Throughout the 20th century, Immigration law has swung back and forth, at times welcoming Mexican immigrants and at other times slamming the door shut on them. The public reception of this Mexican group has also been quite unpredictable; although they have been able to make a place for themselves in communities across the United States, but frequently they have had to battle hostile elements in the same communities to survive. Till today, in many ways, this push-and-pull dynamic continues.
Mexican immigrants and their descendants now constitute of a significant portion of the U.S. population and are one of the most influential social and cultural groups in the country. Mexican American culture is very likely to shape U.S. life in language, politics, food, and daily living and will help define the nation's identity for a new century.
Spanish-speaking people have lived in North America since the colonization of Mexico by Spaniards in the sixteenth century, and ever since Mexicans have always played a crucial role in the continent's cultural and historical growth.
Everything changed with the War that broke out between the U.S. and Mexico In 1846 over the U.S. annexation of Texas. Mexico was defeated, and the two nations signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. This treaty gave U.S an enormous amount of land, including what would later become the present day states of California and Texas, as well as parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.
With two strokes of a pen U.S had expanded by a third of what it was and overnight, thousands and thousands of Mexicans had become residents of the United States. As the Mexican American community grew over the years, it became increasingly prominent in public life of Americans.
As Mexican territories metamorphosed into states, they began to affect the balance of power in the U.S. government. The entertainment industry also displayed some awareness of the new importance of Mexican culture. The positive half was about romanticized images of life south of the border but the negative side of it perpetuated gross ethnic stereotypes and racist slurs.
Today, Mexican immigrants and their descendants occupy a more significant place in American cultural life than they ever did before. Mexican Americans now reside in all regions of the country and have seeped into most professions and trades. Statistical figures by the government show that, by the next two generations, more than 25 percent of the U.S. population will be of Latin American origin American political officials perceive this movement as a hope for "recon Questa" which means "to re-conquer a lost territory" and consider it to be a deliberate political conspiracy.
The greatest impact of Mexican immigration seems to be the growing Latin American influence on the everyday life of all Americans in terms of Mexican clothing, music, architecture, literature, and food.
It is very apparent that Mexicans have been part of life in the present-day U.S. long before it was a self-governing country. What impact can this group possibly have on the nation's future
Glenn Spencer, president of Voices of