Puerto Rico under scrutiny of immigration and employment

Puerto Rico under scrutiny of immigration and employment

Since the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, several hundreds and thousands of migrations have happened from the islands of Puerto Rico to mainland US. According to Amilcar Barreto, an associate professor of cultures, science and global studies at Northeastern University, this migration is more dispersed and can result in an exchange of culture way more than World War II.

 

It has been estimated that more than half of the immigrants have taken refuge in the southern or central parts of Florida. This is because of the presence of the large Puerto Rican population in those areas. The rest of the immigrants who are usually professionals and clerks have spread across the country.

Barreto who is also a Puerto Rican scholar said, “This is going to be interesting, the less bilingual certain individuals are, the more likely they are to feel attracted to certain pockets of migration.”

He believes in the notion that the Spanish population in central and southern Florida may increase to the point where Spanish becomes the predominant language.  He also noticed that the large Puerto Rican community in Florida has merged well with the Cuban community in Florida as they also speak Spanish.

 

Some think that if the wave of migration continued to persist, then Puerto Rico would have been able to create a majority pocket in that part of the country. It finds resonance to what happened to Pennsylvanian Amish communities who speak German or the part of Quebec that speak French.

 

According to Molly Callahan, Barreto stated that Florida has seen a mixture of all Carribbean cultures and languages. But when taking a look at the economic situation of Puerto Rico, Barreto states that they might face a crisis. He has noticed that people who have adequate grasp on both the languages get employed easily in big cities. However, on the other hand, people who are only fluent in one language face the brunt of unemployment.

 

Subarna Basu

Subarna Basu
Subarna Basu

pami.tuli@gmail.com

A final year English Honors student, waiting for Godot.

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