in all geographical regions, it was like that in the past, and will continue in the future.

    Let us look at some facts not considered by the author.
    1. Immigration into Mexico from the south. Factories and other industry in Mexico employ illegal immigrants from Central and South America by the hundreds. Surprised? There is more. The largest gang operating in Mexico is that of the Maras, from El Salvador, it now extends from the border with Guatemala up north reaching Mexico City and Guadalajara.
    2. Immigration into Mexico from the North. Mexico is also home to the largest number of US citizens living outside the US in the world. [I bet more people speak English than Spanish in Puerto PeƱasco and in Chapala.] Surprised? There is more. Thousands of US citizens living on the US side of the US-Mexico border commute everyday to the Mexican side of the border to work for Forbes 500 corporations such as Delphi, Thomson, Honeywell, etc. [The 4-lane divided highway from the California border to Ensenada has all of the traffic signs in English and in miles instead of Spanish and kilometers.]

    Points 1 and 2 suffice to illustrate the fact that the US is not alone in this discussion about immigration. Of course this phenomenon, by bringing fresh blood also brings fresh ideas that impact our status quo. Rather than getting into a long discussion of whether this is good or bad, let me focus on the main point proposed by the article: containment of immigration and propose a tested solution.

    Anybody that had the opportunity of visiting Germany in the 1980's or early 1990's must have seen the growth of the Spanish and Turkish immigration into that country. Visiting back again now after the formation of the European Community one can see a totally different picture: Spain is now selling Seat cars to the rest of Europe and to all of Latin America, but Turkey isn't . . . yet. The difference is due to planned investment. By joining countries under a common economic scheme, it was obvious that the reduction in border controls was going to devastate poor countries whose people would follow the smell of better labor conditions. How was this attenuated? By having the rest of the European countries invest in the poorer countries.

    The US promoting job production in Mexico? Of course a radical idea, but already in operation with excellent results in Spain and more moderate in Portugal. And there is more to come in Greece, Turkey and other new members of the European Community.

    In modern times, when industry has now become a fluid commodity, countries have to rely on their own strengths to survive in economic terms. Just like the US cannot compete with Nicaragua in the production of jeans, no country can compete against the US in the fabrication of microchips, or planes, or movies! A planned migration of industries into Mexico, along with a program of temporary migrant workers would not only slow down the flow from the south, but would help to develop the weak but potentially strong internal market of Mexico for US goods. The United States, more than anybody else –perhaps even more than Mexico itself, would benefit from this trade investment.

    We can see the benefits of such migration of factories along the US-Mexico border. For instance, El Paso, Texas, a city with little industry of his own, derives huge economic benefit from the Mexican based US plants. 300 corporations in telecommunications, electronics, clean room manufacturing for medical supplies, appliances, and automotive industries pay a payroll of about $250 million for over 2400 managers, engineers and scientists who live on the U.S. side of the border, and purchases of over $9 billion worth of services in El Paso. Likewise, the Mexican-based industry has generated jobs in El Paso in indirect support industries including retail sales, manufacturing and professional support services, transportation, banking and home building.

    One can only dream about the impact that the scaling of this effect would have on a national level. Just like Mexico would benefit from having all of its population in productive employments, the US would rip enormous benefits from expanding operations into a new market of over 100 million people. A secondary payback, of course, would be the slowing down of the illegal immigration of Mexicans into the US territory.

    A final word: the flow of industry out of the US is already taking place at a massive scale, a government plan (with small incentives) to re-direct this flow from India to Mexico, for instance, can bring huge economic benefits to the US and be the solution of the Huntington problem, if it ever existed.



    Posted by: Jorge Lopez on March 1, 2004 03:56 PM
    Samuel Huntington forgets, as have many Americans, that American culture is based on ideas and not blood, skin color, religion or any other "old world" cultural foundations. Throughout American history a few simple shared ideas have brought Americans together regardless of our other immutable characteristics. These ideas are individualism, liberty, and the rule of law, and they form the core of America's cultural heritage, which has overcome every social, political, and economic obstacle history has set in its path.

    Because America's founders secured the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity, America offers its citizens a degree of liberty and prosperity unequaled in all of human history. For this reason, and this reason alone, America receives more immigrants per year than all of the rest of the nations in the world combined. When an immigrant choses America over some other country, he votes with his feet for individualism, liberty, and the rule of law and rejects the cultural, political, and economic circumstances prevailing not only in his own country but all other countries that would have him. The costs and risks an immigrant bears are extreme, but so are the potential benefits. Consequently, we Americans must acknowledge that the immigrant who chooses to start over in our country does so because he has embraced the ideas that form our cultural heritage and yearns to exploit the blessings they have secured just as we have.

    Tragically, many native-born Americans, particularly those who have gorged themselves into a stupor on the prosperity created by their ancestors, have rejected core American ideas and values in favor of contrary ones such as welfare-state nationalism, socialism, and collectivism. Such native-born Americans and their imported, old world ideas pose the greatest threat to America's cultural heritage. As a result, immigrants have come to value American culture more highly than many native-born Americans do, and paradoxically, it is primarily through immigration that American culture and prosperity are preserved.

    Posted by: Robert Bennett on March 17, 2004 04:31 AM
    Robert, The idea of America as the neocon "proposition nation" based only on a set of ideas is a very ideological conception of nationhood. I think it is wrong.

    As for the idea that immigrants value American culture more than natives: WRONG. Hispanics as a group are far more supportive of increased government social spending than native-born whites. The idea that immigrants are going to save America is easily countered by looking at polling data comparing the two on welfare state questions. I'm in too big a rush to go dig it up at the moment but take my word for it that the polling data makes for very depressing reading.

    Also, as another data point: Hispanics have about twice the rate of illegitimacy as whites. So is illegitimacy a classical American value?

    When an individual votes with his feet he is usually voting only to make more money. He rarely cares about the ideas that America is based on. He just wants to be paid more per hour.

    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 17, 2004 10:34 AM
    Dear Randall,

    Thank you for your opinion.

    >Robert, The idea of America as the neocon "proposition nation" based only on a set of ideas >is a very ideological conception of nationhood. I think it is wrong.

