Revista Jurídica de LexJuris

Volumen 4 verano 2001 Núm. 2


                                                             Por : Luis G. Pellot Ferrer




Pennsylvania was first populated by the Lenni Lenape Indians also known as the Delaware Indians when they first came from Asia. When America was discovered by Europe, Pennsylvania was first the destination of trading companies of Dutch origin and then of English origin, and a haven for William Penn’s colony of Quakers, in pursuit of religious freedom and the chance to be governed  by their own laws.


The Quakers, Amish, Morovians, Slovaks, Poles, Hungarians, Italians Croatians, Irish, African Americans, Greeks and now Puerto Ricans and other Latinos all migrated to Pennsylvania to pursue their dreams of a better life.


Lancaster County is situated in southern Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna River borders the county to the west and Philadelphia is 70 miles to the east. Harrisburg the capital of the state is 35 miles to the northwest. Lancaster County has some of the most fertile land in the world and it is the home of many old Order communities including Mennonite and the Amish communities. The county was first settled in the 1600,s and it has 250 listings in the National Registry of Historic places.


Lancaster is the home of three major educational institutions; Millersville University which has 5, 600 full time students and offers 60 bachelors and associates degrees programs and 23 masters degrees and two private liberal arts colleges; Elizabeth College and Franklin and Marshall College.


Lancaster the city of horse-driven buggies and red roses is in an official list as the second of the most segregated cities of America in some studies that have been done. Reading which also is located in Pennsylvania and has a higher Latino population than Lancaster made number one in that list.




During the 1950’s a large migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States began being the destination for the first generation migration the industrial cities of the northeast. When the industrial employment  in the northeast of the United States collapsed internal migration from that area to Lancaster County began. Puerto Rican have begun to migrate to cities that were more successful in retaining industry.


Lancaster sizable Hispanic population makes it one of the Hispanic capitals of the state of Pennsylvania. The Hispanic community was born on the state county’s German farms having agriculture as a link to Lancaster.


In 1953 the Pennsylvania Farmers Association, looking for a way to provide cheap labor for state farms organized a Hamburg facility that accommodated 3,500 men in its first year. It was from this camp that local farmers would hire camp workers and transported them to their farms. The Hamburg facility lasted for 10 years before closing.


Seven years later during 1960, the cannery-based food industry lost out to the emerging dairy and poultry industries, which produce better profits for investing farmers. It was the poultry trade the business that span Puerto Rican migrants into Lancaster’s city fabric.


During the sixties the chicken industry stop being a backyard flock trade due to revolutionary changes in raising birds. In 1960 this revolutionary changes in raising birds include big environmentally control chicken houses that produced enormous growths and turned the county’s poultry industries into U.S. giants.


Companies such as Warner Company and Tyson Foods, Inc. Became leaders in processing chickens and required a large work force. The work force required was filled with hundreds of  Puerto Rican migrant farm laborers that had lost their jobs.


The 1980 census showed that 92% of Hispanics are Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans are now coming from two sources- from New York City and other big East Coast towns and from Puerto Rico. Lancaster Hispanic population more than doubled in 1980 increasing from 7,000. Due to the growing Hispanic population the district school has more minority students than white students. Two decades ago already Hispanic overtook Blacks as the largest minority group in Lancaster.


The county of Lancaster has one of the strongest economies in the state due to a diversification of industries: agriculture, business-industry, and tourism  It is visited by 5 millions tourists a year. It is the number one in the state in the number of farms and ranks among the highest  in the state in corn for grain, corn for silage, barley, alfalfa hay, all hay crop, cattle, hogs, chickens and cow in milking herd product. It has leading employers prominent in Fortune 500 Companies. Lancaster County is also a national printing and graphics arts center while food processing is one of the leading industries.


The county experienced a significant growth in recent years witnessing a sprawl and loss of farm land.. The population  has increased by 80% from 1950 to 1990 and has lost 159,000 acres of farm land; 4,000 acres per year which is the size of the city of Lancaster. Puerto Ricans have been the minority that has more contributed to the increase of population of Lancaster City, but the matter that  may have contributed more to the loss of farm land as well as new construction is the movement of  the White population out of the city. As we can see it seems that the pattern of migration and segregation may eventually affect agriculture and Lancaster economy in general.




