Interesting report from Pew on the perceptions of young American Hispanics:
it is clear that many of today’s Latino youths, be they first or second generation, are straddling two worlds as they adapt to the new homeland. According to the Pew Hispanic Center’s National Survey of Latinos, more than half (52%) of Latinos ages 16 to 25 identify themselves first by their family’s country of origin, be it Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republican, El Salvador or any of more than a dozen other Spanish-speaking countries. An additional 20% generally use the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” first when describing themselves. Only about one-in-four (24%) generally use the term “American” first. Among the U.S.-born children of immigrants, “American” is somewhat more commonly used as a primary term of self-identification. Even so, just 33% of these young second generation Latinos use American first, while 21% refer to themselves first by the terms Hispanic or Latino, and the plurality-41%-refer to themselves first by the country their parents left in order to settle and raise their children in this country. Only in the third and higher generations do a majority of Hispanic youths (50%) use “American” as their first term of self-description.
This might explain why American cultural conservatives are preoccupied by Hispanics, not withstanding persistent fears about Islamic radicalization, whereas European cultural conservatives are preoccupied by Islam. In Europe fear of Islam has bonded Catholics into the political right but in the US most Hispanics are Catholic, thus immigration in the US is likely to divide the right. In Australia the lower portion of Catholics among immigrants (compared to that of the post-war years) probably assists the incorporation of Catholic conservatives into the right, thus the curious sight of Kevin Andrews, the leading parliamentary Australian Catholic conservative complaining about the environmental consequences of population growth. The Pew report does point out however that the Hispanic migration wave remains smaller in relative terms than of the 19th and early 20th century:
Measured in raw numbers, the modern Latin American-dominated immigration wave is by far the largest in U.S. history. Nearly 40 million immigrants have come to the United States since 1965. About half are from Latin America, a quarter from Asia and the remainder from Europe, Canada, the Middle East and Africa. By contrast, about 14 million immigrants came during the big Northern and Western European immigration wave of the 19th century and about 18 million came during the big Southern and Eastern European-dominated immigration wave of the early 20th century. However, the population of the United States was much smaller during those earlier waves. When measured against the size of the U.S. population during the period when the immigration occurred, the modern wave’s average annual rate of 4.6 new immigrants per 1,000 population falls well below the 7.7 annual rate that prevailed in the mid- to late 19thth century and the 8.8 rate at the beginning of the 20th.