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Horowitz: Latinos Continue to Make Impressive Progress

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Rob Horowitz

Following the typical immigrant pattern of rapid assimilation into the American economy and society, Latinos continue to make impressive progress.

 In the past 6 years alone, the high school drop-out rate among Latinos fell from 16% to a new all-time low of 10%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of recently released census data. “Since 1999, the earliest year for which data on all major races and ethnicities are available, the dropout rate among Hispanics has fallen by 24 percentage points, compared with 9 points among blacks, 3 points among whites and 2 points among Asians.”  This is especially impressive because it occurred over the same time period when the number of Latinos in American schools nearly doubled.  For now, the drop-out rate for Latinos exceeds the national average of 6%--but if present trends continue that won’t be for long.

Similarly, nearly one-in-two Latinos between the ages of 18 and 24 are now enrolled in college-the same percentage as Whites in that age group.   This is a marked increase from the 32% of Latinos between the ages of 18 and 24 that were enrolled in college in 1999.

This favorable pattern can also be seen in the recent jobs numbers. Latino unemployment has fallen to 4.7%--pretty close to the national unemployment rate of 4.2%.

 And the numbers only tell part of the story. Every day, this wave of Latino immigrants, like the immigrant groups that preceded them, provides a dynamic new generation of entrepreneurs and small business success and adds new ideas and perspectives to our culture—renewing the promise of America and the spirit of the American dream.

But also like the various immigrant groups that came before them, Latinos still face discrimination and the same old false story that they will be different and wreck our culture.  That old discredited and divisive message lies behind the demagogic, scare tactics employed by President Trump and Attorney General Sessions when they make their anti-immigration arguments—ones that seem to focus nearly exclusively on Latinos.

The real story is a familiar American one of people coming here to seek a better life for their children, succeeding in doing so, and enriching us all at the same time.

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. Rob Horowitz is a paid consultant for the campaign of Brett Smiley. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island


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