After D.C. then Virginia census results were reported, the anecdotal evidence that the D.C. region is even more diverse than when I first visited 10 years ago became objective. But the real news dropped Thursday: Maryland, one of the most affluent and best educated states, is going to be a majority-minority state soon, the only east of Texas.
The state is heavily urbanized with, unlike say New Jersey, quite a bit of rural land as well. And not everyone is happy about change in a state that, when outside of the D.C. and Baltimore regions, can feel more Mississippi than Massachusetts.
Frederick, which has thousands of commuters that head to each of the state’s two mega-regions each day and is increasingly suburban, is one of those places. There, the well-known anti-illegal immigration crusader County Commissioner Blaine Young had an interesting response to his county’s Latino growth.
“I don’t know how many of these new residents are illegal or citizens,” Young said.
This is a stark contrast to the tone exhibited by Prince George’s and Montgomery legislators. “Wow. That’s incredible” said Montgomery Council member Nancy Navarro. “Those are incredible numbers” said Prince George’s County Council member Will Campos. Young, from a county that prioritizes dealing with illegal immigrants, has has own thoughts about those Maryland Beltway communities.
“We are seeing people from all over come here if they are disenchanted with their quality of life,” he said.
That’s a shot right at Montgomery and Prince George’s, which both celebrate their increasing diversity. Maryland is “America in miniature,” after all. The majority-minority status is one that Maryland, like many other states, will see soon enough.