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US citizen prefers being called Chicana? What happened to integration? reports on the growing birth rates in the Napa Valley area. While the story itself is nothing remarkable--growing Latino birth rates--it does bring up several good points I want to highlight.
Signs in both English and Spanish adorn the walls of most Napa businesses and public agencies where a decade ago such a sight would have been rare. They reflect the rapidly changing face of Napa, with its booming Latino population -- some in the country illegally. The growing population of Latinos is very evident at local hospitals, where Latinos now account for the majority of new births in Napa County.
It is evident that it's getting harder to ignore the problem. But throwing racism and ignorance into the mix, with lop-sided politics does not help solve the problem. The national survey being highlighted points out the problem with the high birth rates--integration. This is where I am concerned with groups like MECHA or La Raza who advocate a multiculturalism that is unhealthy both for America and for its immigrant population.
"Analysis of birth records shows that in 2002 almost one in four births in the United States was to an immigrant mother, legal and illegal, the highest level in American history," the national survey states. "The enormous number and proportion of children from immigrant families may overwhelm the assimilation process, making it difficult to integrate these new second-generation Americans."
It is a shame that this sort of story comes out of a medical or social service facility, where their job is to serve the community, not deal with or answer the problems of illegal immigration.

But I want to point out something interesting in the story and perhaps highlights the damage that MECHA and La Raza are having. Castañón, being interviewed for the story, points out that she identifies as a Chicana, not as an American, because she is of Mexican descent.

Perhaps the question that needs to be answered is what makes an American, American? Is it our birth or our heritage? Is it our citizenship? Or, could it be that more than anything it is our values, and love of freedom and democracy. Why would Castañón refuse to identify with being an American? While I am proud of my Cuban American heritage, and I celebrate it every chance I get, I am more proud of this "land of the free, home of the brave" that adopted my parents, gave them refuge and provided me with greater opportunities! I AM A PROUD AMERICAN, and lover of freedom! I celebrate my faith, my beliefs, and the freedom to speak out and share those. I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. Are you, Castañón?
Castañón, who prefers being called Chicana because she is of Mexican decent but was born a U.S. citizen...
Instead of just paying for the lack of enforcement, the government needs to start enforcing current laws. The problem is both at the Federal level, as well as at the State level. I am sure it is not politically correct, but ultimately it is the immigrants that suffer from our unwillingness to solve our illegal immigration problems. Why should a hospital ask for immigration status. That is not what they are there for. Medical facilities are meant to serve the communities. The government needs to take the burden of enforcing immigration laws. If our borders where secured, and if the current laws where being enforced, and if new PC laws where not enacted that just worsened the situation, then hospitals would not have to face this dilemma.
Hospital care for illegal immigrants may not cost hospitals as much as in past years. In May, hospitals and health care providers were told they can charge the federal government for such emergency care. However, Jan Emerson of the California Hospital Association said only $71 million will be available while California's hospitals spend an estimated $500 million a year caring for illegal immigrants.

"That's a guesstimate," she said. "In 2003, hospitals in California provided $5.1 billion in uncompensated care, and our best estimate is that about 10 percent related to undocumented immigrants. Clearly, $71 million will not make a dent in what we spend in California, but we view it as an important first step."

She said the federal government has a responsibility to help pay for care of immigrants, noting, "under federal law, hospitals are mandated to care for anybody who walks into our emergency rooms."

"We've been saying for a decade or more, help us pay," she said.


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