    I wouldn't say "only" but "primarily". I remember the case of an American teacher of Korean ancestry who went to Asia to teach English. At the beginning, she wasn't really considered an "American" by her students until she discussed something about X war or a remark in that vein. Suddently, the whole class was shouting, "You really are an American because you think like an American". Obvioulsy, she thinks like an American because she was born and raised in the United States.

    >As for the idea that immigrants value American culture more than natives: WRONG.

    Well, the immigrants that value American culture (not all of them do), most often than not, defend these values more fiercely than quite some Anglo-Americans born in the United States.

    >Hispanics as a group are far more supportive of increased government social spending than >native-born whites.

    Don't understand this. As for Hispanics, do you mean Hispanics born in the United States or immigrants? I bet there is a difference when it comes to comparing both sub-groups of Hispanics.

    In the case of immigrants, yes, they are far more supportive of increased social spending but not only Hispanics but also some Hatians, Jamaicans, Brazilians, etc., that are obvioulsy not Hispanics.

    >The idea that immigrants are going to save America is easily countered by looking at >polling data comparing the two on welfare state questions. I'm in too big a rush to go dig >it up at the moment but take my word for it that the polling data makes for very depressing >reading.

    I bet that the data on some other sub-groups of immigrants do not differ highly.

    >Also, as another data point: Hispanics have about twice the rate of illegitimacy as whites.

    I guess you mean Anglo-Americans because there are some white Hispanics (Argentineans, Cubans, Spaniards, etc.). Anyway, yes, you are certainly right in your remark, and I can tell you that I never understood this. It doesn't make any sense to me at all. Is it because of the Hispanic "macho" attitude in some men? I don't really know.

    >So is illegitimacy a classical American value?

    No.

    >When an individual votes with his feet he is usually voting only to make more money. He >rarely cares about the ideas that America is based on. He just wants to be paid more per >hour.

    I agree with you when you say "usually" as this is not always the case. Some Hispanics came to the United States not for economic reasons but strictly for political reasons. I can tell you the case of Cubans in 1959 or the case of Nicaraguans in 1979 (I guess you know what happenned in those two countries in those years). The first wave of immigrants from these two countries that came to the United States were not economically-deprived in their own nations, so there was no reason for them to come to the United Stated had it not been the political unstability.

    On the other hand, yes, there are some Hispanics that are only interested in making more money, and when all of their relatives are in the United States, they don't even care about their native countries. But again, that doesn't happen exclusively to Hispanics but to most (or all) groups of immigrants.

    If you think that I am wrong in something, please feel free to post. I am not an expert or something. I am just telling what I have been able to gather from my own experience.

    Cordially yours,

    C.L. Bermudez

    Posted by: C. L. Bermudez on March 19, 2004 02:16 AM
    C.L., Both Hispanics born here and Hispanic first generation immigrants are more in favor of increased government social spending than what you call Anglo-Americans. Also, yes, other immigrant groups are too. Well, welfare state mentality is not in my view an American value.

    I am aware that people genetically Spanish origin differ, on average, in their politics and also in how well they do economically from Amerinds and blacks from Spanish speaking countries. Spaniards from Cuba are greatly different from, say, Amerinds from southern Mexico. But in America today most Hispanics coming in are predominately Amerinds and Mexico is the biggest source.

    Unfortunately, most polling data and government data lumps them all together. Similarly, and also unfortunately, all Asians get lumped together even though Asia is a very big place and the various groups there differ enormously from each other culturally and genetically. THe genetic distance from India to China is just as great as the genetic distance from India to Europe when measured with neutral markers in areas of the genome that are not under selective pressure. So there is no Asian race and it makes no sense to aggregate them as a group. At the same time, the cultural differences between such Asian places as Japan, China, India, Afghanistan, and Turkestan are very substantial.

    Illegitimacy rates: Before the Spanish conquest the existing cultures might have had a different attitude toward such things and this attitude may have survived all these centuries.


    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 19, 2004 03:02 AM
    Hello, Randall!

    Thanks for your fast response.

    >C.L., Both Hispanics born here and Hispanic first generation immigrants are more in favor of >increased government social spending than what you call Anglo-Americans.

    Yes, I understand that. However, my point is, isn't a difference (allowing for statistical error) between Hispanic immigrants and U.S. Hispanics? Incidentally, I think U.S. Hispanics is a precise term I learned in Europe when refering to first generation, second generation, etc. Hispanics born in the United States. Believe me, there are important differences between Hispanics and U.S. Hispanics, though I am not sure if one of them is their view on increased government social spending. Do you have any data about it? Would you mind sharing it with us?

    >Also, yes, other immigrant groups are too.

    Totally agreed.

    >Well, welfare state mentality is not in my view an American value.

    Absolutely.

    >I am aware that people genetically Spanish origin differ, on average, in their politics and >also in how well they do economically from Amerinds and blacks from Spanish speaking >countries.

    Most certainly.

    >Spaniards from Cuba are greatly different from, say, Amerinds from southern Mexico.

    On the average, yes, but there are some Amerind Cubans and some white Mexicans.

    >But in America today most Hispanics coming in are predominately Amerinds and Mexico is the >biggest source.

    Hmmm...I don't know what to tell you about it. Still, pure European Hispanics and pure Amerind Hispanics are both Hispanics. Though genetically different, both share some common values (emphasis on family, religion, tradition, etc.). Also, please note that I am talking about Hispanics and not U.S. Hispanics. You know, in the case of U.S. Hispanics, some of them don't even know Spanish, and I am not talking about "bad Spanish"; they simply don't know Spanish.

    >Unfortunately, most polling data and government data lumps them all together.

    I think this will change in the 2010 census if I recall correctly. At least, some type of change will take place.

    >Similarly, and also unfortunately, all Asians get lumped together even though Asia is a very >big place and the various groups there differ enormously from each other culturally and >genetically. THe genetic distance from India to China is just as great as the genetic >distance from India to Europe when measured with neutral markers in areas of the genome that >are not under selective pressure. So there is no Asian race and it makes no sense to >aggregate them as a group.

