Pew: Most Latino kids born from immigrants

With the nomination of Latina Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court there are a myriad of perspectives on what the pick symbolizes for the political future of the Latino community as a whole.

But data released today by the Pew Hispanic Center paints a clearer picture of the community and finds that most Latino kids in the United States are born to immigrant parents, bucking previous trends that favored older and more established generations that resided in the country.

Approximately 52 percent of the nation’s 16 million Latino children are now “second generation” residents born in the United States to foreign parents according to federal census data analyzed by Pew.

Compare that to 1980, when only 30 percent of the demographic were considered “second generation” and when 57 percent were “third-generation” residents whose parents were born in the United States.

It’s estimated by the federal census bureau that almost three-in-ten children in the United States will be of Latino ancestry by 2025.

During the 2008 election Colorado Latinos turned out in record numbers, increasing their voting presence by an estimated 17 percent since 2004. The Latino population in Colorado currently makes up 20 percent of the population census data shows.

Pew also recently reported that our state unauthorized immigrant population appears to be quite young. A study released in April revealed that in Colorado, California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas, at least one-in-10 primary and secondary school students are children of undocumented parents.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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