The 2010 Census has begun and Latino population growth is widely expected to continue despite immigration losses due to the bad economy from 2008 onward. That’s because Latino population growth in the U.S. is actually fueled more by birthrates than by immigration. But judging from the amount of media coverage given to immigration issues the first decade of the milenium, many people may not know this. And a case can be made that for as many gains the Latino community has made, almost as many setbacks could also be found. Does a “wise Latina” in 2009 erase the memory of a disgraced U.S. Attorney General in 2007 in the minds of most Americans?
But there are positive things to look at as well. One would assume that population growth would eventually lead to greater representation – or at least greater recognition. The digital divide has drastically decreased. But school dropouts have not. All these things have societal impact.
To help us make sense of who we are and where we are going as a community, Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa speaks to a panel of social, political and cultural experts to get their thoughts on the future of Latinos in the U.S.
Angelo Falcón founded the Institute for Puerto Rico Policy in New York in the early 1980s. In 2005 the organization changed its name to the National Institute for Latino Policy in an effort to better reflect the changing dynamics of Latino politics in the U.S.
Marcos Najera has contributed to Latino USA as the Latino Affairs reporter for NPR member station KJZZ based in his native Phoenix, Arizona. He has produced radio and television programming for children and worked as a theatre actor and writer.
Xeni Jardín has traveled throughout Latin America and produced the “Xeni Tech” segments for NPR’s Day to Day program but is best known as a co-editor for the interactive weblog known as boingboing.net.
Listen to their EXTENDED CONVERSATION:
Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.