Debunking the myth of the "Latino Threat"

Latinos are a threat to the nation. Latinos have too many babies. Latinos can't or won't learn English. Latinos refuse to integrate. Latinos are replicating their own culture in the U.S. Latinos are part of a conspiracy to take over the American Southwest.

Sound familiar? And more importantly, do you think its true?

In his book, "The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation" Leo Chavez, a professor of Anthropology at UC Irvine, works to counter the myth of the "Latino threat" in the United States.

The myths surrounding Latinos have been widely pushed by mainstream media and have served as a catalyst for the current anti-immigrant fervor that is sweeping the nation.

Chavez says:

...these ideas are not only biased, they are divisive – even dangerous. They divert attention from a critical national problem – the legal status of 12 million undocumented workers in the U.S. – fueling a political firestorm instead of offering a solution.

In his book, Chavez explores how this narrative of Latinos was created and how it continues to play out in public life in the United States.