More Focus Needed on Immigrant Assimilation

by Roger Clegg

So says a report being released today by the Hudson Institute, as reported here in the Washington Times. The issue is getting less attention than it has in the past, alas, and the article lays some of the blame for that on President Obama: “Assimilation has to be championed by someone. Normally it’s the president, and President Bush did. But this president really hasn’t at all,” says Alfonso Aguilar, who worked on assimilation issues for President Bush and now runs the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

I made my own top-ten list of what we should expect from those who want to become Americans (and those who are already Americans, for that matter). The list was first published in a National Review Online column a decade ago, and I later fleshed it out in congressional testimony. Here it is:

1. Don’t disparage anyone else’s race or ethnicity.

2. Respect women.

3. Learn to speak English.

4. Be polite.

5. Don’t break the law.

6. Don’t have children out of wedlock.

7. Don’t demand anything because of your race or ethnicity.

8. Don’t view working and studying hard as “acting white.”

9. Don’t hold historical grudges.

10. Be proud of being an American.

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