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Fighting Words

July 29, 1990

For two centuries, immigrants have been streaming into the United States able to communicate only in their native tongues, those of middle age and older rarely achieving full fluency in English. Ah, but they were white, generally Protestants and of good, clean European stock. Nobody was too upset when they conversed in their native language among themselves, or in stores and in the workplace. It's not easy to learn English.

But now, suddenly, the new immigrant groups are Hispanics and Asians. Very strange and foreign. They are distrusted and perceived as inferior--automatic targets for prejudice.

Yet most of these recent arrivals work long hours at hard, often menial tasks to make it in America for themselves and their families. They are often offered no opportunities to learn English. But they contribute to our society in a very meaningful way.

FRED WOLFF

La Quinta

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