Them Dang Hispanics Are Having Too Many Babies... Or Something

-By Warner Todd Huston

For the last 20 years or so, there have been a lot of white Americans expressing alarm at all the little brown babies rolling around our nation of immigrants. It has worried them for quite some time. The trope is that whites are afraid they'll be hip deep in the mewling, dark-haired droolers and they fear that America will become a mere satellite of Mexico in no time because of it. I, for one, have never been that worried about it and today I just saw some numbers that seem to prove right my skepticism of the Know Nothings.

Before I get to the numbers, I have to say I've never been too overly worried about Hispanics destroying the USA. Of course, I am against illegal immigration as much as the next border fence-yearning conservative. We have laws for a reason, after all.

However, I've never, ever been one of those that want the brown folks to be excluded from our national experiment. The worry that many had is that all these Hispanics will come here bringing all their communist-loving, Democrat-voting ways and that English will disappear and our national identity will be destroyed.

It was never my experience that this must be so, however. It was my experience that, while first generation Hispanic immigrants might never acculturate, their kids don't take much effort to become fully Americanized in short order. They like American music, they like American food, American entertainment... in short, they don't retain much Hispanic-ness growing up here in the U.S. It was even my experience that a lot of them are none too happy to be forced by their parents to visit Mexico or points further south, either.

They are Americans They don't feel like Mexicans (or what have you).

Anyway, my point always was that, while it is true that some bits of Hispanic culture will sneak into our own -- look at all the Hispanic entertainment on TV and radio, for instance -- the fact is American culture is stronger than the foreign cultures that come here.

So, now to the numbers I was talking about. We have some new numbers on U.S. birth rates. Most of it is bad, really, but one bit in there seems to prove me right for not worrying about Hispanics taking over the U.S.

Jonathan Last gives us this:

When you look at the numbers by race, you see yet another component of our fertility dynamics. Among non-Hispanic white women, the fertility rate remained roughly unchanged last year. The big drop came among Hispanic women. This development is probably the result of two phenomena: (1) The Great Recession put the brakes on illegal immigration from Mexico and South America. Over the last two decades, there immigrants have accounted for a disproportionate share of American fertility, so any decline in immigration is going to result in a decline in our overall fertility numbers. (2) One of the remarkable aspects of non-native Hispanic fertility is that our Hispanic immigrants arrive with very high fertility rates—but they regress to the native average very quickly.

See what happened here? Instead of coming here and pumping out fearful little brown babies that will overtake the country, the bulk of Hispanic women came here and adopted our practices of having fewer and fewer children.

So, instead of the dreaded them overwhelming us, American culture is overwhelming them!

Now, I am 100% in favor of eliminating teaching kids in Spanish. I am 100% for reintroducing American exceptionalism in our schools. We absolutely do have to teach our children why America is the best system of government ever created (and, in m opinion, the best that CAN BE created). But I want you all not to worry about them taking over.

It's never been an overarching worry. In fact, I'd suggest that other cultures should worry about U.S. taking THEM over! American culture is extremely strong.

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  • Perhaps people's reactions, if tracked, could be regional. In certain areas of the country where the newest of immigrants are most plentiful, it may very well appear that there is an onslaught of Spanish children, anf for people living in those areas, the concern is genuine. I had an incident while expecting my last child. Waiting in the office for a routine visit, I was seated across the way from a Spanish husband and wife, who had at least three young ones under school age, in addition to the one that they were presently expecting.....and of course, no way to know how many more children might be in school already. There was general chit chat among many in the waiting room, and I heard the Spanish father ask another lady, sitting to his left, if this were her first child...pretty normal question in the gyno waiting area. The woman indicated that this was her second and she was hoping for a boy to go along with her little girl.....The Spanish father seemed rather shocked and actually asked if Americans hated children, because none of them seemed to have more than one or two. I think that encounters like this might lead to some of the concerns that you address in your article. While true that once aculturated to America, the rates of birth might more closely mirror the national average, for those who are meeting with the newly arrived Hispanic families, the perceptions might be a great deal different.

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