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Jason Mero, 18, headed off to Brown University this fall proudly staking claim to his Latinx heritage, ever mindful that the sacrifices his immigrant parents made opened the doors of the Ivy League to him. Born in Queens, New York, to parents who emigrated from Ecuador 30 years ago, Mero would ruminate with his family growing up about the challenges facing an American with Hispanic roots: how to deal with a more hostile environment against Latinos, and how to assert his U.
So they were doing that for my safety and to protect me. But even so, these conversations have shown me that I'm still proud of being Hispanic, even though it's being frowned upon by other people. That stream of adolescent Latinos coming of age in the U. Most of these young Latinos have one thing in common — they were born in the United States. Nine out of ten Latinos under 18 are U. For those under 35, it's about eight in ten, according to new figures from Pew Research Center.
Over half of Latinos under 18 and roughly two-thirds of Latino millennials are second-generation Americans — born in the U. They have all the markers of being American, yet they are the children of immigrants. Navigating their parents' immigrant culture while being born and raised in the U. Her confusion is captured in a scene from the movie "Selena," in which actor Edward James Olmos, playing a father, tells his children how difficult it is to be Mexican-American and the nonacceptance that comes from both Mexico and the United States: "We have to be twice as perfect as everybody else.
Flores-Perez, who is light-skinned, has been questioned when she identifies herself as Chicana. Beyond issues of language and color, living amid their immigrant parents and their extended network has influenced how young Latinos see issues in the U. Some recounted, amid smiles, growing up as Latinos while not necessarily embracing their families' traditions. More seriously, they spoke of the pressure their parents felt to help relatives in their home countries, despite not having much more money themselves.
They also spoke of having to explain their identity not just in their U. Here at home, U. With community if not familial ties to immigrants — including legal residents without documents and people with deportation deferrals — detentions and deportations or the fear of them are part of young Latinos' daily lives. A survey of millennials released in January found that 49 percent of millennial Latinos worried a lot that a family member or close friend could be deported, compared to 25 percent of Asian Younger nice mexican girl i know u r here and 21 percent of African-Americans.
White millennials' experience was the polar opposite to Latinos: Fifty percent said they did not know anyone at risk of being deported. Young adults under 35 are already the most diverse generation in U. The diversity has found its way into politics and policy making and is likely to give a distinct shape to how the country addresses major issues. The share of Latino millennials who believe climate change is occurring is about 49 percentage points higher than white millennials and 20 percentage points higher than African-Americans.
Young Latinos may be disproportionately affected by climate change considering where they live, how many of them or their families are employed in the agricultural industry and that they have relatives in other countries that have experienced climate-related issues, Rouse said. On the one hand, a record of young Latinos, 3. Additionally, 67 percent of Latinos ages 25 and older had earned a high school degree. Yet they lag behind other groups in pursing higher education.
Just One of the biggest issues is college costs, complicated by the fact that Latino families, which generally started the Great Recession with less net worth than other ethnic groups, lost 66 percent of their household wealth during this period.
Despite financial odds, young Latinos are profoundly optimistic. More than three-in-four Hispanics ages say most people who want to get ahead will be able to make it if they work hard. Marco Garcia is Berenize's twin brother.
He described their immigrant parents' hard work. Now he and his sister, students at Uncommon Charter High School in Brooklyn, see it as a point of pride that they're children of immigrants — as well as high achieving students. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Politics U. Share this —.
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Young Latinos: Born in the U.S.A., carving their own identity