Growing group reaches out for understanding

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The Hispanic community consists of people from more than 20 countries, yet many non-Hispanics seem to know very little about one of the fastest-growing groups in America.

Winnie Armour (left) and Rachel Rivera watch as their daughters, Nazareth Armour and Zariah Rivera, both 3, ride on swings at  Fort Gordon's Latino Fest on Friday.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Winnie Armour (left) and Rachel Rivera watch as their daughters, Nazareth Armour and Zariah Rivera, both 3, ride on swings at Fort Gordon's Latino Fest on Friday.

In Richmond and Columbia counties alone, Hispanic families make up close to 8,000 households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey.

"There are 45 million legal Latinos in this country. I think a lot of people put us in the same boat," said Pedro Hoyos-Salceda, an Augusta State University associate professor of Spanish. "There is a potpourri. There's doctors, builders, people working for NASA going to the moon. We're not just sticking bricks; we're also saving lives. It's time that the community open their eyes to that."

Members of Augusta's Hispanic community spoke on the misconceptions concerning their culture and the challenge to be recognized as a vital part of a city often colored in black and white.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

CINCO DE MAYO

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. A Mexican force of 4,500 men faced 6,000 well trained French soldiers. The four-hour battle ended in a victory for the Mexican army under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza.

BY THE NUMBERS

28.3 million - U.S. residents of Mexican origin in 2006. These residents constituted 9 percent of the nation's total population and 64 percent of the Hispanic population.

1.2 million - People of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher. This includes about 350,000 who have a graduate degree.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006

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patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 05/05/08 - 05:40 am
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America has always had a

America has always had a large Hispanic community that has been part of America. They've retained their unique characteristics while integrating into the society that is America. The illegal flood of 20 million Hispanics and the left's attempt to exploit them for political gain has led to an extremely difficult situation and suspicion toward all that speak with a strong Hispanic accent. If there's a way to separate the illegals from the immigrants, it would simplify a lot of potential problems. Embracing the illegals as "immigrants" is not an option.

mayhem2020
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mayhem2020 05/05/08 - 05:49 am
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I don't believe anyone has a

I don't believe anyone has a problem with hispanics who come to this country legally and assimilate into our society. The rub is the large group of law breaking illegals. Legal hispanic residents could go a long way in solving this problem by policing their own.

DonH
13
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DonH 05/05/08 - 06:30 am
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Legally immigrated Hispanics

Legally immigrated Hispanics remind me of the great infusion of immigrants who came to the United States earlier in this century. There was the exploitation, language differences, and cultural adaptation. The legal Hispanic immigrants today are no different. I am certain that they will be strong contributers in today's American society.
The big difference today is the scourge of illegal aliens (none-immigrants, mostly Hispanic) who have swarmed practically unchecked into our country. They are more like invaders who have no respect for borders, our culture, and our laws. All they want is American dollars to send out of our country and to bring their entire extended families to the U.S. Everyday our news media tries to soft peddle this invasion by calling these invaders, illegal migrants, illegal entrants, and illegal immigrants. The MALDEF lawyers try to include these illegal aliens under the Civil Rights Act. They say that they fall under the protection of these anti-discrimination laws, i.e. race, religion, or natioal origin. These laws would apply only if these illegal aliens were legal immigrants. So the spin doctors spin away and many people believe the sob stories.

fd1962
26
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fd1962 05/05/08 - 06:33 am
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That's garbage, PT, and you
Unpublished

That's garbage, PT, and you know it. The vast unwashed "left" has been no more guilty of political exploitation than your cultured and bless-ed right. (ergo, John McCain). I'm certain your brilliant idea of separating the illegals from the immigrants is very helpful indeed. I suppose you would have them all tattooed with numbers on the left wrist as your non-political solution?!

fd1962
26
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fd1962 05/05/08 - 06:39 am
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Oh yeah, Patricia (and your
Unpublished

Oh yeah, Patricia (and your clones), remind me again how I've missed another point completely.

