28 February, 2012.
Human Rights & the Illegal Mexican
In the United States, according to the 2010 Census Brief on The Hispanic Population, released in May of 2011, the largest ethnicity was reportedly “Mexican,” or “Mexican-American,” or “Chicano” and is estimated at 31 million, 798 thousand, and 258 persons of Mexican origin living within the United States. People reporting themselves as “Mexican” had actually increased from a dynamic 58.5% in Census Year 2000 to 63% in Census Year 2010. (Census 2010, The Hispanic Population Census Brief, Table #1, page 3). While those figures may seem large, there is no way to know exactly how many individuals are in the United States illegally (non-documented). It is a social and psychological struggle to build new lives in a foreign land, which many times do not really want you there. It is a sign of a strong individual to try to better themselves against all odds.
According to Olga L. Mejia, M.A., the author of an article entitled “Immigration: A Dynamic Process” published in the American Psychology Association, who wrote:
The psychological stress put upon these individuals is immense, from the emigrating to the border between The U.S.A. and Mexico, to managing a sometimes stealthily and tremendously expensive crossing of the border into Texas, and California, and other border cities north of the border. This means learning a new language, growing accustomed to changes in their diets, creating new communities while trying to keep some of the customs of the region from which they immigrated, adjusting to new customs foreign to them and trying to acculturate into American Society, adopting those customs and rules as their own. The hardest of these stressors would undoubtedly be trying to forget those relatives and friends that had chosen to stay behind in Mexico (Mejia, 2007).
The 2010 Census Report: South Bend-St. Joseph County Community Overview, published in April 2011, prepared by: City of South Bend Department of Community & Economic Development, Division of Community Development states:
which shows that the Mexican/Hispanic population of the city, has gained over the years 2000-2010, from 9 thousand 1 hundred and 10 persons in Census 2000 to 13 thousand, 1 hundred and 16 persons in the Census 2010. Mishawaka, Indiana, jumped to 2 thousand, 1 hundred and 75 in the Census of 2010, as compared to Census 2000 figures showing 1 thousand, 2 hundred and 97 persons. County-wide diversity increased mostly due to the growth of Mexican communities in South Bend. The cities for the most part lost populations, mostly white populations, moving to other areas for the suburbs (2010 Census Report).
A problem in some communities is derived a lack of knowledge of Mexican culture and unfortunately, from maltreatment by Americans, whom feel that finding a job, any job, will be filled by Mexicans willing to work for lower wages. Students coming from Mexico worry about fitting into the American educational system, lacking an appropriate level of language proficiency are also a worry. The stress comes from putting up with the mistrust of their non-Mexican neighbors. All of these stressors contribute to the dread and speed of acculturation that many Mexican Immigrants (legal and illegal); fight to maintain psychological balance in the hostile environment of America.
In conclusion, Americans could be more friendly and supportive of the feelings of Mexican Immigrants, whom did not come here to take away what we already have, but to build a more culturally diverse community, and ultimately achieve a better life for themselves. A smile and a friendly handshake can go a long way in the fight for acceptance and community building. The Mexicans, like us, want to make a better life for them-selves; help from Psychologists can be foregone, when we realize we, too, were at one time, immigrants to this land! A little cooperation goes a long, long way to mutual acceptance.