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Latino immigrants and the changing makeup of American democracy

A.K. Sandoval-Strauss is director of the Latina/o Studies program at Penn State and author of the new book Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City.

In the book, and in this conversation, he argues that immigrants moved into cities like Dallas and Chicago and revitalized downtowns that were beginning to hollow out because of white flight and discriminatory practices designed to keep African-Americans out. The same thing, he says, is happening again as Latino immigrants move into smaller cities and towns from Hazleton, Pennsylvania to Sioux City, Iowa — bringing economic and cultural vitality to places industry left behind.

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