Hispanic Diversity

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Date Submitted: 09/22/2011 08:06 AM

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Hispanic American Diversity

Hispanic Americans have become a diverse presence within the United States. Through a shared common ancestry, these many groups have a great deal in common while still maintaining individual identities that are as varied as they countries with which they came from. Through immigration, wars, or annexation, most of these Hispanic groups settled in the United States hoping for a better future for themselves and their family. While many perhaps hoped for a measure of equality once gaining citizenship, these groups have been met with racism and discrimination among their fellow citizens.

Among these groups of Hispanic Americans, Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans have had similar experiences in their settlement and reception within the United States. Both groups have faced increasing segregation in schools and although they have made progress in formal education, their educational achievements continue to lag behind that of their White counterparts (Schaefer, 2006). Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans also continue to experience higher unemployment rates, higher rates of poverty, and their incomes remain far below that of White Americans.

Though often faced with discrimination over their legal status, Puerto Ricans are in fact citizens of the United States, the majority of who continue to reside on the island of Puerto Rico. Those Puerto Ricans that live in the United States tend to be predominantly bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. Despite being citizens, Puerto Ricans have limited political power. Though they can elect their own governor, they have no voting rights in presidential elections, and are not represented in either Congress or the Senate. Puerto Ricans living in the United States are part of a growing group of Hispanic Americans whose votes are routinely courted by political candidates each election cycle. Puerto Ricans have a strong tradition of close family ties which continues to be viewed in both a...