Commentary written by Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow for the Globe and Mail

The U.S. needs to embrace its Latino personalityStrangely, Americans see immigration reform as a way to “solve” a problem, when really it represents a historic opportunity for Americans to embrace their country’s unique Latino personality – in the same way that English Canada acknowledged its French component 50 years ago.

Latino culture and the Spanish language are not “foreign” to the United States. They were present on the continent before the foundation of the United States. In fact, the 21 (other) Spanish-speaking countries in the world consider the U.S., at least partly, as one of their own.

Many elements of Americana – the dollar sign, the dollar itself, ranch and cowboy culture, barbecues, mustangs and more – are Latino in origin. Spanish was the first European language spoken on U.S. territory. The oldest contracts, writs and charters date to the founding of St. Augustine, Fla., in 1565 by Spanish settlers – 42 years before Jamestown and 43 years before Quebec City. Read more »