A page from the President's Daily Diary dated September 18, 1968

Hispanic Americans enhance this exceptional nation

Sep 18, 2013

By Luis E. Viera 
[published in The Tampa Tribune on September 18, 2013]

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a nonpartisan commemoration first recognized by President Lyndon Johnson, and expanded by President Ronald Reagan.

There is a fear among some that the increasing Hispanic social influence in the United States is a turn from traditional immigration patterns, in which the values of work, faith and family are undermined. A recent report by the influential Heritage Foundation spoke for this fear in warning that a bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill would cost us $6.3 trillion in expanded welfare payments to immigrants. Too often, influential voices allege Hispanic Americans are less than American, as seen in the uproar when Marc Anthony, a proud American, sang the national anthem recently.

This anti-immigrant sentiment is hardly new, and the immigrants of past generations, who are heralded as ideal today, were also demonized in generations past. Irish Catholic immigrants were brutalized on account of their faith and culture. Jews and other groups were accused of failure to integrate, treason, political radicalism and immorality by Nativists. read more