Transcript/Biography

Up
Down

"This immigration stream has matured. Immigration is slowing down, as it always does. Immigration streams have a history. They are like a bell curve of sorts. You know, they start out as a trickle, they grow as the network becomes denser and people bring their relatives whether they're in Italians or Polish or whatever, and then they begin to slow down as the initial attractiveness is no longer there, as the networks that are already in place have sort of exhausted their ties and as situations change…
     "But they take care of themselves. They integrate because, against all odds, they put their head down and they remember why they came – their children. Ironically, not only do we not do very well helping that first generation harness all that energy any more, but the brunt of that failed integration effort comes back to haunt us in U.S. born children. Those who have not found the schools to be as receptive – or maybe the schools have but the sports teams in the schools have not adapted, or the curriculum or the peers or the messages that they hear about their parents – [that] forces them to seek at the moment where they are seeking an identity like every youth is, an alternative identity that is sometimes a reactive type of ethnicity (as we call it). And then they join gangs or they join groups that are not the most productive.
     "This is our failure. This is not the immigrants' failure, this is our failure. We don't know how to do integration. We are an immigrant country today that has forgotten how to do integration well and has learned little from the lessons of the past because we have decided to distort the past rather than truly learn from it."

Lourdes Gouveia – Immigration Slowing Down

   

Excerpts from Lourdes Gouveia’s Interview:

Modern Immigration
A Nation of Immigrants
The New Wave
Immigration & Language