Page 20 - Latino Boom II

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l a t i n o b o o m I I
immigrants, we usually identify ourselves by our country of origin, the
place the family calls home.
In a study published in April 2012, the Pew Hispanic Center found
that “nearly four decades since the United States government mandated
the use by federal agencies of the terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’ to cat-
egorize Americans who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries,
about half (51 percent) identify themselves by their country of origin.
Only about one-quarter (24 percent) of Hispanic adults identify them-
selves by Hispanic or Latino.”
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Another 21 percent identify as American
(see Figure 3.1). Keep in mind that the term “Latino” appeared on the
census form for the first time in the year 2000.
But where all this gets
really
interesting is when we talk about race.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, “When Congress passed Public
Law 94-311 in 1976 . . . it was the first and only time in the nation’s
history that an ethnic group had been singled out in this manner (Rum-
baut, 2006). Government agencies also collect data on white, blacks,
and Asian Americans, but unlike Hispanics, they are all categorized
Figure 3.1
Latinos Identify by Country of Origin