Clamor at the Gates: The New American Immigration

Clamor at the Gates: The New American Immigration

Clamor at the Gates: The New American Immigration

Clamor at the Gates: The New American Immigration

Excerpt

The subject of immigration, particularly for those of us living in the American Southwest, has an air of critical immediacy about it that removes it from the area of merely academic consideration. Nor is the Southwest the only region whose economy, mores, and politics are being rapidly changed by incursions of peoples whose backgrounds are far different from those of citizens of the nineteenth-century U.S.

In the past, ethnically and attitudinally, immigrants moved more or less easily into the American scene. They came here to "be Americans." Today some of the arriving groups are not agreed on this goal; they want top priority to be given to preservation of their own culture, and, in some cases, even language. The term "Quebecization" is being heard more and more in Southern California, and "bilingual education"--how it is taught, what it really means, and in what direction it is leading our society--is becoming a political as well as an educational issue. Former Senator Hayakawa's emphasis on English as a national language is no longer the subject of lighthearted banter, but is more and more regarded as an attempt to cope with a serious problem.

In this study, the authors confront this most important issue, its ramifications, and its consequences. To understand this difficult and extremely complex problem is the obligation of every thoughtful citizen, and how to relate the warm and noble invitation on the Statue of Liberty to what is actually happening will require the best thinking of all of us.

Glenn Dumke President Institute for Contemporary Studies . . .

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