Much to the relief of many of you, today’s post is going to be short and to the point. As an added bonus, I am not going to mention Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton today. Instead, and because I’m a little lazy, I am just going to introduce you to a four-part series about immigration that I have been working on for some time now and that I will be publishing next week. One of the most frequent comments I hear or read about the immigration debate is that immigrants should assimilate.

Well, I hate to disappoint you, that is not the case. To the chagrin of some of you, I am going to layout, with facts, why this notion of assimilation is, well, plain wrong. So get your pitch forks ready, rally up the Trump brigade (yes, I know I promised I wasn’t going to mention Donald Trump, but I couldn’t help it) and get ready to rumble about the notion of assimilated immigrants.

As you likely know, cultural assimilation is the fusion, or the integration of an ethnic minority into the dominant culture. Many of the comments I hear revolve around the notion that immigrants, especially Mexicans, refuse to assimilate into the US culture. I am sure some of you have noticed that I do not use the term “American” to describe the US, because it is my opinion that the prevalence of using the term “American” to describe the US, or its inhabitants, is egotistical because the Americas is a continent and as such, Americans encompass many countries, including the United States, and yes, Mexico, much to the horror of some of you.

But I digress, the notion that immigrants should assimilate is based on a faulty logic that is perpetuated by an egotistical narrative that ignores history and is perpetuated by a minority intent on keeping a self-serving narrative going.

A few months back I started writing an essay about the notion of assimilation. I had intended to share some quick thoughts with a group on an online platform that engages on geopolitical discussions. Well, the quick essay morphed into a full-blown essay as the discussion heated up due to some things I was pointing out. I was challenged with proving my thesis. Because of that, the essay has evolved, and I have decided to share it with you as I finish up on some leads I am working on. Once I have published the four parts, I will make it available as a white paper version as a PDF download.

I can feel the rising heat of emotions boiling over so take a deep breath, and prepare to rebut my comments next week. For now, enjoy your weekend and be prepared to rumble next week, because, I promise you, I am not holding back. But, please direct your anger at me, and not on the other individuals that would like to offer their opinion in the comments section.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

23 replies on “The Issue of Assimilated Immigrants”

  1. Should be interesting, considering anytime people move to another country they assimilate so to succeed. The exception is the Muslim invasion of Europe.

    First they learn the language, then customs then dress and of course food.

    I totally disagree with the comment that identification as Americans is egotistical. Anywhere we travel, even though the passport states US, we are identified as American. Even in Mexico. Amerikanski, Amerique, Amerikaner, American(insert French accent), Americano, that’s just a few countries. American is short for United States of America just as United States of Mexico is Mexico.

    Anyway, the discussion should be interesting.

  2. E Pluribus Unum is what works here and has so better than any country on earth for more people of different origins for over 200 years.

  3. My friend’s parents were born in Italy. They came to the USA (I use USA because there are probably other united states in the world, just as there are North and South Americas), became citizens, raised a family, and assimilated. The parents never identified as Italian, nor did they ever return there even to visit. When asked about Italy, they simply said, “Everyone was starving. That’s why we came here. We like it here.” The family ate spaghetti more than other kids on the block but they always identified as citizens of the USA and were proud of it. I think it is fair to say that Italians-Americans, even though faced with wide-spread discrimination, assimilated quickly. Please address Italian immigration in your series.

  4. Martin, 20 years from now when you are packing your bags for Canada to escape the unassimilated culture that followed you here from the country you left, you may want to revisit this topic. Mexico has the natural resources, wealth, talent and expertise to be a super power or at least one of the most developed countries in the world. Yet it isn’t. Perhaps it is the culture.

  5. Interesting. If I travel to Japan; guess what? I don’t expect people to speak English to me. Every country I’ve visited; I am expected to know some of the language and cultural practices; not the other way around. Why do people south of the border who sneak (breaking our laws) in or come in legally expect our country to drop everything and cater to their needs? It doesn’t work that way and it never should. I don’t go to any other country in which I am NOT a citizen and wave the US flag in front of everyone’s faces and then plant it on the ground. If I do…I would be called all kinds of names. I would never do that because I was raised to have good manners and respect other countries’ sovereignty. When illegal immigrants do it; what? All of a sudden it’s “heroic” or “brave”? It’s wrong; that’s what it is!!!!

  6. It is interesting to note that Martin did not think Mexico was so great since he moved to America. If Mexico was paradise then one would think Martin would still be living there and would have no need to think about assimilation into the evil racist culture north of Mexico’s border.
    Martin if Mexico is so great why aren’t you speedily moving back.Just saying! Now that is a story we would like to hear.

    1. Y Que!
      That is not a wall we see in the picture on the southern Mexico border!?Hey keep it on the QT the word is that Mexico’s military patrols that border if Martin and a few other find out that may not be able to handle the truth. Then again sure some one would claim it’s no the same thing.

  7. Y Que!
    Also what many do not know is that Mexico’s military and police have even summarily executed some illegals. Then again this rarely make it to American news.

  8. From the great Eduardo Galeano:

    “Official history has it that Vasco Nunez de Balboa was the first man to see, from a summit in Panama, two oceans at once. Were the natives blind?

