Searching for Latino Identity

Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post provides an interesting essay about who is considered Latino. Debates surrounding the growth of U.S. Latinos, immigration reform, and other social cultural issues seem to have redefined Latino identity along many lines. If you’re Latino, you can identify:

Besides, others play identity politics for me. I’m Hispanic when census forms and my children’s birth certificate documents nudge me to choose. I’m Hispanic when junk mail arrives at my house trumpeting special offers for my Irish American wife and ofertas especiales for me. I’m Hispanic when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking on my door with a pitch for salvation ready in Spanish. I’m Hispanic in America because people I don’t know have decided that is what I am.

Mr. Lozada accurately identifies a unifying issue for Latinos regardless of cultural background:

When the political debates over immigration turn ugly, when talk of self-deportation and racial-profiling laws and anchor babies permeates campaigns, the distinctions and nuances seem to dissipate.