The Spanish-Speaking Population
Chairman Peter Duignan has cultivated three areas of research: Africa (he
was for years the African Curator of Hoover), Western Europe (about which
he and Lewis Gann published important books), and the Spanish-speaking
population of the United States. The Hoover Institution has recently issued
a new edition of his Bilingual education: A Critique.
Ronald Hilton - 12/19/98
to be widely read, since the subject is part of a larger issue: the role
of the Latin American, especially Mexican population of the United States,
particlarly of California, where it will soon be a plurality and in the
next century a majority. There is no similar mass migration simply
across a border anywhere in the world. We think of the Kurds on Turkey,
but they are an ancient population and there is no Kurdistan government
to polarize them. The Mexican government is already using the Mexican Americans
for political purposes, and the development of dual citizenship will divide
their loyalty. Already their response to international problems is more
typically Mexican than American. This is comparable to the reaction of
the Arab population of the U.S. to Desert Fox, which is very different
from that of other Americans.
worsening problems of Mexico foreshadow an increasing pressure on the southern
border of the United States. Mexican officials pay lip service to
U.S. attempts to limit illegal immigration, but they do not discourage
it, and they reject attempts to expel those caught. Indeed, the presidents
of the five Central American countries were recently in Washingon asking
that such expulsions of their citizens be stopped since they increase unemployment
also consider the ecological consequences. The valley of Mexico City is
a basket case, with rampant crime and insufferable pollution. The Mexican
border towns contrast painfully with their American counterparts.
Compare Tijuana and San Diego. Serious reports have recently appeared about
the impending plight of California because of these population preszures.
divisions in the United States are serious, and may well become worse.
The Mexican population may be a target of resentment similar to that
against the Arab population in France, with the difference that there is
no neighboring homeland with a government using it as a political tool.
considerations do not reflect on the Mexicans, who deserve our respect.
Indeed, it is in their interest that the scenario depicted here be slowed
as much as possible.