The Latino Journey In The United States: Immigrants

2023 words - 8 pages

A diverse minority group of Latino and Spanish-speaking peoples has played an important part of what it means to be American and what it means to be a citizen in the United States today. Moving into the future, in order to analyze the trajectory that this group is in, we must first understand the group’s history in the United States and in territories that would become the United States. In addition, we must look at the origins of the most recent wave of Latino immigration in order to understand their current effect on American society and the intersection between both minority and majority groups. Finally, we get to the apex of this investigation: what lies in the future for Latino Americans in the United States? Although Latino Americans have been portrayed by the majority American culture as a lazy, thieving, and dirty people, their presence in the United States has immensely contributed to it’s development socially, economically, and politically, and their continued presence seems integral to the future of an America that is fast arriving at an age-related demographics problem that threatens our continued prosperity and the solvency of the Social Security system.
These new immigrants brought new traditions, a foreign language to the United States, but also ideological diversity. People like Jose Marti fought for Cuban independence from U.S. shores, Luisa Capetillo and later Luisa Moreno fought for labor and women’s rights, and organizations like the League of United States Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and El Congreso de Pueblos de Habla Española (the Spanish-Speaking People’s Congress) organized Spanish-speaking people to try to harness their political power more effectively, giving Spanish speaking communities a voice in the political system for the first time (Ruiz, 666). For example, LULAC, modeled somewhat after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), orchestrated successful voter registration and poll tax drives while feverishly opposing and fighting discriminatory laws and practices (Ruiz 666-667). The main difference was that LULAC relied on a strategy of “passing,” as white or European, because with lighter complexions and Americanization came better access to jobs and mainstream social acceptance (Ruiz 667). By 1939, activists like Blanca Rosa Rodriguez de Leon better known as Luisa Moreno (instead of Blanca Rosa, which means white rose, she changed her name to Luisa, perhaps in honor of Luisa Capetillo and “Moreno,” which is a term in Spanish used to refer to darker skin complexions), along with other activists like Josefina Fierro, Eduardo Quevedo and Bert Corona helped establish the first national Latino civil rights conference, El Congreso de Pueblos de Hablan Española who worked to end segregation in public facilities, housing, education, and employment (Ruiz 667). They also worked with universities to create Latino studies departments in order to advocate the preservation of Latino...

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