Mexican Immigrants Essay

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MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS IN THE USA & ECONOMICAL FACTS ABOUT MEXICAN AMERICANS HOW TO DEFINE IMMIGRANTS FROM LATIN AMERICA? Immigrants from Latin America come from more than 20 countries; they may speak Spanish, Portuguese or a wide array of indigenous languages including Quechua, Nahuatl, and Guaraní. Latin Americans are a multiracial and multicultural group: "The Hispanics have built their culture and identity precisely on their mixed Native American-European-African background, and that mixture can be the basis for reaching out to the world to the other peoples of the world" (Kanellos, 1998, p. 144). Latin American immigrants have diverse histories and are not easily classified as a group in terms of nationality, culture, ethnicity or race.As a result of continuous immigration over the last 30 years, as well as the historical back-and-forth migration of Mexican- Americans and Puerto Ricans and more recently of other national groups, Latinos have held on to Spanish over more generations than any other group in history. Ninety percent of U.S Latinos speak Spanish. In contrast, speakers of Italian dwindled by ninety-four percent from the second to the third generation. There is no one explanation for why Latinos have maintained their language where other immigrant groups have not. The result however has been a distinctly new and hybrid culture which has impacted the United States as much as it has impacted Latinos: "soon the United States will have the second largest number of Spanish-speakers in the world". The impact of this group’s preservation of their native tongue language is demonstrated by the growing Spanish and Portuguese (primarily in Massachusetts) language market and mass media. There are three national Spanish-language television networks and hundreds of Spanish language newspapers, periodicals, and radio stations.

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