The wave of immigration from the south (Mexico) bloomed the past decade, according to the 2010 census. 15 million more Latinos then in the 2000 census.
A lot of people get overly excited about this trend. However, this phenomenon has much historical precedent. Also, there has been a consistency in the motives of those who travel to American shores. The big waves than arrived here in the 19th century, for the most part, came for economic opportunity. Same as today. Cubans, in the mid-20th century, were the exception. That was more political exile. Most early immigrants arrived in New York and dispersed from there. Now, they are coming to Texas and New Mexico and dispersing.
Whites have a majority (64%) in America, but for the 18 and under demographic, it is barely above 50%. Young Latinos, many with families are moving to the United States. Actually, the birth rate, I believe, is slightly lower in Mexico than here in the states. Ours, is right at 2.1 children per age-bearing female which is about the sustained growth rate. The white population is aging and the demographers say whites will become a minority in 2050. Not a long time for young people. Currently, in Texas, California, and New Mexico, the whites are a minority.
Our white fertility rates are following their European cousins. But rates are not quite as desperate as some countries in Europe.
So, there is a lot of fear about the census numbers, especially here in the South. Here in the “great state” we ranked 3rd in Hispanic per cent age growth behind South Carolina and Alabama, other farm intensive states. Tennessee had a 134% Hispanic growth from the 2000 census to the 2010 census. Tennessee has 290,000 Hispanics.
The reality is; the American economy needs the immigrants from Mexico. Farmers thoughout the Southare appealing to their state legislators to be cautious with immigrant legislation. Because without immigrant labor they cannot run their farms. Same with construction labor. White Americans, and much of the black population for that matter, have not found this kind of work attractive. Most like softer work and too many prefer to just listen to their IPOD.
In many respects it has always been this way with immigrants. Late arrivals provide the muscle and energy to continue to build America, materially and culturally. They have built the railroads. They have worked in the mines, the steel mills and helped built the cars. They have even helped fight our wars. Always starting out on the bottom rug of commerce and business. Very few got off the boat to become bank presidents. However, that would come decades later, and so the virtue of America. Even today, they are arriving from Central and South America to clean Florida’s toilets. Often taking two jobs to pay the bills. That should be recognized and accepted. It is historically documented over and again. Therefore, not so much different than the past.
The challenge for native and individual Americans is to build and assimilate the immigrants. They are giving us what they have, willingness and energy, but are we giving them what we have ?
Are they being taught the blessings and fragility of freedom ? Are they taught to trust the value of sacrifice and self-reliance. Will our economic system and social strata provide a growth ladder for their “American Dream” as it did for the immigrants in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Have we educated the immigrants that we are a law-abiding country ! We may not be as permissive as your mother country, but here you do things the American way. There is caveats to this freedom thing ! Most of all, in the final analysis, will these immigrants recognizeall of America’s vast glories can be attributed to it’s faith and reliance in God. Not a vague and distant god, but the personal and sovereign God, through the savior and mediator Jesus Christ. We must proclaim this unabashedly and unintimidated. A fact, taught, practiced, and observed from the earliest day of the Republic.
Big obligations !