The Puerto Ricans and other Latinos came to Lancaster not in pursue of  religious freedom but in pursue of economical and political freedom. The biggest numbers of Puerto Ricans were pushed by an economical plan of  the governments of the United States and Puerto Rico called Operation Bootstrap. Operation Bootstrap saw the big population of the island of Puerto Rico as a barrier to the development of the island.


The earliest document found on the Puerto Rican presence in Lancaster City was published in May 11, 1954 by the Redevelopment Authority, City of Lancaster, in a report by a technical advisory  Committee to the Renewal Program titled Know your Neighbor: A Look at the Puerto Rican Community In Lancaster, PA.  The Technical Advisory Committee was integrated by executives of  city, as well as, county public and voluntary social agencies.


In the introduction to the report the Board Of Directors thanks Reverend Mercurio A. Fragane, Executive Director of the Spanish Catholic Center, and Reverend William Nieto, of the St. Paul Methodist Church as two individuals who were very much involved with daily life of the Puerto Rican community.


By the time the report of the committee was published it was estimated that the number of Puerto Ricans living in City of Lancaster were approximately 700 individuals, or 150 families. The report said that the Puerto Rican family was not as large as they were often led to believe. The report estimated that a count throughout the county would produce probably another 700 persons with relatively large groups located in New Holland and Ephrata.




With a population of just 700 individuals -what the report defines as the patterns of housing and location - it will start what we may call the start of segregation of the Puerto Ricans reportedly residing within the City limits of the City of Lancaster with an  estimated number of  “ approximately 95 to 98% living within the City southern quadrant, or that area commonly known as the 7th Ward and the remainder located on Water, Prince, Chestnut and Queen Street. The largest number within the southern quadrant are found at Church, Howard, Chester and Rockland Streets.”


The report saw a trend developing whereby the families were moving farther south on Duke Street and east to Ann Street. I may remind the reader that once inside the City the pattern of migration and segregation was not decided by the Puerto Ricans but by the housing made available by landlords and real estate businesses.


Most Puerto Ricans were tenants living in rented property and few were property owners. The pattern -the report said- appear to be in favor of  apartment rentals as against single dwelling units. The report saw some “obvious reason for the development of such a pattern”.


The Puerto Rican was a relatively new-comer to this country and “there has existed, even to present, a degree of discrimination in housing where the Puerto Rican is concern.” For this reason the report stated that they “out of pure necessity turned to the slum landlord for lodging, inappropriate as it may be”. Apartments or converted single dwelling units brought a much more handsome return to the landlord for such reason that was what he had to offer. It was not really up to the Puerto Rican families to decide where they were going to live because segregation is not selected by choice.


As Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics are migrating to this city the White flight is in progress as thousands of White residents are moving to the suburbs. Houses are being sold by the hundreds and in some blocks is not strange to see that all houses are being sold by the same by the same real estate corporation, probably the same real estate corporation that spread the scare tactics to force the  white house owner to sell at a low price.


The migration of  Puerto Ricans to Lancaster City and the reaction of the white community to this migration in the form of white flight and segregation will have a profound effect on the economy of Lancaster County, one of the strongest economies of the state of Pennsylvania. 


The report of the Technical Advisory Committee contended that a “forced pattern of segregation” existed but that in addition the Puerto Rican had clustered together due to “lack of the sufficient knowledge of the English language” and to pull their resources “in order to meet economic demands.” The report indicated that the degree of discrimination from mild to hostile and that it “depend in large measure to the issues involved.”


It seems that no one can stop this pattern of segregation because as we may prove is true that it will affect the housing market by lowering the prices of the white owners it is also true that it will enrich the pockets of the real estate agents in these transactions. The whites sell at a low price and the Hispanics buy at a higher price moving in a pattern of migration and segregation.




