Mexican Immigration: The Necessity to Find Jobs

Mexican

Immigration:

The Necessity To

Find Jobs

 

 

To immigrate for jobs or not to immigrate for a job, that is the question that plagues the populations of Mexico today! It should seem reasonable to most people, that without a job one and one’s family cannot survive for any expanse of time, without suffering immense economic hardship and even death. This may be a viable reason for the increase in criminal activity in urban settings throughout America today! When people cannot find a way to survive in a legal manner, they will, at times, resort to criminal activity to provide for them-selves and their families.

It is necessary to emphasize here that not all Mexican persons would resort to criminal activity. Many would choose to pull up stakes and move to a more advantageous area to find work. This means access to public schools for their children, with E.S.L. (English Second Language) classes to give Mexican children the means to excel in academic environs. It also means finding an already established Mexican-American community complete with the cultural food and supplies necessary to maintain cultural requirements. Of course, it also means jobs to work at in small businesses and small or large factories, alike. There are Mexican immigrants that have attained higher education, like many Americans.  They hope to stay in the United States, find a lucrative well-paid job here, paying U.S. taxes, and are planning on becoming United States citizens in an expeditious manner.

This is fine for those who desire such jobs, but there are those who do not! Many Mexican Immigrants, many uneducated, have always worked at menial jobs all of their lives, and are skilled in a particular area.  Some areas include crop-harvesting, retail sales workers, short-order cooks, factory workers, new home construction or working at home renovations, such as roofing and siding. These immigrants, who daily use their physical bodies to scratch out a living, their choice of jobs are no less valuable than that of the university graduate’s. Even though these jobs pay far less, they are necessary, and can provide for the immigrants’ families survival, proving that these jobs are just as needed as the University graduates.

Some Americans believe that the Mexican worker has come to the United States to take their jobs from them, but the truth is that Americans do not want to touch many of these jobs. However, labor is labor! Some of these jobs can be hard and dangerous, which turn many Americans off, instead wanting jobs which present less chance of bodily injury, and more comfortable working conditions! The Mexican immigrants will accept these jobs; no questions asked and feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to work. How does this phenomenon make Mexican Immigrants (Legal OR Illegal) bad individuals? That is puzzling!

Are Mexican Immigrants all good people? No, of course not, but then neither are all lighter pigmented Americans. Some individuals do commit criminal activities here in the United States. Do we lock them all up in jails and figure out a way to deport them back to their native land? Some are treated that way, for some inexplicable reason the darker the pigmentation of their skin makes them scapegoats; held in contempt for all that is wrong with the United States today!  Think about it! You just might see the light of the situation.

 

 

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Machismo

Violence: A Component Of

Cultural Chicano Gender Ideals

 

The Mexican immigrant, those illegal as well as those who hold valid legal documentation, have more than being of Mexican cultural background in common. At this point you are probably wondering just what that might be. It is understandable, given the present situation in American cities and towns today, large and small. Many see this cultural phenomenon as the invasion of those others, namely the illegal Mexican immigrant. What else is a common factor within both groups? It is the overly exaggerated male gender role known as “Machismo.”

“Machismo” is defined by the Webster’s New World Pocket Dictionary, 4th Edition published in 2000, as a ‘Macho’ quality. “Macho,” as defined by the same source, means “overly virile and domineering.” In a draft submitted (2007) to be published in the American Sociological Association journal by Katy M. Pinto and Scott Coltrane entitled “Understanding Mexican American Fathers: Marital Power, Gender Role Attitudes, and the Division of Domestic Labor,” It is stated that this ideal of Mexican manhood, defines the attitude that the husband is the head of his family and should have the ultimate final word in all matters concerning his family. Machismo carries with it the responsibility “to provide all financial resources for the support and protection of his family.” (Baca, Zinn, 1982; Mirande, 1997; Torres, Solberg and Carlstrom 2002).

The ideal Mexican male is also responsible for the reproduction of progeny, as many as he can, both inside the family (his wife or girlfriend) and outside the family group (non-familial sexual encounters) as well. Many Chicano fathers emphasize as well this principle to their male offspring as a sign of manhood to be apparent for all to see from their earliest of their formative years to adulthood. The father’s defense of his personal honor and that of his family, requires that he must be capable of engaging in physical violence to settle all perceived slights and attacks by rival males, recovering his and their personal honor. Honor is the all-important facet holding the family together in a cohesive identity. This overly exaggerated sense of what it is to be male has carried over to the present in many Mexican families, both in families termed ‘legal’ immigrants as well as those labeled ‘illegal’ immigrant families. In Mexican (Chicano) communities, this role still exists. Though today the practices have been muted due to the husband staying home with the children (unable to find work), and his wife working outside the home to earn wages for the family. Perhaps at times this is the reasoning behind the creation of Chicano gangs, young men proving their masculinity. The ultimate example of ‘Machismo’ to the United States is the violence carried out by these organizations (The Latin Kings are but one of these gangs), which have chapters covering the entire United States. The occurrence of some domestic violence in Chicano homes is not unusual, but it is important to emphasize that domestic violence is a factor in all communities, within all ethnicities, and not just in Chicano communities. As more and more Chicanas work outside the home the concept of Machismo is losing some of its power over the decisions made in the home.

