Immigration: That is just lovely. Techincally I have dual passports but this sort of attitude where America is some playground or entity to exploit tends to create a backlash.
|As President Bush and others call for assimilation of Latino immigrants, some Hispanics in La Villita and other parts of the country, including North Texas, are on what could be a collision course, pushing to be fully binational, with equal rights in Mexico and the United States and grounded in both societies.
"We're never giving up our Mexican roots," said Maria Cantu-Dougala, assistant vice president of Second Federal Savings and an American citizen. "I still consider myself Mexican. That's where we're so different from other immigrants. We just can't give it up."
Such views complicate any efforts to change immigration policy to make it easier for Mexicans to live and work in the United States, and could even result in harsher migration measures, some analysts and lawmakers say.
The United States must avoid "balkanization" and has to maintain its national identity, common culture and common English language "or we will follow the path to the ash heap of history like the Roman Empire," said Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas.
"Arrogant nationalistic attitudes like this, which are blatant violations of American law, along with the uncontrolled mass migration and marching with Mexican flags have combined to push this country over the tipping point in favor of aggressive immigration law enforcement and strict border security," said Culberson, who has criticized White House immigration policy as lax.
Migration expert Jonathan Fox said there is a double standard on dual nationality in the United States.
"I don't see them worrying about U.S. citizens fighting in the Israeli army. I don't see any concerns when they're fast-tracking for citizenship those foreigners who join the (U.S.) military. I don't see them asking that they burn their (original) passports," said Fox, a political science professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz.|
Here comes those leftist buzzwords, global citizenship.
|But the issue is not one of loyalty, said Paula Cruz Takash, a sociology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.
"Anyone who understands that we have to be thinking about global citizenship will appreciate this notion of civic binationality," she said. "Any country that understands and encourages the acquisition of not just one other language but maybe others will be at an advantage as globalization goes ahead."
A majority of Latinos, 57 percent, believe immigrants have to speak English to be part of American society, according to Pew, while 41 percent say they do not.
Fox said many Mexicans do want to become citizens but added that American governments traditionally have done little to push naturalization. "If they cared, they would put billions of dollars on the table to help people get through the citizenship process," he said.
In North Texas, about 80 percent of the approximately 1.5 million Hispanics are of Mexican heritage, and there is no unanimity among them about keeping a foot in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Roberto Chavarria, 46, a Dallas businessman who arrived from Mexico when he was 14, says he has not really considered becoming a citizen.
"I don't think it is so easy to change to a citizenship one doesn't really feel," he said. "Very few do it with conviction; they do it for migratory reasons."
For Tereso Ortiz, an Oak Cliff, Texas, resident who became an American citizen 10 years ago, duality is normal.
"We should practice American culture but not forget where we come from," said Ortiz, 57, who works as a butler. "I feel American, but I don't stop feeling Mexican."
In Chicago, Cantu-Dougala's bank sits right on the corner of 26th and Pulaski, and its clientele is overwhelmingly Hispanic.
"Lots of people who come here have been in this country 20, 30, 40 years and are not interested in giving up their Mexican citizenship," she said. "Even a lot of the kids that were born here want to speak Spanish and keep that Mexican-ness."
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said some in Mexico may "have visions of the North American Union . . . where borders become less important."
"But I see zero support for that in the United States. I think our history and traditions are so strong, and our identity as unique people would never allow that to happen."|