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Professor Manuel Hernández
Essays Collection

Email: josejosue24@gmail.com
Address: : 2012 Ernest St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741

Manuel Hernandez was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York in 1963. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and finished a Master�s in Education from Herbert H. Lehman College (CUNY) in the Bronx in 1994. He has coordinated symposiums, produced and coordinated television interviews on the literature written by Puerto Rican and Latino/a writers from the Diaspora. He has done numerous presentations, workshops and seminars on how to integrate latino/a literature in the English classroom. In 2014, he participated in a TedxTalk (Connections) at Southern New Hampshire University. He is the author of three books, , Latino/a Literature in the English Classroom (Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2003), The Birth of a Rican (Imprenta Sifre. 2008) and Living the Kingdom with purpose (Imprenta Sifre, 2013). He is a Language Arts teacher at Osceola School District in Florida.
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Latino Education and Birthright Citizenship
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright
mannyh32@puertoricans.com

The debate on birthright citizenship has just begun and legislation threatens to take away the right of immigrants who become an American citizenship by birth. The continuous and unparalleled growth of the Latino population as evidenced in the 2010 United States Census has refueled the Shakesperean question of who is and who is not an American citizen. According to Alan Gomez’ August 12th, 2010 article in USA Today, there is much concern regarding the 14th Ammendment amongst US legislators. With the November elections just around the corner, some US legislators have rekindled the issue of birthright citizenship within their constituents.

The amount of children born in the USA to illegal immigrants have leaped to 4 million in 2009, as compared to 2.7 million in 2003. Children born to illegal immigrants are immediately given U.S. citizenship. Because the majority of these children are Latino--this adds to the on-going discussion on whether or not to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants. As the percentage of native born people in the U.S. has dropped for the last forty years, there is widespread worry amongst some US legislators in terms of the benefits that this may represent for issues such as education.

While the economy has taken the vanguard of all the issues discussed today, the US Government continues to ignore the fact that the largest minority in America is not only at an economic disadvantage, but because it is less educated; it is at risk of becoming underrepresented for their lack of knowledge. Although there are underlying factors (teenage pregnancy, illegal immigration, lack of parent involvement, etc.) which derail the educational advancement of Latinos, there is no specific and concrete vision concerning what to do, where to go and how to handle the educational issues of America’s fastest growing minority.

There is a need of an educational policy that meets the academic demands of Latino children. Scientifically based research has reiterated the validity of the use of culturally relevant texts in the English classroom. The increasing Latino High School dropout rate is based on the educational system’s inability to retain the interest of the Latino young adult in the classroom. Without a defined vision for Latino education, America will continue to look for ways to hold back the political and economic power of Latinos in America. Taking away birthright citizenship is just another way to stop the educational opportunities that Latinos and all Americans have a right to receive.