    Excellent points! Some of them don't even like being called simply "Asians" and no wonder. In my personal view, I think that South East Asians (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.), Far East Asians (China, Japan), etc., are better terms.

    >At the same time, the cultural differences between such Asian places as Japan, China, India, >Afghanistan, and Turkestan are very substantial.

    Absolutely.

    >Illegitimacy rates: Before the Spanish conquest the existing cultures might have had a >different attitude toward such things and this attitude may have survived all these >centuries

    Interesting.

    Very best regards,


    C.L. Bermudez

    Posted by: C.L. Bermudez on March 19, 2004 08:59 PM
    C.L., First generation Hispanis are probably more conservative than second generation.

    As for data to prove some of my assertions: I ought to have written blog posts on some of the opinion poll results when I read them but in most cases I didn't do that. I'm currently too busy to dig for the relevant surveys. Expect me to post on this some time in the next couple of months when I have more free time.

    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 20, 2004 03:30 PM
    Hello, Randall!

    Of course, there is no hurry at all, Randall.

    As for what I think, I bet that there is more in common among first-generation Hispanics when compared to second-generation Hispanics, third-generation Hispanics, etc. as opposed to comparing first-generation Hispanics to Hispanic immigrants. Any Hispanic born and raised in the United States (with brothers and sisters born and raised in the United States) is and ought to be different to any newly-arrived Hispanics. I know that some people think they are the same, but in my view, they are not, and they aren't supposed to be the same, either. For instance, take any U.S. Hispanic to his/her parents' country for the first time....he/she will easily be spotted as a sort of "foreign-minded" Hispanic, even if he/she speaks Spanish fluently. By the same token, any Hispanic born and raised, let's say, in Germany, will be treated the same in his/her parents' country. On a related issue, any Anglo-American born and raised outside the United States or outside any anglo countries is not the same as an Anglo-American born and raised in the United States, why should they be? You know, I have met some of these foreign-born Anglo-Americans (like one born and raised in Peru), and I myself wouldn't exactly equate him to an Anglo-American born and raised in the United States (by the way, he was fully bilingual).

    Of course, there is a gray area for this as in most things in life, and that is, a first-generation Hispanic whose brothers and/or sisters are foreign-born, or any first-geneartion Hispanic that travels frequently to his/her parents' country. In these specific scenarios, the situation is different.

    Any opinions in regard to my point of view is greatly appreciated, so if you are a reader and have an opionion, please post.

    Best to all,

    C.L. Bermudez



    Posted by: C.L. Bermudez on March 20, 2004 10:10 PM
    C.L., I agree with your point that there are differences in the attitudes people bring from the old country versus the sorts of attitudes found among their children and grandchildren who grow up here. But the first, second, and even later generations of Hispanics all share something on average: They do not go as far in school and do not earn as much as Americans of European ethnicities. Therefore their political interests are different in measurable ways. Lower income people on average favor higher taxes on people who make more than they do. They favor more transfer payments and programs for themselves.

    Lower income non-whites also favor racial and ethnic preferences if they are members of ethnicities that, on average do poorly in school.

    Again, for self-identifying Hispanics as compared to whites I've seen polling data on this that supports my argument but I don't have it handy. If you went googling for it you might find it. That's how I've found it in the past. When I have some time I'll go find it again and write a post linking to it.

    So regardless of what generation they are and how Americanized they otherwise become Hispanics are going to be to the left of whites on average. As a group the Cubans are the only exception to this rule but most of them are upper class Spanish whites who fled communism.

    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 20, 2004 11:04 PM
    As usual a fascinating debate here. I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about this issue but I wanted to offer an observation: For us up in New England at least, the elimination of bilingual education has done absolutely nothing to "Anglicize" Hispanics and if anything, seems to be having the opposite effect. I know some posters have expressed the hope that getting rid of bilingual ed would facilitate assimilation, and I hate to be a bubble-burster, but this seems to be a classic case of unintended consequences. I encounter a lot of Hispanics in the hospital areas up here (mostly Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Puerto Ricans), and the consensus seems to be that they've if anything come to identify even *more* with their ethnicity and Spanish language since the passage of bilingual ed reform.

    Most of them seem to have perceived the laws gutting bilingual ed as a direct affront to them. Whether this is fair or not, it's the perception, and they've become even more determined to ensure that their children retain and actively use Spanish. The kids are in English-immersion programs early and, unsurprisingly, they tend to prefer English with their peers during the 1st-3rd grades for the social factors. But the parents now actively insist on using Spanish at home in part b/c of their concerns about bad influences on and lack of control of their kids' upbringing, and it becomes such an issue for the parents that the kids soon enough are feeling a prevailing counterpressure to retain and identify with their Spanish within a couple years. Not enough time has elapsed to trace the effects long term, but the conscious identification with Spanish in the families is now so strong that this is undeniably molding the children's sense of identity and militating against assimilation (at least in a linguistic sense), and for retention of Spanish. Before the reforms, 95+% of the kids in bilingual ed programs would become dual Spanish/English fluent by high school anyway, and they'd gradually ease themselves into non-Hispanic society and identify more with English. Now, if anything, eliminating bilingual ed seems to have placed a sort of defiant chip on the families' shoulders, and there seems to be even more of an insistence against assimilation.

    Nobody can predict the future too accurately, but there seem to be a lot of indications that the Spanish language is here to stay permanently. There were many non-Anglo Germans in the 19th century of course who retained their ethnic identification for several generations, but not in the sheer proportions and with nowhere near the capacity to retain a linguistic and cultural connection (available today in part b/c of better communications and broacast technology) that modern-day Hispanics do. Spanish is retained across four and five generations, and it's so prevalent that it's actually becoming mandatory in medical school curricula; in fact, there are umpteen cities (esp. in the SW but also in Fla. and NYC) where, for practical purposes, you really can't get a medical license unless you're truly bilingual. (I.e. there may not be an outright requirement on the job application, but a bilingual practitioner will almost always get the job over an English-only speaker.) I'm not saying this is fair or not, but it's the reality, and there are some days in New England where I have more conversations in Spanish than English on the subways and in the local joints. Advertising revenues are booming for Univision, Telefutura, and the other Spanish-language stations around here, and even many of the used-car salesmen and insurance vendors in lily-white areas of New Hampshire or Connecticut are taking Spanish night courses and making (often quite hilarious) ads and sales pitches in Spanish on these networks and in the local newspapers.

