La Gran Mentira: Babies, Not Immigrants Grow U.S. Latinos

So here it is: the biggest lie we’ve been sold in this country is that Latino growth in this country is the result of throngs of “illegals” swarming over here to take advantage of free government services that they don’t even have access to to destroy the country or take it back or something.

Um, well, there’s this thing called data and here it is: Latino growth in the U.S. is being driven by births, not immigration. The Pew Hispanic Center released an analysis of Census data today:

Births have surpassed immigration as the main driver of the dynamic growth in the U.S. Hispanic population. This new trend is especially evident among the largest of all Hispanic groups-Mexican-Americans, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the Mexican-American population grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals. This is a change from the previous two decades when the number of new immigrants either matched or exceeded the number of births.

What does that mean? It means that, overwhelmingly, Latinos in the U.S. are Americans, not “other” and that this entire attempt to create Latino growth as an immigration issue is really an attempt to explain why Latinos should not have access to resources.

We wrote about this before in Georgia, how the anti-immigrant efforts there affect all Latinos. We wrote about this recently in Arizona, how a State Rep. Rubén Gallego — an Iraq war veteran — was told by potential voters that he was just “a Mexican.” We are not all immigrants, and even if we were, that’s no reason to target Latinos. I’d like to hope that this data will help alleviate some of the anti-Latino rhetoric out there, but I’m going to take the wait-and-see approach.

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Photo By andrewmalone]

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