Go South, Young Mexicans
Dear Readers: Por favor, learn from Go South--don't allow stupidity to get in the way of a good question. To wit:
· Don't start off with a hammy quote that proves absolutely nothing.
· Get your stats right. Mexicans do not have the country's highest school dropout rate--that dishonor falls to Central Americans, according to the Department of Education's recently released Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities--and more native-born Puerto Ricans and Indians fail to finish high school than American-born Mexicans. Cubans aren't the most affluent Latino group in los Estados Unidos, and Mexicans aren't the poorest--Ecuadorians and Dominicans have the highest and lowest Latino median income levels, respectively, according to the United States Census' The American Community--Hispanics: 2004.
· Stay away from politics in explaining income disparities among voters. Look at Tom Tancredo's supporters, and you'll know what I mean.
· And never, never introduce genetics into a conversation about Mexicans and education. If it were that simple, Mexicans would do nothing but build massive pyramids and extremely accurate calendars.
Now, on to what Go South was trying to get at before bigotry muddled his brain: Yes, there is an education problem among young Mexicans. The reasons are multifold, including apathetic parents, terrible school conditions and students who follow the lead of the uneducated adults in their community and thus forsake college for a working-class job. These were also the pathologies identified in Italian-American high schoolers in New York during the 1980s, back when 21 percent of them were dropping out (read "Italian American Youth and Educational Achievement Levels: How Are We Doing?" by Drs. Vincenzo Milione, Ciro T. De Rosa, and Itala Pelizzoli for more details). But that figure dropped to single digits within a decade due to a concerted community effort--and if the guidos can do it, Mexicans sure as hell can, too.
Why can't the politicos in Washington and the American people give undocumented U.S. college-educated students a chance to contribute to society by legalizing them and, thus, giving them a chance to develop to their full potential? It's easy if they try. It's a win-win situation. The current status is a lose-lose situation. We can do better ... way better. Justice for college graduates, and above all: Justice for all.
I Still Have A Dream
Dear Wab: Because they're illegals, silly! But, seriously: I understand why Know Nothings oppose amnesty for drunks, cholos, welfare cheats, Aztlanistas and other stupid Mexicans, but for them to also bash the DREAM Act (which seeks to grant in-state tuition and amnesty to foreign-born college students who have lived in this country long enough to be more American than immigrant) is loco. If anything, we should apply the DREAM Act to all college undergrads--as currently proposed, eligible students must earn good grades and quickly advance in their studies under threat of deportation. Enact the DREAM Act, and watch American graduation rates rise to chinito levels.