A report on research by Indiana university notes the "tide of of Latino immigrants" in Indiana: "Hispanic enrollment in state schools doubled from 1998 to 2005. During that same period, the percentage of Latino students who tested as 'Limited English Proficient' nearly quadrupled. The Mexican population in Indiana is growing faster than that of any U.S. border state and every Indiana neighbor except Kentucky." The report goes on to say that because of "inconsistency and debates over immigration," we're not doing a very good job of integrating the newcomers into our communities:
In surveying the work of state and local agencies, the study concluded that there is little leadership -- from the top level of state government down through the local level.
"There hasn't been a concerted, sustained, coordinated effort across different agencies and the school system in communicating with the state of Indiana," Levinson said. "The response has been rather more ad hoc in most cases -- well-meaning, but ad hoc -- and therefore there has often been little continuity, little sustainability, and so what successful measures are gained are often compromised ultimately."
The efforts of the communities, the study found, were often undertaken with good intentions but were sometimes misguided. Each of the study's communites took proactive responses to the newcomers. But neither had much direction from the state, and responded instead with local institutions and cultural traditions. And both had problems in carrying out the response.
Nowhere in this report is there any mention of illegal vs. illegal immigrants. They're always just called Latinos or newcomers. Are we to take it that IU is talking only about legal immigrants? Or are we supposed to make an equal effort to integrate them all, whatever their legal status? Maybe that's the "debate" that's hampering the ability to deal with the newcomers -- we're being nitpicky over whether they should even be here or not instead of just making them all feel welcome.
Some people are against Latinos and many other immigrants simply because they are bigots. But it's been my experience that a lot of people would welcome more legal immigration if they hadn't concluded that so many in the establishment, including university researchers, were willing to roll over on the illegal-immigration issue.