Hispanic peoples are the fastest growing minority in the United States, yet the literature on Hispanics as a group is very sparse. This is the first large-scale survey to cover the history, politics, and culture of all major Hispanic groups (including Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Chicanos) in the United States. The authors begin by examining the Spanish legacy of the Southwest, the beginnings of large-scale Mexican immigration into the borderlands after the turn of the century, socioeconomic changes brought about by World War I, and changes in the demographic composition of the nation as a result of later immigration. They next discuss in detail the national debate over immigration, asking, for example, whether immigrants compete for jobs and social services, whether the Immigration and Naturalization Service is capable of handling the flow of immigrants, and whether employer sanctions are just. They also describe the immigrants themselves—their educational levels, occupational backgrounds, and experiences in adapting to life in the United States—stressing the difference between the various groups in these areas. Finally, Drs. Gann and Duignan look at Hispanic culture, including politics, education, sports, and social problems. This pioneering study argues that immigration is a positive experience for both the newcomers and the local communities into which they settle.
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Preface -- The Stage Is Set -- The Hispanic Legacy -- Spreading the Eagle’s Wings -- Mass Migration from Mexico Begins -- Slump, Recovery, and World War II -- Newcomers from Many Lands -- The Puerto Ricans -- The Cubans -- Strangers from Many Lands -- The Porous Frontier -- The Borderlands -- Immigration, Legal and Illegal -- Life in the United States -- The Rise of New Hispanic Cultures -- Hispanic Politics -- Bilingual Education -- Affirmative Action and Nationhood -- Hispanics and the Church -- Perils of Addiction -- Crime and Punishment -- Conclusion