    Samuel P. Huntington has a negative view on this, and for my part, I don't know. Robert Bennett emphasizes that the US was founded on ideas rather than "Old-World markers," and of course ideas like democracy, human rights, tolerance, and civic duty mean the same in both English and Spanish. So if indeed that old Enlightenment-model shoe of an idea-based nation still fits, maybe a multi-ethnic, bilingual, poly-traditional USA will be just fine. For patriotic reasons if nothing else, I certainly hope this'll be the case.

    Posted by: Wes Ulm on March 21, 2004 02:21 PM
    Hello again, Randall!

    Thank you for your response.

    I agree with most of what you said, except for something: Cubans are not the only exception, at least in South Florida. If you read the statistics from Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, etc., you can easily see that many graduates are of Hispanic heritage, sometimes more than half of all graduates, and not all of them are Cubans. For instance, at one point Miami-Dade College used to have more Nicaraguan students than any other Hispanic sub-group (and perhaps than any other group). On a related issue, Nova University confers more doctorates to Hispanics than any other university in the whole United States (I am very sure of this, at least this was the data two or three years ago).

    Best regards,

    C.L. Bermudez

    Posted by: C.L. Bermudez on March 22, 2004 03:37 AM

  2. #2
    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/001952.html

    2004 February 24 Tuesday

    Samuel P. Huntington Comes Out Against

    Immigration From Mexico

    Yet another serious thinker and accomplished scholar has come out for a radical change in current US immigration policy. Harvard historian Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, has come warning of the dangers of the current trend in US immigration in the March/April 2004 issue of Foreign Policy in an important article entitled The Hispanic Challenge.

    The impact of Mexican immigration on the United States becomes evident when one imagines what would happen if Mexican immigration abruptly stopped. The annual flow of legal immigrants would drop by about 175,000, closer to the level recommended by the 1990s Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Illegal entries would diminish dramatically. The wages of low-income U.S. citizens would improve. Debates over the use of Spanish and whether English should be made the official language of state and national governments would subside. Bilingual education and the controversies it spawns would virtually disappear, as would controversies over welfare and other benefits for immigrants. The debate over whether immigrants pose an economic burden on state and federal governments would be decisively resolved in the negative. The average education and skills of the immigrants continuing to arrive would reach their highest levels in U.S. history. The inflow of immigrants would again become highly diverse, creating increased incentives for all immigrants to learn English and absorb U.S. culture. And most important of all, the possibility of a de facto split between a predominantly Spanish-speaking United States and an English-speaking United States would disappear, and with it, a major potential threat to the country's cultural and political integrity.

    Contemporary Mexican and, more broadly, Latin American immigration is without precedent in U.S. history. The experience and lessons of past immigration have little relevance to understanding its dynamics and consequences. Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration, persistence, and historical presence.

    ...

    In the past, immigrants originated overseas and often overcame severe obstacles and hardships to reach the United States. They came from many different countries, spoke different languages, and came legally. Their flow fluctuated over time, with significant reductions occurring as a result of the Civil War, World War I, and the restrictive legislation of 1924. They dispersed into many enclaves in rural areas and major cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest. They had no historical claim to any U.S. territory.

    On all these dimensions, Mexican immigration is fundamentally different. These differences combine to make the assimilation of Mexicans into U.S. culture and society much more difficult than it was for previous immigrants. Particularly striking in contrast to previous immigrants is the failure of third- and fourth-generation people of Mexican origin to approximate U.S. norms in education, economic status, and intermarriage rates.

    If you are not yet convinced that current immigration trends are deeply harmful for the United States then I encourage you to read the article in full. Huntington focuses on the cultural reasons why current immigration policy is harmful in contrast to many commentators who focus on the economic costs. His cultural arguments are important and deserve more attention than they receive.

    However, the economic arguments also bear repeating here because, yes, they matter too. For instance, 100 years ago for someone to come to the United States without a high school level of education - let alone a college degree - was not much of a problem because most jobs didn't require advanced training or a great deal of cognitive ability. Industrialization was producing factory jobs that required the ability to do incredibly monotonous and simple tasks over and over again. A much larger portion of the labor force were manual laborers and many worked outside doing things that required considerable physical brawn. Well, automation has advanced to the point that a continually dwindling portion of the workforce does factory jobs or outside hard manual labor jobs.

    The upshot of the continuing changes in the economy is that the relative value of less skilled workers has declined and looks set to continue to do so. At the same time the Western democracies have all built up welfare states that seek to maintain a minimum level of education, medical and other services and goods available to all. A substantial and growing portion of the population gets more in goods and services from the government than it pays in taxes. When considered on top of the economic problem the cultural and political problems outlined by Huntington become even more serious. We can not afford - either economically or culturally - to continue on the current path on immigration policy. We need to deport the illegals, stop Hispanic immigration, and put both the need to maintain the existing culture and the advantage of much higher skilled and talented immigrants as key factors in determining who is eligible to immigrate to the United States.

    For more on Huntington on other subjects see my previous posts William H. McNeill On Samuel P. Huntington and Stanley Kurtz on Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington.

    Update: One argument made by defenders of massive immigration from Mexico is that the initial immigrants may not be well educated but the successive generations of their children and grandchildren will eventually approach US norms. Well, no. The most stunning table in Huntington's article shows little improvement in education attainment across generations of Mexican immigrants.

    Education of Mexican Americans by Generation (1989-90)
    First Second Third Fourth All Americans *
    No high school degree (%) 69.9 51.5 33.0 41.0 23.5
    High school degree (%) 24.7 39.2 58.5 49.4 30.4
    Post high school degree (%) 5.4 9.3 8.5 9.6 45.1
    * Except Mexican Americans, 1990


    Look at the bottom row showing post-high school achievement even into the fourth generation. This is happening in spite of the fact that racial quotas for college admissions used by so many colleges and universities have long applied not just to blacks but to Hispanics as well. This is a stunning result. I honestly expected a higher figure just because enough universities have enough dubious departments with low standards that it is possible to get a bachelor's degree without studying much difficult material.