The report defines the Puerto Rican arriving at Lancaster City at that time as one having very little formal education because (1) “even in large metropolitan areas such as San Juan and Ponce, only about 50% of the population ever finishes high school” (2) and those that have an education and can qualify for the better jobs will “tend to remain in their native land rather than coming to this country”, and (3) “only recently was a high school education made compulsory in Puerto Rico and 65% of the national budget was appropriated for educational purposes”.


The information on the formal education of the Puerto Rican of those times did not specified the source of the information and it may be based on the assumption that a “only recently was a high school education made compulsory”. When the report says recently it may be making reference to 1963, or 1964, but education was made compulsory long time before with the approval of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Even though the opinion about our educational experience our youngsters were seeing as suffering more from social isolation than from educational inability in part due to the “housing and economic pattern”. The impact of the extended family and how it could have help the youngster was not investigated or was not part of the report findings. 




The Technical Advisory Committee contended that it was “discouraging to learn that few if any Puerto Rican youngster have graduated from high school”; even though, the report noticed that  few if any Puerto Rican youngsters have been here long enough to have children old enough to have completed  12 years of school. By that time only a number of Puerto Rican were in Hand Junior High School and 4 or 5 in McCaskey High School while 2 or 3 were attending Catholic High School. Data of youngsters in other schools were not available.


Lancaster School System has a good system of  follow-up for youngsters that are attending school. If children stop attending or have behavioral problems  parents will immediately be contacted and may be fined in the hundreds of dollars by the city if  the reason for lack of attendance is not justified. Education from first grade to 12th grade is compulsory in Lancaster and in order for a youngster to get a work permit for a part time job it will have to be attending school. The system works excellent and I would say that if we have such a system in Puerto Rico the rate of delinquency and subsequent crime will drop enormously.



The Advisory Committee recommended as advantageous that some group or organization would undertake a follow-up study on this group of youngsters in High School to learn what job opportunities they are able to secure upon  completion of their High School training.




The report,  published in May 1964, said that the first  “sizable group of Puerto Ricans to arrive in Lancaster came approximately ten to twelve years ago.”  It also said that the bulk came looking seeking jobs as farm laborers during the summer and fall months. The first transition of migrant farm laborers to the City started when on non-productive months “when no longer needed they came into the city and took up residence”.


The laborers found city life “somewhat more tasteful” stayed on and soon were sending for their families to join them. This migratory movement is defined by the Advisory Committee as the “first influx of Puerto Rican families into the city.” At that time the Committee could also observe a trend in migration with the number of Puerto Ricans leveling off in a type of reversed migration with the same number coming to Lancaster as were returning to Puerto Rico.


The reports say that of the Puerto Ricans gainfully employed in Lancaster the majority were found either working in the poultry houses, in foundry work or as laborers in the tobacco warehouses. It also says that those Puerto Ricans working at the poultry farms were “paid $1.25 per hour, the minimum wage scale...many received only $20-40 per week since they received pay only for those hours which they actually work.”


The workers were really paid less than  $1.25 per hour because poultry farms “require they the workers to arrive at 7:00 a.m. in the morning when in fact they do not start drawing wages until maybe 10:00 a.m. when the chicken arrive for processing”. The workers were not permitted to be members of any union and the issue to unionize them has been under litigation for two years. The workers that worked in the local foundries were unionized  and made approximately $80- $100 weekly. The Advisory Committee found no evidence of Puerto Ricans working in the in the building trades, in sales positions or in white collar jobs.




The Advisory Committee saw the Puerto Rican as someone that brought with him the pattern of a closely knit family with the male figure playing a dominant role as the head of the household. The male played that role independently or not if he was the father of the children or legally married to the mother.


The report says that it will be of interest to watch if the central role presently played by the male will survive certain types of changes because male in every culture is in part identified by the kind of occupation in which he is engaged. The report gets into the area of sociological theory to indicate that male losses his sense of identity with some particular type of occupation and that he also losses his role as the central figure in the family.


