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Hispanics in Changing U.S.

May 29, 1986

The point that Rodriguez misses when he puts forth his opinions on assimilation is the fact that Mexican-Americans come by that very designation by default. The Southwest of the United States is conquered territory, taken by the sword from Mexico by succeeding administrations prior to the Civil War. Mexicans suddenly became Mexican-Americans. This hyphenated existence was not a matter of choice with us in the sense of European immigration to this country.

We simply wish to live in the fashion of our forefathers on land that they opened and colonized and that we continue to claim as our own.

Our culture and values, including language, have as much validity as any other. As residents or citizens, the Constitution endows us with rights, privileges and responsibilities. As long as these are respected and upheld we fulfill our part of the bargain. It is up to Mexicans of all types living in the United States to see that we demand, exercise and protect these rights. All other considerations be damned.

ALBERTO FRANCO

Whittier

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