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Horowitz: Latinos Embrace the American Dream

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

 

Contrary to the blood and soil noises that emanate nightly from Fox News, Latinos embrace the American Dream in higher percentages than the rest of the American public. “Hispanics are significantly more likely than the general U.S. public to believe in core parts of the American dream – that hard work will pay off and that each successive generation is better off than the one before it,” says the Pew Research Center.

More specifically, 77% of Latino Americans believe that most people can get ahead with hard work as compared to 62% for the American public as a whole.  Similarly, more than 7-in-10 Latino Americans expected their standard of living to be better than their parents and their children to be better off than themselves as opposed to more than 5-in 10 Americans as a whole who expected their standard of living to be better than their parents and the more than 4-in-10 Americans who expected their children to have a higher standard of living than themselves.

More than half of Latino Americans think that they have achieved the American Dream. But demonstrating that these beliefs are grounded in reality, more than 7-in-10 Latino Americans also say that achieving the American Dream is hard.  More recent Latino immigrants are more likely to say that they have achieved the American Dream than second or third generation ones(These recently released results are from a 2016 survey, but fundamental attitudes don't vary much over a couple of years, unlike candidate preferences).

These findings buttress an overwhelming amount of evidence that says Latino Americans and other more recent immigrants to this nation are assimilating as rapidly and in much the same way as previous waves of immigrants have.  President Trump’s hard line, anti-immigration rhetoric and policies, which are amplified by his allies in the media, simply are not supported by the facts.   Despite, these efforts to stoke fears and divide us, there is simply no threat to our culture posed by so-called “demographic change”--which is anti-immigrant code for too many Latinos.

As befits a nation of immigrants, this new wave of immigrants is fueling our economy and enriching our culture in similar ways to their predecessors. The same old tired arguments were made against the Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants that came before

As with previous generations of immigrants, Latino Americans embrace and renew the American Dream. 

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. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.

 

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