Little Miracles, Kept Promises Historical Context

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Mexican Americans, who form the subject of Cisneros's fiction, are the largest group of Hispanic Americans in the United States. In the 1990 census, approximately 13.5 million people identified themselves as Mexican Americans. In addition, an estimated two to three million illegal Mexican immigrants live in the United States, mostly in the southwest. In 1980, when Cisneros was about to begin her literary career, 74 percent of Mexican Americans lived in Texas or California. Arizona and Illinois accounted for more than a third of the remainder. For the most part, these Mexican Americans were not new immigrants. In 1980, three out of four Mexican Americans had been born in the United States, a far higher figure than that for other Hispanic groups.

The characters in Cisneros's fiction are mostly poor, and poverty has long been a characteristic of Mexican-American life in the U.S., ever since large-scale immigration began in the...

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This section contains 877 words
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Little Miracles, Kept Promises from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.