    Who first gave names to corn and potatoes and tomatoes and chocolate and the mountains and rivers of America? Were the natives mute?

    The Pilgrims on the Mayflower heard Him: God said America was the promised land. Were the natives deaf?

    Later on, the grandchildren of the Pilgrims seized the name and everything else. Now they are the Americans. And those of us who live in the other Americas, who are we?”

    “I am astonished each time I come to the U.S. by the ignorance of a high percentage of the population, which knows almost nothing about Latin America or about the world. It’s quite blind and deaf to anything that may happen outside the frontiers of the U.S.”

  9. Pati, the same could said about South Americans not knowing much the USA. That’s a weak point.

    Assimilation is not denial or betrayal of ones heritage. It just means adapting or adjusting to a new environment. Go to prison and you learn to assimilate or learn the inmate rules to survive. Go into the military, you learn new ways and make some adjustments thus having a better career. Students adjust or assimilate to new schools so they can fit in. When you marry, there are adjustment or assimilation to fit into the new families. Each family has its own way doing things and standards. The Muslim refugees are being taught new ways, customs and morals so that assimilation will bring an easier life for them and a return to stability of the host county. Assimilation is so basic.

    The Asians, Indians and Pakistanis have done well in this country because they know to make adjustments, learn new customs and learn the language. Yet they still retain their heritage. Every nationality that immigrated to the USA has experienced very difficult periods while assimilating. Do they still experience rejection or discrimination ? Yes to some extent but no where near the levels prior to assimilation.

    Why the refusal to assimilate ? That doesn’t even make sense. If you like things the way they were, then why leave your home ? Even more puzzling, why do you insist on making the new home just like the one you left? If the former home had issues or problems, why transfer them to here?

    Waving a foreign flag in defiance in a host country is disrespectful and provactive.

    Accommodation has reached the point of stupidity. Everything has to be printed or spoken in several different languages. That’s expensive and wasteful. A common language promotes unity. We are not the United Nations of America, we are the United States of America. Are we a nation united by common values and vcvustoms and language or we a tribal nation ? Individual tribes like the Middle East and Near Asia and Africa ? Do we want the chaos of being a tribal country ?

    1. Ah yes, the Norte Americanos forever on the defensive, immediately blame the other (whoever that other is at the time) of what the USA has been criticized or accused of, there is always someone else that is worst. As if that absolves them, turn the argument around and use it against those making the critique.

      So Galeano made the critique and now your defense is that all the Americans from the continent of South America do not know much about the USA? Point the finger at others for what you have been criticized. That line of defense sounds more like sufferings from an inferiority complex.

      We read about test after test conducted to compare knowledge on something or other and the USA never places on top, always middle or bottom half. Many of those nations that are ‘inferior‘ to the USA place higher on some of these tests.

      On the subject of assimilation, well we just have to wait till next week to read the essay don’t you think? How can we have an opinion of that which we have not read?

  10. Martin, looking forward to your series. I like the Americans being from the continent, that is sure to fire up that Trump faction that follows your posts. Adelante!

  11. What I find amusing is who is Martin Paredes and why do we care what he thinks? Are they historic and worthy of scholarly discussion? Do his opinions shatter the world we live in?

  12. Here is the deal whether Martin admits it,think about, he has assimilated into America. Martin has this false notion that assimilation into America means one must give up ones cultural heritage which is no where near the truth. In fact becoming assimilated in American and bringing the best of ones cultural heritage to the table is what has set America apart from the rest of the world and made it so great. As we have said before if America is so bad and evil why do we see so many trying to get in from around the world in such large numbers to such bad,evil, racist nation. In fact there are people literally dying just trying to get in not out. Seems Martin and Pati have no explanation for such a phenomenon.

    1. You don’t give up your culture; you bring its artifacts here so we can all enjoy them. You do give up your country and its battles and entities so you can start over here.

  13. Pati, based on your ramblings I say you are the same person that lost the election for District 2, city council. You lost then and still don’t get the message.

    Cuban/Venezuelian proganda is passé.

    Have to read the essay to have an opinion ? Figures, some people can’t form an opinion unless they read their marching orders and the anti-assimilation qu’ran.

    1. Look mate, all I am rambling about is that in order to have a well-formed opinion and write a critique of a book, an essay or other written work one must read it first. Continuing my ramblings, this was taught back in the sixth grade when one was introduced to report writing and the black-ink, ten cent pen. Oi, it’s elementary my dear fellow, really elementary.

      On Cuba and Venezuela you may be right but the great work of writers of Galeano’s stature never dies. Did we not recently celebrate the Old Bard’s 400th anniversary of his death? My Venezuelan friends who left their country because of the government tell me how much el Trompas reminds them of Chavez.

      I am an atheist. At my age I don’t have the time nor desire to read the Quran, though in my youth I did read the King James version of the Christian bible. I take it from your response that you have read the Quran. May be you could be a little more enlightening on how my comments are derived from that book.

  14. Pati, the comments went over your head. That’s ok, I understand and will take it easy on you.

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