The report cites these sociological theorist as saying that this was “the reason for the breakdown of the Negro family” when the male gave away his role as head of the household to the female because he had not been able to find gainful employment in order to adequately support the family. The supporting responsibility then fell upon the female who at the same time assumed the role of head of household.


What the Committee expects is that the same thing will happen to the Puerto Rican family without taking into account psychological and cultural differences between the African American families and the Puerto Rican families.




The report saw “a degree of fraternization  between the Puerto Rican male and the Negro female”  and hasten to point out that such does not exist to the same extent between the Puerto Rican female and the Negro male”. It also saw a “considerable intermarriage between Native Americans and Puerto Ricans of both sexes.” It did not take into consideration the fact that by the time that the report was published there were more male Puerto Ricans than there were females because a migration was still going on of laborers from the farm to the city. The report do not take into consideration that Puerto Ricans are White, Black and of mixed race including of  Indian ancestry.


At  that time when the Puerto Rican were arriving to Lancaster there were “little evidence of open hostilities” between the African American and the Puerto Rican community but the Advisory Committee predicted that if the Puerto Rican community should ever grow “hostilities would inevitable increase in proportion”. The prediction proved to be false in those times described as “with little evidence of open hostilities” and has proven to be false per secula seculorum. There is an excellent relationship between Afro Americans and Puerto Ricans in Lancaster.


Social agencies offering services to the community observed that the new migrants boys made use of their services but not the girls. The agencies did not understand that on those times Puerto Rican culture demanded for girls to remain more at home but this was not the case for the boys who were supposed to remain outdoors.


There was no official civic group which represented the Puerto Rican community. Father Fregapane published a monthly bulletin which was circulated to the community. The bulletin was opened to groups and organizations who wanted to convey information to the Puerto Rican community. Father Fregapane and Reverend Nieto,  a full time minister that served the area from his home in Juniata Street, agreed that youth serving agencies at the time were not a pressing need. Due to the strong families ties experienced by the Puerto Rican community these services were not greatly needed. The Puerto Rican youngster spend most of their time on the home or close to home enough to be supervised by their parents.


The Advisory Committee checked with the police authorities, and it was learned that the juvenile delinquency problem among Puerto Ricans children was minimal and that the crime rate for adults was very low and there were no Puerto Rican in institutional confinement in Lancaster for a crime against County or for a crime against society.


It is very rare that in such a situation of cultural clashes and few knowledge of  the law like the one confronted by the new Puerto Rican migrants there was no Puerto Rican in institutional confinement. The Advisory Committee did not take into consideration the fact that no classification of inmates such as Hispanic or Latino existed at the time when this report was published.


The Advisory Committee concluded its report indicating that the fact was well established that “at present the Puerto Rican in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, like in many areas of the United States is a second class citizen...forced to live in substandard housing in substandard areas of the community...due to both to sociological and economical factors”.


The report also concluded that the picture was  not a dismal one because only the first and second generation Puerto Rican was on the scene. It was felt- in the opinion of the Advisory Committee report- that the third and fourth generation families “will take their place upon the American scene, much as the Italian, the Irish, the German and other one time new comers” 


The report of the Advisory Committee further concluded that “The rapidity with which this will happened will of course depend upon education, income, size of family, color of skin and other factors. Even these factors are in relation to one another”. After mentioning all those factors the report ended saying that “Perhaps in a few generations only the name will be the same”.




In 1990 The New Era Newspaper published a report on Puerto Ricans from Lancaster  which it titled Hispanic Rose: The Other Lancaster. Following a description of what the newspaper saw as the measure of Hispanic Lancaster:


1-    Lives “mostly in southern Lancaster”


2-    Rents “houses or apartments, often government subsidizes”


3-    Works “mostly in blue collar/ factory jobs”. It has scores of families on Welfare. A handful of families has achieved middle class status, holding down professional jobs and owning homes.


4-    “constitutes a young community”


5-     Lives “a lifestyle of high mobility. Its people tend to move among locations in Lancaster, other Pennsylvania cities and Puerto Rico”


6-     Has “low educational attainment”.


7-    “values strong, extended families but has countless broken and hurting families”.