    Update II: Huntington is also the author of a new book on immigration entitled Who Are We : The Challenges to America's National Identity.

    Update III: A later issue of Foreign Policy features a large number of mostly vitriolic responses to Huntington's article. Here's part of Huntington's reply to his critics. (free registration required)

    Yzaguirre and Roger Daniels allude to Benjamin Franklin's concerns about German immigrants in Pennsylvania maintaining their language and culture. They do not go on to quote Franklin's argument that to correct the situation, the government should "distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools where they are now too thick settled."¯ George Washington and Thomas Jefferson endorsed similar policies. One can only hope that Yzaguirre and Daniels now support measures like these which our nation's founders thought essential to maintain the United States' identity.

    Bruce Wright accuses me of promoting the "lazy Mexican stereotype."¯ Yet the only sources I quote on Mexican culture are Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Along with Yzaguirre and Jacoby, Wright also attacks me for saying that America's core culture is "Anglo Protestant."¯ Historians have, however, repeatedly shown that to be the case, and I document this point at length in my forthcoming book, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity. As I point out in the article, if America had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics, it would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil. The differences between the cultures of the United States and Mexico have also been highlighted by the Mexican philosopher Armando CĆ*ntora, Mexican Foreign Ministry official AndrĆ©s Rozental, and Mexico's premier novelist, Carlos Fuentes, who has commented with Tocquevillian eloquence on the gap between Mexico's Spanish-Indian heritage, with its "culture of Catholicism,"¯ and America's Protestant culture descended "from Martin Luther."¯

    The last refuge of those unable to make reasoned arguments based on facts and logic is to resort to slander and name-calling, as do Daniels, Wright, Jon Lindsay, and Edward Lopez Jr., who variously refer to me"”or my argument"”as "unsavory nativis[m],"¯ "chauvinism,"¯ "European nativism,"¯ "unabashed racism,"¯ or "xenophobic."¯ Such charges should have no place in FOREIGN POLICY.

    In general, the critical responses demonstrate how difficult it is to have a serious, informed, and reasoned exchange on what is, as Pei accurately writes, "the most fundamental question about the United States' future as a nation and a culture."¯

    Also see my later posts Samuel P. Huntington On Cosmopolitans, Imperialists, And Nationalists and Samuel P. Huntington On Nationalism Versus Cosmopolitanism.

    By Randall Parker at 2004 February 24 09:22 PM Immigration Culture Clash | TrackBack

    Comments
    I read the article in Foreign Affairs and really have no arguement with his major points. Although, my objection to unskilled immigration is largely on economic rahter than cultural grounds. I'll comment on a couple of points though, his prediction of a federation with mexico will be clear in 2050 not 2080, although it will not completely implemented yet. Canada will also be imvolved, with the Maritime povinces joining with New England, Alberta and Saskatewan joining the Rocky Mountain states Spanish English and French will be the offical languages, the governing details will probably still be being worked out in 2050 but the framework will be clear.
    As far as the spanish english question, it is over, the future is bilingual. Almost all government forms are already published in both laguages. Parents are flocking to get their children enrolled in dual laguage programs, large numbers of English only teachers take spanish emmersion classes in the summer. I live in South Florida, I recently bought a condo (mid Range $s ) At the real estate office almost every one spoke Spanish, including the Israeli who ran the mortgage unit. My realtor was Colombian born here and a graduate of Fla.St. She was totally bilingual. Based on preliminary obseravtion, I think a slight plurality of tenants in my building or close to it are Hispanic.
    Re Mr. Huntington's statistics, I expect the % of hispanic males who marry outside to be about 10% higher than female. I myself personally have found very little differnce in middle class hispanics, other than keeping the spanish language alive. Now that weve eliminated bilingual miseducation I would expect things on the assimilation front to improve. I do agree with Mr. Huntington that bilingual speakers will have a advantage in the job market and that this will advsely effect African Americans. As I said on the whole an excellent article. Dan



    Posted by: Dan Van Zile on February 26, 2004 01:32 PM
    The article focuses on the Mexican immigration using the same old optic of seeing the US separate from the rest of the world. Social evolution happens and it has happened in the US from its conception by the founding fathers and before. A quick look at the newspapers of the late 1800's shows arguments similar to those used against Mexicans (uneducated, poor linguistic skills, etc.) applied to the Germans, Italians and Irish. On this article, I think that Dr. Huntington continued with his tradition of esoteric claims based more on personal opinions than on historic and economic facts. Immigration is omnipresent both in time and in all geographical regions, it was like that in the past, and will continue in the future.

    Let us look at some facts not considered by the author.
    1. Immigration into Mexico from the south. Factories and other industry in Mexico employ illegal immigrants from Central and South America by the hundreds. Surprised? There is more. The largest gang operating in Mexico is that of the Maras, from El Salvador, it now extends from the border with Guatemala up north reaching Mexico City and Guadalajara.
    2. Immigration into Mexico from the North. Mexico is also home to the largest number of US citizens living outside the US in the world. [I bet more people speak English than Spanish in Puerto PeƱasco and in Chapala.] Surprised? There is more. Thousands of US citizens living on the US side of the US-Mexico border commute everyday to the Mexican side of the border to work for Forbes 500 corporations such as Delphi, Thomson, Honeywell, etc. [The 4-lane divided highway from the California border to Ensenada has all of the traffic signs in English and in miles instead of Spanish and kilometers.]

    Points 1 and 2 suffice to illustrate the fact that the US is not alone in this discussion about immigration. Of course this phenomenon, by bringing fresh blood also brings fresh ideas that impact our status quo. Rather than getting into a long discussion of whether this is good or bad, let me focus on the main point proposed by the article: containment of immigration and propose a tested solution.

