In my own family, we had been bilingual Spanish-English for three generations before we ever came to the U.S.A. in 1960.
We did retain our cultural ways which were the cultural ways of the Old Americans that become so Politically Incorrect in the 1960's.
So, by growing up Cuban American in Miami in the 1960's, I grew up in the America of the 1930's and 1940's while our "Anglo" Baby Boomer contemporaries were turning their backs on that America.
As to language, you really can't be successful (serious money successful) in the U.S. with having mastered English. In my generation, it was Spanish that we negelected growing up in the 1960's. Only when we found out in the 1970's and 1980's that negotiating that contract with that Argentinian company or Venezuelan company required more attention to our Spanish that we had paid it in our high school years did my generation go back and bring their Spanish up to a professional level.
As for immigrants congregating, tell that to the Jews in Miami Beach and New York, the Chinese in Chinatown, the Irish in Massachessets, the Poles in Chicago, the Scandanavians in Minnesota, the Southern Blacks in the District of Columbia, the Germans in Pennsylvania.......
"As to language, you really can't be successful (serious money successful) in the U.S. without having mastered English."
Cool name, Polybius. Cool quote on your web page.
Phoenix is mostly Mexican in its Hispanic population, no surprise there. Mexicans are wonderful people. In fact, most immigrants appreciate America more than native-born Americans do. I think most Caucasians appreciate all the cultures which have formed their own enclaves in various cities. Scottsdale is Jewish and Mafia in its makeup.
What grinds me is that the flood of illegal aliens has brought with it a massive amount of illegal drugs, thousands of criminals, and a completely broken medical system. My only hope for medical insurance is to join a large corporation. My last offer was $200 a month for $10k deductible, or, no insurance for $2,400 a year.
The flood shows no sign of abating. Neither party is interested in the welfare of American citizens. We are only a few years away from nationalized health care (or, even more than we have now). That will mean even more give-aways for people who do not belong here.
Another consequence of the illegal flood is making Spanish almost a requirement of employment. Why should I have to learn another language to get a job in my own company? I have nothing against people getting more because they want to learn another language, but this new development is tilting employment toward illegals once again. Yet many illegal aliens have not learned English after 8 - 10 years here. My dog knows more English words than the husband (illegal, here 8 years) knows. He works in the kitchen of a national chain. He's a fine person, very hard working and friendly. But something is definitely wrong when I am supposed to learn his language and he does not know mine.
I would love to see every single person with proper papers, but I am opposed to any kind of amnesty. Anyone who is here illegally should leave and apply to return under limited conditions.
Your family came to the US when Americans' primary view of Cubans was "Ricky Ricardo", (Desi Arnaz) married to America's then sweetheart, Lucille Ball.
The Cubans who came to the US back then, as Huntington pointed out, were bankers and business people -- the upper class -- who were treated as well if not better than most of the other immigrants who came before them -- and who very much deserved that image as they were hard working, smart business people who kept their culture privately while assimilating publicly into American life. Before the Mariel Boatlift, if a non-Cuban heard the word "Cuban" -- once they got past the subject of Fidel Castro -- "Cuban" conjured up much of the romantic visions of Cuba that Andy Garcia has often tried to recreate on film.
But that Mariel Boatlift in 1980 changed much of that -- and now the Diaz-Balarts, Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan's are seen as more the exceptions rather than the rule. Too bad, because pre-Mariel Cubans should have been held up by politicans as "the model" for how Hispanic immigrants can and should be integrated into American society.