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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

Mythbusters: The Truth About Immigrants and Assimilation

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Myth: Immigrants are not assimilating and don’t want to learn English.
Fact: Immigrants are assimilating at much the same rate as past waves of immigrants.

Allison Johnson, God's Politics/Sojourners

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald

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Myth: Immigrants are not assimilating and don’t want to learn English.
Fact: Immigrants are assimilating at much the same rate as past waves of immigrants.

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There is a widespread assumption that today’s immigrants, unlike immigrants of the past, are not interested in learning English and this “influx” of immigrants, predominantly from Latin America, is larger than in any other time in history. However, every wave of immigrants in America has been accused of not assimilating into American society, according to Jason Riley, author of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders. As popular this narrative may be, it is based in perception rather than reality.

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Here are some facts about immigrants and assimilation:

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Mythbusters: Beyond the Shadow of Race-Baiting and Partial Truths

The majority of immigrants currently living in the United States are documented. It’s simply untrue that most immigrants are in the U.S. illegally.

Yvette Schock, God's Politics/Sojourners

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald

In a recent campaign ad, several Latino men creep stealthily along a chain-link fence at night while a voice-over describes how the candidate’s opponent has aided “illegal immigrants.” The men skulking along the fence-line move in the classic style of a cartoon villain sneaking around to do mischief — crouched down, treading softly, glancing around to make sure they’re not seen. The actors in the ad are performing a scenario that likely plays in the minds of many Americans when they think of illegal immigration — a flood of shadowy figures with nefarious aims sneaking across the border under cover of darkness.

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It is true that some immigrants who have no option for entering the United States with legal authorization cross the U.S.-Mexico border without permission — though it’s not a simple matter of sneaking through a hole in a fence. It often involves a dangerous desert crossing, and hundreds of people die every year attempting it.

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But the majority of immigrants currently living in the United States are documented. Undocumented immigrants make up 30 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population. It’s simply untrue that most immigrants are in the U.S. illegally.

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Rand Paul’s Bizarre College Fraternity

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  • Sure, they were idiots. But they also liked to make fun of blacks and Hispanics.
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  • Rand Paul's college group mocked Christians
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Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone<>

Last week (Oct 17-23) Ben Smith at Politico did a story about some material that's been dug up about Rand Paul's college pseudo-fraternity, the "NoZe Brotherhood" - I have a few things to add to the same story today.

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First, some background. The "NoZe" was like a fifth-rate Southern wannabe version of George Bush and John Kerry's secret "Skull and Bones" society, a group of wiseass kids from Baylor University (from whence Paul, incidentally, never graduated before heading off to medical school) who got together and smoked herb, pulled dumb pranks and published a very strange newsletter.

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Race, Racism, Xenophobia, and Migration

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The struggle for justice for migrant workers is directly connected to the struggle against neo-liberal globalization. The destruction of the earth's resources and the massive accumulation of wealth by a minority of the planet to the disadvantage of the majority means that billions find themselves in a struggle for survival.

Bill Fletcher, Jr., Black Commentator

"From October 8-11 in Quito, Ecuador, the 4th World Social Forum on Migration was held.  Hundreds of activists and scholars from around the world participated in some of the most interesting plenary sessions and workshops of any conference I have attended.  

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"The conference was an eye-opening experience.  Migration was examined on various levels, including global economic, political, military and environmental factors, all of which influence migration.  The International Labor Organization estimates that at least 83 million people are currently migrating, a figure that is bound to grow for many reasons, particularly climate change.  Yet in the face of this mass migration of human beings, there are political forces that have taken advantage of the fear that is often produced through demographic changes in order to advance right-wing, irrationalist and xenophobic politics.  This, too, was addressed at the conference.

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Related:

Migrant Massacre in Mexico, Progress Report, Think Progress
The massacre has unleashed a wave of outrage and criticism towards Mexico.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio: A Modern-Day Bull Connor

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  • Maricopa County stands to lose $113 million in federal funds if Arpaio doesn't produce proof that he's not engaging in racial profiling.
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  • Arpaio's Abuse Of Power
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Marc Morial, Other Words

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In April 1963, while confined to jail in Birmingham, Alabama for leading peaceful civil rights demonstrations in what was then considered to be the most segregated city in America, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an open letter challenging a group of local ministers and the nation to speak out against the brutal, segregationist tactics of the infamous Birmingham police commissioner, Bull Connor. Forty-seven years later, in Maricopa County, Arizona, there's another police official who seems bent on defying the Constitutional rights of non-white, law-abiding citizens.

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For more than a decade, Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio has been the subject of numerous investigations and lawsuits for his inhumane treatment of prisoners and overzealous enforcement of immigration laws, including Arizona statues that amount to outright racial profiling.

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Related:

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Arpaio's Abuse Of Power,  Andrea Nill and others, Think Progress
Arpaio does enjoy a 61 percent job approval rating and has cemented Arizona's neo-Nazi and nativist votes

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