    Anybody that had the opportunity of visiting Germany in the 1980's or early 1990's must have seen the growth of the Spanish and Turkish immigration into that country. Visiting back again now after the formation of the European Community one can see a totally different picture: Spain is now selling Seat cars to the rest of Europe and to all of Latin America, but Turkey isn't . . . yet. The difference is due to planned investment. By joining countries under a common economic scheme, it was obvious that the reduction in border controls was going to devastate poor countries whose people would follow the smell of better labor conditions. How was this attenuated? By having the rest of the European countries invest in the poorer countries.

    The US promoting job production in Mexico? Of course a radical idea, but already in operation with excellent results in Spain and more moderate in Portugal. And there is more to come in Greece, Turkey and other new members of the European Community.

    In modern times, when industry has now become a fluid commodity, countries have to rely on their own strengths to survive in economic terms. Just like the US cannot compete with Nicaragua in the production of jeans, no country can compete against the US in the fabrication of microchips, or planes, or movies! A planned migration of industries into Mexico, along with a program of temporary migrant workers would not only slow down the flow from the south, but would help to develop the weak but potentially strong internal market of Mexico for US goods. The United States, more than anybody else –perhaps even more than Mexico itself, would benefit from this trade investment.

    We can see the benefits of such migration of factories along the US-Mexico border. For instance, El Paso, Texas, a city with little industry of his own, derives huge economic benefit from the Mexican based US plants. 300 corporations in telecommunications, electronics, clean room manufacturing for medical supplies, appliances, and automotive industries pay a payroll of about $250 million for over 2400 managers, engineers and scientists who live on the U.S. side of the border, and purchases of over $9 billion worth of services in El Paso. Likewise, the Mexican-based industry has generated jobs in El Paso in indirect support industries including retail sales, manufacturing and professional support services, transportation, banking and home building.

    One can only dream about the impact that the scaling of this effect would have on a national level. Just like Mexico would benefit from having all of its population in productive employments, the US would rip enormous benefits from expanding operations into a new market of over 100 million people. A secondary payback, of course, would be the slowing down of the illegal immigration of Mexicans into the US territory.

    A final word: the flow of industry out of the US is already taking place at a massive scale, a government plan (with small incentives) to re-direct this flow from India to Mexico, for instance, can bring huge economic benefits to the US and be the solution of the Huntington problem, if it ever existed.



    Posted by: Jorge Lopez on March 1, 2004 03:56 PM
    Samuel Huntington forgets, as have many Americans, that American culture is based on ideas and not blood, skin color, religion or any other "old world" cultural foundations. Throughout American history a few simple shared ideas have brought Americans together regardless of our other immutable characteristics. These ideas are individualism, liberty, and the rule of law, and they form the core of America's cultural heritage, which has overcome every social, political, and economic obstacle history has set in its path.

    Because America's founders secured the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity, America offers its citizens a degree of liberty and prosperity unequaled in all of human history. For this reason, and this reason alone, America receives more immigrants per year than all of the rest of the nations in the world combined. When an immigrant choses America over some other country, he votes with his feet for individualism, liberty, and the rule of law and rejects the cultural, political, and economic circumstances prevailing not only in his own country but all other countries that would have him. The costs and risks an immigrant bears are extreme, but so are the potential benefits. Consequently, we Americans must acknowledge that the immigrant who chooses to start over in our country does so because he has embraced the ideas that form our cultural heritage and yearns to exploit the blessings they have secured just as we have.

    Tragically, many native-born Americans, particularly those who have gorged themselves into a stupor on the prosperity created by their ancestors, have rejected core American ideas and values in favor of contrary ones such as welfare-state nationalism, socialism, and collectivism. Such native-born Americans and their imported, old world ideas pose the greatest threat to America's cultural heritage. As a result, immigrants have come to value American culture more highly than many native-born Americans do, and paradoxically, it is primarily through immigration that American culture and prosperity are preserved.

    Posted by: Robert Bennett on March 17, 2004 04:31 AM
    Robert, The idea of America as the neocon "proposition nation" based only on a set of ideas is a very ideological conception of nationhood. I think it is wrong.

    As for the idea that immigrants value American culture more than natives: WRONG. Hispanics as a group are far more supportive of increased government social spending than native-born whites. The idea that immigrants are going to save America is easily countered by looking at polling data comparing the two on welfare state questions. I'm in too big a rush to go dig it up at the moment but take my word for it that the polling data makes for very depressing reading.

    Also, as another data point: Hispanics have about twice the rate of illegitimacy as whites. So is illegitimacy a classical American value?

    When an individual votes with his feet he is usually voting only to make more money. He rarely cares about the ideas that America is based on. He just wants to be paid more per hour.

    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 17, 2004 10:34 AM
    Dear Randall,

    Thank you for your opinion.

    >Robert, The idea of America as the neocon "proposition nation" based only on a set of ideas >is a very ideological conception of nationhood. I think it is wrong.

    I wouldn't say "only" but "primarily". I remember the case of an American teacher of Korean ancestry who went to Asia to teach English. At the beginning, she wasn't really considered an "American" by her students until she discussed something about X war or a remark in that vein. Suddently, the whole class was shouting, "You really are an American because you think like an American". Obvioulsy, she thinks like an American because she was born and raised in the United States.

    >As for the idea that immigrants value American culture more than natives: WRONG.

    Well, the immigrants that value American culture (not all of them do), most often than not, defend these values more fiercely than quite some Anglo-Americans born in the United States.

    >Hispanics as a group are far more supportive of increased government social spending than >native-born whites.

    Don't understand this. As for Hispanics, do you mean Hispanics born in the United States or immigrants? I bet there is a difference when it comes to comparing both sub-groups of Hispanics.

    In the case of immigrants, yes, they are far more supportive of increased social spending but not only Hispanics but also some Hatians, Jamaicans, Brazilians, etc., that are obvioulsy not Hispanics.

    >The idea that immigrants are going to save America is easily countered by looking at >polling data comparing the two on welfare state questions. I'm in too big a rush to go dig >it up at the moment but take my word for it that the polling data makes for very depressing >reading.

    I bet that the data on some other sub-groups of immigrants do not differ highly.

    >Also, as another data point: Hispanics have about twice the rate of illegitimacy as whites.

