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One of the arguments often made in opposition to immigration is that the influx of Spanish speaking people to the United States is threatening America’s native tongue and thereby its culture.

But a new study of Spanish speaking immigrants in Los Angeles and San Diego, published in the current issue of Population and Development Review shows that their linguistic assimilation is inevitable.

Although the life expectancy of Spanish is found to be greater among Mexicans in Southern California compared to other groups, its ultimate demise nonetheless seems assured by the third generation. English has never been seriously threatened as the dominant language of the United States, and it is not threatened today-not even in Southern California. What is endangered instead is the survivability of the non-English languages that immigrants bring with them to the United States.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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