8-    suffers from “language problems”.


9-    has “an enterprising work spirit that has manifest itself in dozens of mom and pop size business such as grocery stores and hair styling salons”.


10-   “struggles with poverty or near poverty culture, yet it has many successful people.”


In his essay on Some Social Implications of Puerto Rican Migration, Sociolist and Criminologist Dr. Pedro Vale describes three migratory processes which are part of our experience as people:


1-    The voluntary or involuntary arrival of Spaniards, other Europeans, Asians, Orientals, Africans, North Americans,


2-    The migration represented by the departure of Puerto Rican, specially to the United States of America but not excluding other countries during the XX century, and


3-    The Puerto Rican migration that returns, as a phenomenon initiated during the decade of the 1970 reflecting a frequent population movement between the United States of Note America and Puerto Rico. In this type of migration the population stays living for a time in each country.


Puerto Ricans from Lancaster may fall under the second and third migratory process described by Dr. Vale. Lancaster is receiving population from Puerto Rico and from New York and other northeastern states. Many Puerto Ricans instead of “returning” to Puerto Rico are moving to Lancaster where they can live in a small town environment where rent is lower than New York and there are better job opportunities.


Lancaster has a Puerto Rican population that came directly from Puerto Rico as migrant laborers (1940-1950),  but in the last decades (1970- 1990) the migration has come from big cities such as New York, Philadelphia, San Juan, Ponce.  For the year 2000 statistics showed that the unemployment rate for Lancaster was in the 3%.




On January 26, 1989 following a historic meeting with Pennsylvania Latinos leaders, governor Robert P. Casey signed Executive Order 1989-1 and rescinded Executive Order 1979-16, establishing the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs. The mission statement of the Commission was “The society our children inherit is only as good as we have collectively shaped it. We have the responsibility to develop the character of the next generation by making positive contributions to their inheritance.” The commission focused on the “preservation of the Latino integrity as a Commonwealth treasure”.


By the time the Latino population was estimated at over 300,000 with the rate of growth doubling every ten years. While Philadelphia has the largest Latino community in real numbers Lancaster is of much higher population density. When the Commission report was published it was estimated that one in four residents was a Latino. In fact Lancaster is one of the community with a highest Latino population density in Northern United States.


The Commission found that “the growth rate of the Latino population  in Pennsylvania, with the accompanying language and cultural barriers has created the type of backlash that has been common to new groups of arrivals to the United States.” The Philadelphia Human Relation Commission in hearings in 1990 found that “racism exists”.


The Commissioners identified needs and voted to focus on the top five priorities through the formation of  committees. The status of Pennsylvania Latino children was considered to be the most critical and basic concern. They stated that “the future social, economic and political well being of our communities and the community-at-large rests on the state and local school districts’ abilities to effectively address the educational need of our children and prepare our youth for the future.” The work of the education committee was one of the most  important because of the following:


1-    Latino children suffers from “ever increasing drop out rates, academic underachievement and with very few of our young people going to higher education.”


2-    Latino children  has the “highest drop-out rates in the Commonwealth 40 percent statewide and over 70 percent in some areas”.


3-    Latinos has “the disproportionate representation  of Latino children in Special Education programs”.


4-    Lack of effective bilingual education programs.


5-    Lack of bilingual/bicultural counseling and psychological services.


6-    Lack of professional staff and role models in schools and public agencies.


7-    Lack of community and parental involvement in the schools.


The Commission found out that over 70 percent of the seasonal and migrant farm workers in Pennsylvania often live under substandard conditions, with limited accessibility to health care services and no insurance coverage. Societal, environmental, and other cultural factors place the Latino population in a position where preventive health messages and educational measures hardly reach this disempowered group.


Committee on economic development of the Commission referred to community based economic development and it concentrated on the development of neighborhood community institutions which pool resources and talents to create jobs, income, managerial and ownership opportunities. The committee was organized based on the  “central organizing principle” that says that “community control of the redevelopment process is effective in directing the benefits of the process to neighborhood residents.”


