Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

After Immigration

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

After Immigration

Article excerpt

Assimilation has become one of those words one hesitates to use in polite company. It is acceptable to talk about the assimilation of Jews, Italians, and other ethnic groups in the past, but it is generally not OK to suggest that the assimilation--much less Americanization--of Hispanics and other groups is one of the big issues underlying the current anxiety about immigration. Yet no matter what the outcome of the debate over how many immigrants to admit to the United States and what to do about the millions here illegally, many more newcomers will arrive and much anxiety will remain about how they fit into American society.

Nineteenth-century America did not possess a magic formula for assimilation, but it did have something we lack: a rough consensus about what newcomers must do to enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship and how to help them meet those responsibilities. Today, we cannot even agree whether immigrants are fortunate newcomers full of potential to help make a better America or oppressed minorities who must be protected from a malign society bent on stripping them of their identity. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.