May 06, 2006

¿Es el español un idioma extranjero?

One of the ideas rearing its ugly head in the present debate about US immigration is the proposition that Spanish is a foreign language introduced by illegal immigrants. Using US government sources, I obtained the numbers of people of Hispanic origin in the Southwestern US, in the seven states that have been part of the United States since they were taken from Mexico 150 years ago. From these I subtracted the estimated numbers of illegal residents, resulting in estimates of the number of legal residents of Hispanic origin. I have tabulated the results below (in thousands):

StateHispanic  Illegal  Legal Hispanic
New Mexico80039761
Texas7,1971,041 6,156

There are approximately 19 million legal residents of the Southwest of Hispanic background. If we include legal residents who have not been in the mainland United States so long, we may add the 1,169,000 Cubans in New York and Florida and 800,000 Puerto Ricans in New York, for a total of 20,611,000. Hay por lo menos 20 milliones de personas de origen hispánico quienes habitan legalmente los Estados Unidos, la mayoría de las cuales vienen de familias que han habitado los Estados Unidos por muchas generaciones. ¿Cómo se puede decir que el idioma español sea una lengua extranjera en los Estados Unidos?


Posted by Bill Poser at May 6, 2006 08:51 PM