Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why is the anti-immigrant backlash so strong in Arizona

A new analysis by the Brookings Institution sheds some light on the anti-immigrant backlash in Arizona. While 83% of Arizonians over 65 are white only 43% of the state’s population under 18 are white. In other words, most of the young adults and children in Arizona are non-white, largely hispanic/Latino. Bookings says:

Over the past two decades the state has seen its Latino population grow by 180 percent as its racial composition shifted from 72 to 58 percent white…The state’s swift Hispanic growth has been concentrated in young adults and children, creating a “cultural generation gap” with largely white baby boomers and older populations, the same demographic that predominates in the recent Tea Party protests…So in areas where large numbers of new young adults and children are culturally distinct from an older population which does not share familial or personal connections, there is a noticeable gap that involves more than just age. A 2006 Pew survey indicated that more than half the population over age 50 believed that immigrants were a burden because they take housing, jobs and healthcare.

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