The report of the commission stated that it is a proven fact that the most creative and successful approaches to community rehabilitation have come from the residents themselves. The objectives of this institutional model include the following:


1-    the developing of business and economic institutions which increase the income of community residents;


2-    more and better employment opportunities both inside and outside the community;


3-    participation in the ownership and management of the firms and institutions by the residents of communities in which they are located;


4-    the development of economic , social, and political institutions the community can view with pride and which are responsible to its collective wishes.


5-    Having state government make more use of existing Latino businesses in awarding of contracts.


6-    A commitment to making commerce programs more accessible to Latino communities.


7-    A request to the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority (PMBDA) for approval to engage a firm to translate to translate the PMBDA application and related materials into Spanish.


8-    a commitment to a more vigorous outreach program into Latino communities and a commitment to bringing on more personnel with a Latino background


The Commission, understanding that the Latino community has limited resources and many residents live below the poverty level, recommended “developing banking”  as a vehicle  through which low-income people can have access to debt capital and thus position themselves to improve their socio-economic status. It contended that there have been highly successful and proven models of “micro economic lending” or developing banking which the Ford Foundation has help to sponsor. The Commission recommended that further research be done on developing banking models and capitalization for demonstration projects targeting Latino communities.





One of the most important committees created by the Commission was the Housing Committee because the high numbers of tenants versus the home owners among Latinos creates weak and stable neighborhoods in our cities and impacted negatively on the educational and social development of our youth. The community was “facing a crisis in the area of housing” and people lived overcrowded by doubling and tripling to make rental payments.


The Commission recommended a proactive strategy be developed to address housing needs. Some of the recommendations were the following:


1-    Create a sense of both community and individual ownership;


2-    Assist community based organizations to develop into housing advocates and providers;


3-    turn the tide from tenant to owner status;


4-    assistance of the state government in organizing and developing the mechanism necessary for local housing development programs by Latino base organizations;


5-  that the State government provide an essential role in the development and empowerment of Latino communities through its resources and advocacy;


The Committee on Housing was chaired by Carlos Graupera from Lancaster. In Philadelphia in April, 1990 the Human Relations Commission investigated charges of discrimination on behalf of the Latino community and their findings supported the Latino claims of gross discrimination.


The recommendations of the Commission’s Housing Committee should be mentioned due to its importance in relationship to migration and segregation:


1-    Bring Latino community based organizations into the development of its overall strategy;


2-    Technical assistance and initial funding should be provided to Latino organizations wishing to undertake housing programs initiatives;


3-    Funding should  include the hiring of housing specialists with experience in grassroots housing development efforts. The department of Community Affairs’ Peer to Peer programs should contract Latino professionals to provide technical assistance to inexperience organizations.


4-    Model home ownership programs should be establish for Latino bilingual community based organizations to administer in an effort to significantly alter housing patterns.


5-    The Department of Community affairs should conduct an analysis of all programs with the express intent of hiring Latino bilingual/bicultural personnel in key policy making position to provide overall direction in having the department effectively address the growing needs of the expanding Latino population in the Commonwealth.




Puerto Ricans and other Latinos inmates were until recently an invisible population in State  Correctional institutions. The report said that in a 1989 publication of the American Correctional Association, a chart providing the ethnic/racial breakdown of the inmate population by state show no Latinos in Pennsylvania correctional institutions as of June 30, 1988. The report also says that the same was true of the Correctional Year Book published by the Criminal Justice Institute. The reason for this invisibility was that in state correctional institutions Latinos were not classified as Hispanics but as White or Black.




The Commission informed that the relationship between Latinos, police and other segments of local communities in the state of Pennsylvania have, at times reach points of violence and, in some instances, have resulted in death. The Commission raised concern  over the lack of bilingual/bicultural mediators in these situations. The city of Lancaster now with the year 2000 census showing a Hispanic population of 30% is in need of bilingual/bicultural mediators.