    I guess you mean Anglo-Americans because there are some white Hispanics (Argentineans, Cubans, Spaniards, etc.). Anyway, yes, you are certainly right in your remark, and I can tell you that I never understood this. It doesn't make any sense to me at all. Is it because of the Hispanic "macho" attitude in some men? I don't really know.

    >So is illegitimacy a classical American value?

    No.

    >When an individual votes with his feet he is usually voting only to make more money. He >rarely cares about the ideas that America is based on. He just wants to be paid more per >hour.

    I agree with you when you say "usually" as this is not always the case. Some Hispanics came to the United States not for economic reasons but strictly for political reasons. I can tell you the case of Cubans in 1959 or the case of Nicaraguans in 1979 (I guess you know what happenned in those two countries in those years). The first wave of immigrants from these two countries that came to the United States were not economically-deprived in their own nations, so there was no reason for them to come to the United Stated had it not been the political unstability.

    On the other hand, yes, there are some Hispanics that are only interested in making more money, and when all of their relatives are in the United States, they don't even care about their native countries. But again, that doesn't happen exclusively to Hispanics but to most (or all) groups of immigrants.

    If you think that I am wrong in something, please feel free to post. I am not an expert or something. I am just telling what I have been able to gather from my own experience.

    Cordially yours,

    C.L. Bermudez

    Posted by: C. L. Bermudez on March 19, 2004 02:16 AM
    C.L., Both Hispanics born here and Hispanic first generation immigrants are more in favor of increased government social spending than what you call Anglo-Americans. Also, yes, other immigrant groups are too. Well, welfare state mentality is not in my view an American value.

    I am aware that people genetically Spanish origin differ, on average, in their politics and also in how well they do economically from Amerinds and blacks from Spanish speaking countries. Spaniards from Cuba are greatly different from, say, Amerinds from southern Mexico. But in America today most Hispanics coming in are predominately Amerinds and Mexico is the biggest source.

    Unfortunately, most polling data and government data lumps them all together. Similarly, and also unfortunately, all Asians get lumped together even though Asia is a very big place and the various groups there differ enormously from each other culturally and genetically. THe genetic distance from India to China is just as great as the genetic distance from India to Europe when measured with neutral markers in areas of the genome that are not under selective pressure. So there is no Asian race and it makes no sense to aggregate them as a group. At the same time, the cultural differences between such Asian places as Japan, China, India, Afghanistan, and Turkestan are very substantial.

    Illegitimacy rates: Before the Spanish conquest the existing cultures might have had a different attitude toward such things and this attitude may have survived all these centuries.


    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 19, 2004 03:02 AM
    Hello, Randall!

    Thanks for your fast response.

    >C.L., Both Hispanics born here and Hispanic first generation immigrants are more in favor of >increased government social spending than what you call Anglo-Americans.

    Yes, I understand that. However, my point is, isn't a difference (allowing for statistical error) between Hispanic immigrants and U.S. Hispanics? Incidentally, I think U.S. Hispanics is a precise term I learned in Europe when refering to first generation, second generation, etc. Hispanics born in the United States. Believe me, there are important differences between Hispanics and U.S. Hispanics, though I am not sure if one of them is their view on increased government social spending. Do you have any data about it? Would you mind sharing it with us?

    >Also, yes, other immigrant groups are too.

    Totally agreed.

    >Well, welfare state mentality is not in my view an American value.

    Absolutely.

    >I am aware that people genetically Spanish origin differ, on average, in their politics and >also in how well they do economically from Amerinds and blacks from Spanish speaking >countries.

    Most certainly.

    >Spaniards from Cuba are greatly different from, say, Amerinds from southern Mexico.

    On the average, yes, but there are some Amerind Cubans and some white Mexicans.

    >But in America today most Hispanics coming in are predominately Amerinds and Mexico is the >biggest source.

    Hmmm...I don't know what to tell you about it. Still, pure European Hispanics and pure Amerind Hispanics are both Hispanics. Though genetically different, both share some common values (emphasis on family, religion, tradition, etc.). Also, please note that I am talking about Hispanics and not U.S. Hispanics. You know, in the case of U.S. Hispanics, some of them don't even know Spanish, and I am not talking about "bad Spanish"; they simply don't know Spanish.

    >Unfortunately, most polling data and government data lumps them all together.

    I think this will change in the 2010 census if I recall correctly. At least, some type of change will take place.

    >Similarly, and also unfortunately, all Asians get lumped together even though Asia is a very >big place and the various groups there differ enormously from each other culturally and >genetically. THe genetic distance from India to China is just as great as the genetic >distance from India to Europe when measured with neutral markers in areas of the genome that >are not under selective pressure. So there is no Asian race and it makes no sense to >aggregate them as a group.

    Excellent points! Some of them don't even like being called simply "Asians" and no wonder. In my personal view, I think that South East Asians (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.), Far East Asians (China, Japan), etc., are better terms.

    >At the same time, the cultural differences between such Asian places as Japan, China, India, >Afghanistan, and Turkestan are very substantial.

    Absolutely.

    >Illegitimacy rates: Before the Spanish conquest the existing cultures might have had a >different attitude toward such things and this attitude may have survived all these >centuries

    Interesting.

    Very best regards,


    C.L. Bermudez

    Posted by: C.L. Bermudez on March 19, 2004 08:59 PM
    C.L., First generation Hispanis are probably more conservative than second generation.

    As for data to prove some of my assertions: I ought to have written blog posts on some of the opinion poll results when I read them but in most cases I didn't do that. I'm currently too busy to dig for the relevant surveys. Expect me to post on this some time in the next couple of months when I have more free time.

    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 20, 2004 03:30 PM
    Hello, Randall!

    Of course, there is no hurry at all, Randall.

