links to the organization U.S. English, which has released a report which found — gasp — that Mexican and Central American immigrants are far less likely to become proficient in English and seek citizenship than any other immigrant population. USE has ideas about why this is, and commendably enough they want to encourage immigrants to ? well, speak English and become citizens.

Strangely, though, while they note that “issues” with the Spanish language are not the problem, their map on page 10 of the full report suggests a simple explantion why our nearest neighbors are the ones who don’t seek naturalization and English proficiency.

American history records that when an immigrant has to overcome a significant cultural and geographic divide — be it a steerage passenger from Central Europe in 1870, a refugee from Communist Asia in 1980, or even a recent arrival from Argentina or Venezuela — he is likely to consider it a permanent move. May he can’t go home again, or maybe he wouldn’t make the journey in the first place unless he meant to stay.

Mexico being a close neighbor, and having the benefit of large expatriate communities identified in the report, there’s much more likelihood that those individuals are here for work or school, and intend to go home to Latin America sometime soon. Meanwhile, there’s enough company and assistance around that minimal English skills will do ? a situation not unlike an American in Paris.

So what’s the problem with that?