Other Discussions on the U.S.A.

The Spanish-Speaking Population


   WAIS 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.
        It deserves 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.
        The ever 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 at home.
        We should 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.
        The ethnic 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.
        These 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.
 
 
Ronald Hilton - 12/19/98
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