August 17, 2005
Written by C.N.
As the Associated Press is reporting, the U.S. Census Bureau has just announced that their latest population counts indicate that non-Hispanic Whites in Texas now comprise a minority in the state (they’re still the largest racial/ethnic group but they are now just 49.8% of the state):
Texas has become the fourth state to have a non-white majority population, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday, a trend driven by a surging number of Hispanics moving to the state. . . . Texas joins California, New Mexico and Hawaii as states with majority-minority populations with Hispanics the largest group in every state but Hawaii, where it is Asian-Americans.
Five other states Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, New York and Arizona aren’t far behind, with about 40 percent minorities. Public policy analysts said these states and the country as a whole need to bring minority education and professional achievement to the levels of whites. Otherwise, these areas risk becoming poorer and less competitive.
William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., said lawmakers need to start with immigration reform, while striving to bring minorities’ education and salary levels in line with Anglos. “Immigration is good for the United States … it’s important for us to keep our doors open, but we need to keep an eye on the people coming in,” Frey said. “While initially it will be a state problem, eventually it will be a national issue, and education is the best way to deal with it.”
Professor Frey (a sociologist by the way) hits it right on the head — while the rapid influx of immigrants (yes, many of them are illegal) may cause short term growing pains in the states in which they settle, the most effective way for the U.S. to address their presence and to prevent these immigrants from becoming a national burden is to educate them and make them citizens.
Rather than trying to demunanize them into a pariah group on the fringes of society, integrating immigrants (legal and illegal) into the American mainstream allows them to become productive citizens who contribute to our nation’s economy and culture. In this case, the old adage is true — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Whites in Texas Now a Minority" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/08/whites-in-texas-now-a-minority/> ().
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