2tired2argueanymore
1
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2tired2argueanymore 05/05/08 - 06:43 am
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My only concern is the remark

My only concern is the remark about sticking bricks. The writer makes it seem as if its bad. Try sticking bricks yourself and you will see that the people that do that are artists. Just because they didn't spend four years in a college doesn't mean that what they do is any less important. If you don't want to be associated with something don't be associated with illegals but all the brick stickers aren't illegals.

i.b.e.w..electric
0
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i.b.e.w..electric 05/05/08 - 08:48 am
0
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ins should have been there

ins should have been there checking their status,yeah right ,lol, like that will ever happen.i have never seen this country bow down to a certain group of people like it has all the illegals.the solution to this problem is so simple ,arrest ,convict,and pull the business licience for these companies that hire them and they will leave .the old saying rings truth ,if you cut the head off the body will die.then there is the old myth that they are doing jobs americans wont do ,BULL.americans were doing these jobs long before we ever heard of illegal immagrants,esp .if people will pay a fair wage .these people arent just friut pickers anymore ,they are specializing ,esp in construction and manufactoring.and lets face it people ,we are not exactly getting the cream of the crop here ,they are the ones staying in mexico working for all of the american companies that have moved there.

jack
11
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jack 05/05/08 - 10:10 am
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fd1962, I believe it was the

fd1962, I believe it was the Kennedy sponsored bill that McCain co-sponsored and go roasted (along with the others like SCs Grahamnesty who tried to pass it) by the vast majority of Americans that killed the bill. I agree that the Hispanic community could help with the illegal alien problem by helping in identifying them for deportation. I am all for LEGAL immigration from any where by anyone, but the invasion of illegals is inexcusable and our "leaders" are doing little to solve the problem. If our culture is to survive, we must insist on LEGAL immigration ad ASSIMILATION (learn English, adopt OUR customs, etc). which most illegals do not do. I have written my Congressmen to sponsor a bill to NOT give federal funds to "sactuary" cities. We havee far too much heinous crimes by illegals in this country. As for protecting them iunder our Civil Rights laws just goes to show how far the left will go to get those votes. Those Civil Rights and other laws are for US Citizens and LRGAL immigrants. Now FD1962, go ahead and call me a racist or bigot which is the usual weapon of the left.

jack
11
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jack 05/05/08 - 12:56 pm
0
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fd1962, I believe it was the

fd1962, I believe it was the Kennedy sponsored bill that McCain co-sponsored and got roasted (along with the others like SCs Grahamnesty who tried to pass it) by the vast majority of Americans that killed the bill. I agree that the Hispanic community could help with the illegal alien problem by helping in identifying them for deportation. I am all for LEGAL immigration from any where by anyone, but the invasion of illegals is inexcusable and our "leaders" are doing little to solve the problem. If our culture is to survive, we must insist on LEGAL immigration and ASSIMILATION (learn English, adopt OUR customs, etc). which most illegals do not do. I have written my Congressmen to sponsor a bill to NOT give federal funds to "sactuary" cities. We have far too much heinous crimes by illegals in this country. As for protecting them under our Civil Rights laws just goes to show how far the left will go to get those votes. Our Civil Rights and other laws are for US Citizens and LEGAL immigrants. Now FD1962, go ahead and call me a racist or bigot which is the usual weapon of the left. (reposted to correct typos).

fd1962
26
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fd1962 05/05/08 - 07:17 pm
0
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Jack, I agree with nearly
Unpublished

Jack, I agree with nearly everything you said above, except that the usual weapon of the left is to call others racist or a bigot. It seems all persuasions on these threads often resort to that tactic , including the evangelicals. Perhaps it takes one to know one? What I resent are narcissistic, self-appointed phonies who rise like a fart in the shower on here to blame every conceivable defect in the human condition exclusively on the machinations of liberals, leftists, Marxist-Leninists, and southpaws in general - to their own everlasting glory. Gets tiresome, and ignores credulity.

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