Over five hundred immigrants gathered on July 4, 2007 to take the oath of citizenship.
Last week the US Census Bureau projected that minorities will grow to become a majority by the year 2042. A recent New York Times article pointed out that the main reason for the accelerating change is significantly higher birthrates among immigrants.
While some fear that demographic shifts threaten American identity, research and experience has shown that today’s immigrants integrate into American society just as generations of immigrants before them. Immigrants are learning English, buying property, intermarrying, becoming U.S. citizens, and otherwise weaving themselves into the fabric of this nation.
Just a few measures of integration include:
- More Immigrants Swearing Allegiance And Taking An Oath. Large and increasing numbers of immigrants are becoming citizens. Numbers of naturalizations have grown from an annual average of only 120,000 in the 1950-60s to 630,000 naturalization between 2000-2007. In fact, 1.4 million people applied for naturalization last year alone.
- English is Alive and Well. According to the U.S. Census, 92% of Americans “had no difficulty speaking English.” In fact, immigrants in the US are learning English at impressive rates. The vast majority of Americans — 82% — speak only English at home. According to the U.S. Census, even most people who speak a language other than English also speak English “very well.”
- There’s Nothing More American Than A 30 Year Mortgage. Homeownership is often regarded as a key indicator of entry into the American middle class. Studies have shown that as the average length of settlement increases for the Latino foreign-born, average levels of homeownership can be expected to rise. Latinos who have been in the U.S. for over 30 years have a 64.4% homeownership rate in California, exceeding the average California homeownership rate of 57%
Americans should celebrate the new projections of increased diversity and look forward to a stronger, brighter future.
Photo by BrittneyBush