Two Cultures? Latino and Asian Language Assimilation along the U.S.-Mexico Border


The assimilation of recent immigrants to the United States has been a topic of considerable debate. Conservative scholars argue that Latinos are developing a Spanish monolingual society on the United States-Mexico border. More progressive scholars maintain that Latinos assimilate at rates similar to other immigrant groups. This study evaluates these claims using responses from a large-representative survey in San Diego, California. We find that Latinos are much less linguistically assimilated than Asians and characteristics negatively associated with assimilation are more prevalent among Latinos than Asians. While social-environmental predictors suggest that Latinos are assimilating at slower rates than Asians, Latinos appear to be making steady ground in their assimilation patterns. The findings provide a nuanced perspective falling between disparate accounts of language assimilation.

In California Journal of Politics and Policy