by Patrick Appel
I think both of them are missing the main actors here: the immigrants themselves, who in almost all cases have been pretty desperate to assimilate as quickly as possible. That was true of the great immigration waves in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it's true of the great immigration wave now. Of course, each group has had various cultural bits and pieces they keep with them (bits and pieces which generally are gobbled up by the larger American culture, so that everyone eats tacos and bagels), and each group has minorities within their minority who resist assimilation, keeping the old language and practices alive (although often radically altered, sometimes without anyone realizing it) even as most of the community drifts -- runs -- towards America.
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