Latinos in the U.S.

Topics: United States, Mexican American, Hispanic and Latino Americans Pages: 6 (2367 words) Published: December 15, 2013
Rafael Galarza
12/12/12
Latinos In The U.S.
Bezis-Selfa

Latinos, whether American born or immigrants, have a complex relationship with the United States of America. Ever since the acquisition of what is now known as South Western America and the dramatic increase of Latino immigrants within the last 60 years, Latinos have brought profound political, social, and economic change to America. However, despite American being a “land of immigrants”, there are those who believe that this sudden influx and ever growing Latino population upset the established version of American life and threaten to displace and eventually erode American culture. Leo Chavez describes this xenophobia in what he calls the “Latino Threat Narrative” in his aptly titled book Latino Threat. The Latino Threat Narrative consists of several parts, first which is the belief that Latinos will not, or are unable to, assimilate in America, due to the language and the culture which they bring over from their respective homelands, and secondly, that by arriving in huge waves and settling in the United States, that Latinos are on a quest to “reclaim” the country for their own. (Chavez,The Latino Threat,2). This theory proposed by Chavez mainly focuses on Mexican Americans, as they are the largest Latino group in the United states, and also because Mexicans must also unfortunately accept the stereotype of Mexicans as the “ideal illegal alien”. However, the Latino Threat Narrative can and has applied to the other Spanish speaking groups in America, from Puerto Ricans to Dominicans and Cubans. Despite these claims of being unable to assimilate and replacing American culture, Latino migrants are a prime example of trasnantionalism, as they celebrate their homelands and their status as an American citizen. Events such as the Puerto Rican Day Parades and Cinco De Mayo prove that Latinos do not seek to over write American culture with their own, but instead choose to share it and also are able to adapt American values and combine them with their own. This transnational , dual sense of pride allows Latinos to establish and settle a distinct identity in a larger culture that threatens to assimilate them. By embracing their heritage, it allows Latino migrants to become more visible and settle into America

The relationship between Mexico and the United States is symbiotic, as the country's histories are intertwined with one another. In the latter half of the 20th century, the two nations would become staunch allies. Mexicans in the United States are a especially important case of trasnationalism, as Mexicans primarily inhabited the South Western United States. As a result, the United States not only inherited the land after the Mexican-American War, but also Mexican citizens. During World War II, borders between the countries would loosen even further, as the establishment of the Bracero Program would allow Mexicans access into the U.S. In order to find work and to help support the Allies war effort. In El Cinco De Mayo: An American Tradition”, Bautista examines the holiday of Cinco De Mayo. While it is a celebration of Mexican independence from the French army,its significance outside of America is non existent. The holiday is virtually ignored in Mexico. Thus, this makes Cinco De Mayo primarily an American holiday. During the American Civil War, Mexicans in California and Oregon were not only concerned with the battle between the Union and the Confederacy, but also the invading French Army into Mexico. As Bautsita points out, “ The American Civil War and the French Intervention were undeniably linked. The French never would have intruded into Mexico had the United States not been distracted by the Civil War and thus unable to enforce the Monroe Doctrine. Moreover, the eventual success or failure of the French Intervention in Mexico was tied to the outcome of the Civil War; if the Union won, the United States could be expected to come to Juarez's aid....
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