Latino population will continue to increase due to the high birth rate and early family formation and continuing migration from the coastal cities. As the population increase segregation increase. The Fair Housing Program of The Lancaster Human Relations Commission publish a special report titled Separate But Equal? The report is about Residential Racial Segregation in Lancaster and Considerations for Community Planning-1997. The  Special Report published by The Fair Housing Program Lancaster County Human Relations Commission was in response of a request to review a study which identified Lancaster as the second most segregated city in the nation for Latinos and provide recommendations to the City of Lancaster for corrective action.


In 1997 the Fair Housing Program of The Human Relations Commission considered a survey of a representative sample of community residents regarding their perspective on residential racial segregation and individual housing choice. The idea is a very interesting topic for a survey but no information was found about the topic.


The special report provides background information “on factors influencing residential racial patterns and focuses on exploring the ramifications of segregation as well as practical innovative ways of addressing racial segregation.”  The Fair Housing Act  of 1968, “the last frontier of  civil rights” which prohibits discrimination under the basis of race/national origin was passed several years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965.


Florence Wagman Roisman in his publication The Lessons of American Apartheid,   states that the federal government has been most influential in creating and maintaining urban residential segregation.


For Wagman Roisman, the removal of official policies and laws did not end discrimination but were replaced by other practices which encouraged discrimination or had the effect of widening the racial gap economically and were equally effective as prior laws in dividing our society racially.  What leads to segregation is not only “the real or  perceived fear of being unwelcome or subject to harassment, a motivating factor in housing choice, but social confidence, acceptance, and familiarity are equal compelling”


The special report also quotes Karl Taeuber and his publication Historic Perspectives who noted that residing with  one’s own ethnic and social group provided “uncomplicated access to cultural and social activities and support institutions such as church, family, and friends. Moore and Pinderhugues in Barrios found that social vitality is a “benefit of strong neighborhoods , serves to cushion minority group members from the indifferent or hostile majority” they agreed with sociologist when they say that group can lead to community development especially early in the immigration process.


Roisman thinks that there is no “personal choice factor” in segregation, there is no voluntary separation and this is not considered a major cause of residential racial segregation.  Roisman states that voluntary segregation is unlikely except as a response to intimidation and points out to numerous attitudinal studies in which a majority of African American expressed a preference for racially integrated residential neighborhoods, provided their safety and security from hostile acts would be ensured.


The special report quotes Karl Taeuber as saying that the fact that some Blacks are hesitant to move into predominately White areas is not simple a cultural preference but a direct consequence of cross burning and other forms of intimidation.




Puerto Ricans do not select to live in segregated areas because of a personal choice factor or voluntary separation and American history has shown that separation is not equal. The new census 2000 shows that now Latinos, the majority of them Puerto Ricans, are a 30% of the population of Lancaster and if the problem of segregation is not resolved to benefit all minorities, and the White population in general, the economy of the town as a whole will be affected because segregation is convenient to no one and detrimental to all.





1.  Know Your Neighbor: A Look At The Puerto Rican Community In Lancaster, PA.

     Technical Advisory Committee To The Renewal Program

     Redevelopment Authority, City of Lancaster. May 11, 1964


2.     Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs

      Executive Order 1989-1 January 26, 1989


3.     Hispanic Rose: The Other Lancaster (From The New Era Newspaper)

      January 1991


4.     A New Comprehensive Plan for The City of Lancaster

      Housing Plan 1993

      Department of Housing and Community Development

      City of Lancaster Pennsylvania

      December, 1993

      The Policy Plan


5.     Separate But Equal?

Residential Racial Segregation in Lancaster

      Considerations for Community Planning-1997

      A Special Report by the Fair Housing Program

      Lancaster County Human Relations Commission


6.     Algunas Implicaciones Sociales De La Migración Puertorriqueña

      Dr. Pedro A Vales


7.   The Lessons of American Apartheid:

      The Necessity and Means of Promoting Residential Racial Integration

      Florence Wagman Roisman

      Iowa Law Review 81 (1995: 492.)






                            RECINTO DE AGUADILLA


                              SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT


                     PUERTO RICANS IN LANCASTER, PA:




                                 Luis G. Pellot Ferrer


                                   Lancaster, Pennsylvania



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