|dc.description.abstract||The United States is going through a major change with the growing influx of non-whites. As of October 2006, at least four states California, Texas, New Mexico, and Hawaii (and also the District of Colombia) are deemed "majority minority states." That is, white Americans are no longer the majority population in these states. A prevalent fear is that other states will soon follow. Scientists at the U.S. Bureau of Census believe that by the year 2050, fifty percent of the U.S. population will consist of ethnic minorities. This means that the United States is becoming a country that is no longer predominantly white and of European origin. Such projections could mean a decline in the social and cultural dominance of white Americans. It is especially the Mexican population that has grown in recent years. They are out-pacing most other ethnic groups and their cultural influence is growing rapidly. They are changing the U.S.A. This is what makes the continuing immigration of Mexicans so scary to some Americans.
It is in the midst of all these changes that one can hear anti-immigrant voices. Many Americans are terrified of what the U.S.A. is becoming. It is a widely held belief that Mexicans threaten the cultural unity and identity of the U.S.A. Instead of adopting American culture, it is believed, they integrate into a common national culture that promotes ethnic segregation and conflict. Many believe this could result in disintegration. To them, these newcomers threaten the U.S.A. socially, culturally, and economically. The ultimate fear is that, because of their number and culture, they can create two people, two cultures, and two languages. Some Americans have called this re-conquista, Spanish for re-conquest, while others have called it Mexicanization, Hispanization, Latinoization, or a Mexican Quebec.
In this thesis I have looked at this contemporary fear of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigration. My thesis has its basis in central questions that deal with Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants. Mexicans will continue to come to the U.S.A., and the question of whether they will integrate into American society or continue to live separate lives in separate neighborhoods will be an important one in years to come. This thesis also assess if the fear of Mexicans is unfounded or not. Can Mexicans reconquer the Southwest? Do Mexican-Americans integrate by the second and third generation, just as most previous immigrant groups, or are they resisting integration? Will their presence result in a "Mexicanization" of certain places or even states in the U.S.A.? These are all important questions in this thesis.
There are many possible factors that create a fear of Mexican-Americans in the United States. These are also the characteristics that make them more threatening. These include their number and persistence, the contiguity between the U.S.A. and Mexico, the historical presence of Mexicans in the U.S.A., the regional concentration, the fact that many of them enter the U.S.A. as illegals, their economic situation, their relation to education, welfare, poverty, and crime and ethno-cultural factors. All these aspects are examined in this thesis.||nor