atinos now comprise 11 percent of the U.S. population, and 15 percent of Nevadas population. Theyre the fastest-growing voting bloc, and soon Americans of Hispanic origin will be the nations largest minority group, surpassing blacks. The business world isnt missing any of this. Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank are all launching programs for Latino businesses. Over the next several years, Hispanic Nevadans will get billions of dollars in small business loans. Thats great news, because it will help further the efforts theyre already making to Americanize.
In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, Michael Barone torpedoed three of the most basic myths about Latinos. Rather than seeking to maintain a separate culture, Hispanics want to learn English. In a 1996 poll, 51 percent of Latino parents said learning English is the most important goal of their childrens education.
As for the work ethic, percentage-wise, Latino men are more present in the American labor force than any other group. And family values? Latinos lead the way37 percent of Hispanic households are married couples raising children, compared to only 25 percent of non-Hispanic households.
Latinos are a growing force in Nevada and throughout the nation. Thats not something to fear; its something to welcome. As a group, they work hard, have strong family bonds, and a majority understand that learning English is a prerequisite to being successful in the U.S. Latinos arent a threat to Americatheyre a vital component of the nations melting pot.u
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