Thursday, May 03, 2007

Srengthening American family values? Not at this rate of illegitimacy

President Bush likes to say that family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande. Some have even argued that new immigrants instill the country with a stronger commitment to family values. Well, maybe when Mexicans illegally enter the U.S., they leave their familly values behind, because their behavior while they’re in the U.S. shows little respect for family values.

Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies sees troubling signs for Hispanic immigrant families in the U.S. in their low education attainment and in their high rates of illegitimate births.

The rate of births to unmarried mothers is an apt indicator of family strength and family values, as children born to unmarried parents are at a disadvantage on a host of social problems, including poverty, incarceration, and academic problems.

Of Hispanic, Whites, Blacks and Asians, the Hispanic immigrant's percent of out-of-wedlock births is the largest at nearly 42%, higher than the nation's rate and higher than every other immigrant group. Hispanic immigrants far exceed the Asian immigrant's illegitimacy rate which is at 11%.

'Given that most illegals are less-educated and Hispanic, and given the high rates of out-of-wedlock births among less-educated Hispanics…an amnesty rather than an enforcement approach could contribute greatly to the illegitimacy problem in this country,' opined Dr. Camarota. Sending illegal aliens home and selecting legal immigrants in the future based more on education levels would significantly reduce illegitimacy among immigrant populations in the future, says Dr. Camarota.

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