Posted on April 16, 2012

Hispanic Assimilation Has Failed

Tom Tancredo, World Net Daily, April 13, 2012

A recent Pew Hispanic Center report, “When Labels Don’t Fit,” shows that the 50 million Americans of Hispanic descent have some huge gaps still to bridge if assimilation to American society is to be achieved. It obviously has not been achieved yet for an alarming number of Hispanics into the third generation.

To be fair, there is both good news and bad news buried in the lengthy report. The data neither completely confirm nor convincingly refute the worst fears of those who see massive Hispanic immigration as a problem for America’s civic culture. {snip}

Probably the most important item to emerge from the Pew poll is that 51 percent of the 50 million Americans of Hispanic origin still identify primarily with their country of origin, and only 21 percent use the term “American” to describe themselves. Some might say the silver lining is that this identification as an American increases dramatically from only 8 percent among first generation immigrants to 48 percent by the third generation.

But if only 48 percent of third-generation Hispanic adults describe themselves as Americans first and Peruvians or Mexicans or Cubans second, can anyone say that assimilation is working well for Hispanic immigrants? That glass is clearly not half full. {snip}


Some of the other findings are also troubling:

  • 47 percent of Hispanic Americans consider themselves to be different from the typical American, and this declines only slightly to 34 percent among U.S.-born Hispanics;
  • 38 percent are bilingual in using Spanish and English with equal ease, but among those with a preference, 38 percent prefer speaking Spanish while only 24 percent prefer to use English;
  • 31 percent of those surveyed described themselves as either liberal or very liberal compared to 21 percent of all Americans — which seems contradictory to other polling data showing Hispanics have more conservative values than other Americans;
  • Many pundits will applaud the fact that 82 percent of adult Hispanics can speak English, but what are we to make of the 18 percent who do not? Maybe it’s just as well that the data do not tell us how many of these 9 million non-English speaking adults are registered voters.

One of the most interesting and encouraging findings is that 69 percent of adults of Hispanic origin do not think they share a common culture with other Hispanics. {snip}