    As for what I think, I bet that there is more in common among first-generation Hispanics when compared to second-generation Hispanics, third-generation Hispanics, etc. as opposed to comparing first-generation Hispanics to Hispanic immigrants. Any Hispanic born and raised in the United States (with brothers and sisters born and raised in the United States) is and ought to be different to any newly-arrived Hispanics. I know that some people think they are the same, but in my view, they are not, and they aren't supposed to be the same, either. For instance, take any U.S. Hispanic to his/her parents' country for the first time....he/she will easily be spotted as a sort of "foreign-minded" Hispanic, even if he/she speaks Spanish fluently. By the same token, any Hispanic born and raised, let's say, in Germany, will be treated the same in his/her parents' country. On a related issue, any Anglo-American born and raised outside the United States or outside any anglo countries is not the same as an Anglo-American born and raised in the United States, why should they be? You know, I have met some of these foreign-born Anglo-Americans (like one born and raised in Peru), and I myself wouldn't exactly equate him to an Anglo-American born and raised in the United States (by the way, he was fully bilingual).

    Of course, there is a gray area for this as in most things in life, and that is, a first-generation Hispanic whose brothers and/or sisters are foreign-born, or any first-geneartion Hispanic that travels frequently to his/her parents' country. In these specific scenarios, the situation is different.

    Any opinions in regard to my point of view is greatly appreciated, so if you are a reader and have an opionion, please post.

    Best to all,

    C.L. Bermudez



    Posted by: C.L. Bermudez on March 20, 2004 10:10 PM
    C.L., I agree with your point that there are differences in the attitudes people bring from the old country versus the sorts of attitudes found among their children and grandchildren who grow up here. But the first, second, and even later generations of Hispanics all share something on average: They do not go as far in school and do not earn as much as Americans of European ethnicities. Therefore their political interests are different in measurable ways. Lower income people on average favor higher taxes on people who make more than they do. They favor more transfer payments and programs for themselves.

    Lower income non-whites also favor racial and ethnic preferences if they are members of ethnicities that, on average do poorly in school.

    Again, for self-identifying Hispanics as compared to whites I've seen polling data on this that supports my argument but I don't have it handy. If you went googling for it you might find it. That's how I've found it in the past. When I have some time I'll go find it again and write a post linking to it.

    So regardless of what generation they are and how Americanized they otherwise become Hispanics are going to be to the left of whites on average. As a group the Cubans are the only exception to this rule but most of them are upper class Spanish whites who fled communism.

    Posted by: Randall Parker on March 20, 2004 11:04 PM
    As usual a fascinating debate here. I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about this issue but I wanted to offer an observation: For us up in New England at least, the elimination of bilingual education has done absolutely nothing to "Anglicize" Hispanics and if anything, seems to be having the opposite effect. I know some posters have expressed the hope that getting rid of bilingual ed would facilitate assimilation, and I hate to be a bubble-burster, but this seems to be a classic case of unintended consequences. I encounter a lot of Hispanics in the hospital areas up here (mostly Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Puerto Ricans), and the consensus seems to be that they've if anything come to identify even *more* with their ethnicity and Spanish language since the passage of bilingual ed reform.

    Most of them seem to have perceived the laws gutting bilingual ed as a direct affront to them. Whether this is fair or not, it's the perception, and they've become even more determined to ensure that their children retain and actively use Spanish. The kids are in English-immersion programs early and, unsurprisingly, they tend to prefer English with their peers during the 1st-3rd grades for the social factors. But the parents now actively insist on using Spanish at home in part b/c of their concerns about bad influences on and lack of control of their kids' upbringing, and it becomes such an issue for the parents that the kids soon enough are feeling a prevailing counterpressure to retain and identify with their Spanish within a couple years. Not enough time has elapsed to trace the effects long term, but the conscious identification with Spanish in the families is now so strong that this is undeniably molding the children's sense of identity and militating against assimilation (at least in a linguistic sense), and for retention of Spanish. Before the reforms, 95+% of the kids in bilingual ed programs would become dual Spanish/English fluent by high school anyway, and they'd gradually ease themselves into non-Hispanic society and identify more with English. Now, if anything, eliminating bilingual ed seems to have placed a sort of defiant chip on the families' shoulders, and there seems to be even more of an insistence against assimilation.

    Nobody can predict the future too accurately, but there seem to be a lot of indications that the Spanish language is here to stay permanently. There were many non-Anglo Germans in the 19th century of course who retained their ethnic identification for several generations, but not in the sheer proportions and with nowhere near the capacity to retain a linguistic and cultural connection (available today in part b/c of better communications and broacast technology) that modern-day Hispanics do. Spanish is retained across four and five generations, and it's so prevalent that it's actually becoming mandatory in medical school curricula; in fact, there are umpteen cities (esp. in the SW but also in Fla. and NYC) where, for practical purposes, you really can't get a medical license unless you're truly bilingual. (I.e. there may not be an outright requirement on the job application, but a bilingual practitioner will almost always get the job over an English-only speaker.) I'm not saying this is fair or not, but it's the reality, and there are some days in New England where I have more conversations in Spanish than English on the subways and in the local joints. Advertising revenues are booming for Univision, Telefutura, and the other Spanish-language stations around here, and even many of the used-car salesmen and insurance vendors in lily-white areas of New Hampshire or Connecticut are taking Spanish night courses and making (often quite hilarious) ads and sales pitches in Spanish on these networks and in the local newspapers.

    Samuel P. Huntington has a negative view on this, and for my part, I don't know. Robert Bennett emphasizes that the US was founded on ideas rather than "Old-World markers," and of course ideas like democracy, human rights, tolerance, and civic duty mean the same in both English and Spanish. So if indeed that old Enlightenment-model shoe of an idea-based nation still fits, maybe a multi-ethnic, bilingual, poly-traditional USA will be just fine. For patriotic reasons if nothing else, I certainly hope this'll be the case.

    Posted by: Wes Ulm on March 21, 2004 02:21 PM
    Hello again, Randall!

    Thank you for your response.

    I agree with most of what you said, except for something: Cubans are not the only exception, at least in South Florida. If you read the statistics from Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, etc., you can easily see that many graduates are of Hispanic heritage, sometimes more than half of all graduates, and not all of them are Cubans. For instance, at one point Miami-Dade College used to have more Nicaraguan students than any other Hispanic sub-group (and perhaps than any other group). On a related issue, Nova University confers more doctorates to Hispanics than any other university in the whole United States (I am very sure of this, at least this was the data two or three years ago).

    Best regards,

    C.L. Bermudez

    Posted by: C.L. Bermudez on March 22, 2004 03:37 AM

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