Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A barrier to assimilation in modern immigration

Is it possible to assimilate immigrants who perhaps have no interest in assimilating?

Mexicans are not your typical immigrants, it seems.

"We're not here for the American Dream,'' Gonzalez said. "We're here to survive.''

Read the rest of the column for the background on that quote from Jose Gonzalez, a former illegal immigrant and now U.S. citizen. The bigger point here is that the assimilation of Mexican immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants, may not be as easy as assimilating previous immigrant groups in this country. There is first the proximity to home issue, but more importantly there is the mindset Gonzalez imparts. Previous generations of immigrants came here for the American Dream, to become Americans. They could be assimilated over a generation or two because they wanted to assimilate. It is much more difficult to assimilate those who are unwilling to do so.

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