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The Importance of Being Hispanic Fernando Sánchez Ugarte Mexican General Consul March, 2006. March, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "The Importance of Being Hispanic Fernando Sánchez Ugarte Mexican General Consul March, 2006. March, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Importance of Being Hispanic Fernando Sánchez Ugarte Mexican General Consul March, March, 2006.

2 Introduction  These are exciting but yet trying times for Hispanics in Oregon and across the USA.  Hispanics are the most dynamic ethnic group in the state and the country gaining economic relevance and political and social clout.  Immigration issues, if not properly resolved, might impair further progress for Hispanics.

3 Outline  Historical Background.  Relevance of Hispanics in the Country and the State of Oregon.  Immigration Reform and its Risks  Conclusions.

4 Historical Background  Hispanics were the first “outsiders” to arrive in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.  Expeditions were sent from New Spain, at the end of the XVIII, to explore the Oregon coast and the Pacific Northwest.  Spanish explorers discovered the Columbia River, landed in Oregon and settled in what is now Washington state and British Columbia.

5 Historical Background  The research and exploration carried on by these expeditions was crucial to understand the geography of North America and to facilitate the colonization and settlement of the Pacific Northwest.  The contribution of Mexico to this endeavor was significant, not only financially, but it also provided the logistics, the supply capabilities, the manpower and many of the ships that were used in the exploration.

6 Hispanics in the US  In 2004, there were 41.3 million Hispanics in the US, 14.1% of the total population.  Hispanic population grew 17% between 2000 and 2004, whereas total population increased 4.3%.  The median age of Hispanics is 27 years, 10 years younger than the median age of the total population.  It is projected that there will be, almost 50 million Hispanics in 2010 and more than 100 million in 2050.

7 Hispanics in Oregon  In 2004, there were about 340 thousand Hispanics in the state of Oregon, 9.6% of the total population.  Hispanic population in the State doubled since 2000, whereas total population increased 36%.  81% of all Latinos are of Mexican origin and 2/3 of them reside in the five counties along the Willamette valley. (Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Multnomah and Washington).

8 Hispanics in the US  Almost 28 million Hispanics participate in the labor force, 12.5% of the total.  Hispanic total income, in 2004, was $570 billions and median family income was almost $53,000.  The total purchasing power of Hispanics in the US is equivalent to the GDP of countries like Brazil, India, Korea and Mexico.

9 Hispanics in Oregon  Almost 220 thousand Hispanics participate in the State’s labor force that is 8% of the total.  Hispanic aggregate income in the State was $3.6 billion and median family income was more than $26,000 in  In Portland, the aggregate income of Hispanics is almost $520 million and median family income exceeds $28,000.

10 Hispanics in the US  In 2002, there were 1.6 million Hispanic businesses, growing 31% since 1997 and representing 7% of all businesses.  Almost 40% of all minority businesses are Hispanic.  Total sales and receipts of these firms amounted to almost $230 billion in  Hispanic businesses in the US employ more than 1.5 million workers and pay about $40 billion in wages.

11 Hispanics in Oregon  In 2002, there were 6,360 Hispanic-owned businesses in the state, 1,200 of these were in Multnomah Co.  These businesses had sales in excess of $1.4 billion and employed almost 9,000 people.  Hispanics are the second minority group after Asians that own more than 9,000 businesses.

12 Hispanics in the US  In 2004, 12.6 million Hispanics were enrolled in School, of which 2.2 million were attending college.  17% of all enrolled students are Hispanic.  More than 7.2 million Hispanics have attended college and almost one million have graduate degrees.  77% of Hispanics speak Spanish and almost 80% of Latinos speak English fluently.

13 Hispanics in Oregon  There are 105 thousand Hispanics enrolled in the School system, about 15 thousand are attending college or graduate school.  12% of the kids attending school in the State are Hispanic.  About 15,000 Hispanics in the State have attended College, that is about 9% of the Latino population older than 25. More than 6,000 Hispanics in the State have a Graduate degree.  66% of Hispanics speak Spanish and about the same percentage speak English well or very well.

14 Hispanics in the US  There are 29 million Hispanics that are US citizens, 72% of the total Hispanic population.  There are about 17 million US citizens of Hispanic origin that are old enough to vote.  About 9% of the voting age citizens in the country are Latino, while 11.5% are African American.

15 Hispanics in Oregon  Almost 245 thousand Hispanics in the State are US citizens, about 73% of the total Latino group.  About 100 thousand Hispanics in the State are old enough to vote, African Americans are the second minority group with 36 thousand individuals that can vote.  Almost 5% of the voting age population in the State are Hispanic.

16 Significance of Hispanics  Hispanics are playing a very significant role in the economic, social and political life of the State and the Nation.  The competitiveness of many key industries relies on Hispanic labor.  Migration flows, mainly of Hispanic manpower, are helping the US face successfully the challenges of economic globalization.  Hispanic migrants complement and enhance the productivity of homegrown labor and talent.

17 Immigration Reform  Nobody doubts the impending need of an Immigration reform.  A comprehensive reform should address four important objectives: SecurityCompetitiveness Human Rights Rule of Law

18 Immigration Reform  The Sensenbrenner Bill approved by the House is not a comprehensive reform and runs the risk of dislocating the march to progress of the Hispanic community.  There are other proposals being considered by the Senate, such as the one submitted by Kennedy and McCain, that are more comprehensive in nature and that address most of the pending problems.

19 Conclusions  Hispanic immigrants contribute significantly to the strength of the US economy and enrichen the cultural and social diversity of this country.  It is necessary to undertake a comprehensive immigration reform that adresses the security concerns and that makes it possible to have an orderly and legal permanence of immigrants in the country.


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