“In response to the concept of Machismo there exists the female version known as ‘Marianismo,’ which delineates the role of the mother and female caretaker of the cohesive unit known as the family.” (Stevens 1973; Torres, Solberg, and Carlstrom 2002). All Mexican females within the nuclear family are subservient to their mother. The mother is the one person that is a constant within the home, even to the present day. She, also, can become violent when she perceives a threat to her children. It is important to point out that this is true of all mothers, even the most placid, and not only those of the Chicano community.

While many Mexican women (Chicanas) now are working outside the home to bring in financial capital to assist in the survival of the family, most times it is due to the non-availability of jobs for their husbands. The cultural gender concept of ‘Marianismo’ for women has not changed.  These cultural gender roles have held the nuclear cohesive unit known as the family together in good times as well as bad, over many centuries, and will remain to define gender roles within the Chicano identity.

 

 

Racial Discrimination in California Schools

Racial Discrimination

And Non-White Immigration:

Is There A Tie Between the Two?

Racial discrimination is alive and well in the public schools of California! In a study done, by Lindsey Perez Huber of the University of California at Los Angeles, of forty interviews conducted with twenty undocumented Latinas, and twenty United States born Latinas, on the subject of “white dominance” over “people of color” within the school system by teacher’s discourses in school classrooms (Huber, 379-401). Think about racial discrimination in our society today and you probably would be apt to say that there is no such thing, but there is still an air of superiority and dominance attached to being a white person.

This is especially true in public schools in the State of California! Children of color, especially Latinas/Latinos are treated differently from their white cohorts. The manner in which non-whites are addressed, politely, but with condescension, and taught to be subservient to their white teachers and classmates, any white person for that matter. It was as if every Latina/Latino was illegally in the United States.

In California schools, if you do not speak perfect English, you are looked down upon by your peers and instructors alike, because “the only right language to speak is English. Without fluency in English, future opportunities are not likely to be forthcoming. The real distinction comes with your appearance; if you look Latino/Latina you are labeled a Mexican Immigrant forever in the eyes of the white authorities, even if you were born in the United States. Even if your ancestors had been here for countless generations” (Macedo, et al, 2003).

Is there truly an underlying prejudice against California’s non-white students? I firmly believe that there is and that it exists not only in California but all across the United States. It is irrational, unfair and stigmatizing to the millions of non-whites citizens who are forced to ignore the almost undetectable discriminatory actions of America’s white population toward their non-white neighbors. It is time to put aside the racial prejudice as it has no place in a nation of immigrants of all colors. Each of us has a role to play in the neighborhoods we live in, workplaces, and the future of our nation, no matter what the color of our skin.

The Need for Mexican Migrant Workers

A Repercussion of America’s

Heightened Security:

Crops Rotting in the Fields

 

While our nation’s security from hostile nations remains a real factor, the loss of revenue to our nations’ farmers is also a subject of concern to our overall economic health. The loss of many agricultural Mexican migrant workers is at the heart of the poor harvests many American farmers are now experiencing. States that produce most of America’s food have been trying to convince their state legislatures to be more lenient when it comes to allowing migrant workers from Mexico to receive working permits to once again help boost America’s breadbasket crops at lower prices. One such State is Kansas, who just recently appealed to their legislature for a solution to Kansas’s slowdown of recent agricultural productivity.

However, Kansas is not alone in its shortage of migrants to harvest cash crops. Michigan, California, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Alabama represent other States, which are suffering from a shortage of experienced migrant farm workers. Given the present situation of increased joblessness, one can no longer afford inflated prices on foodstuffs resulting from lower crop yields, which is the direct result of a shortage of experienced farm workers to harvest crops.

Mexican migrant farmworkers provide a service which cannot be matched at the low wages paid by American farmers. Mexican migrant workers and American Farmers both benefit from harvested crops delivered to market at the peak of freshness, and sold for a healthy profit. Americans are not, for the most part, willing to work the extremely long hours in adverse weather conditions and at low wages as Mexican migrant workers are willing to do. Many Americans do not wish to work as hard as Mexican migrants will, and part of the reason is that many Americans are not physically capable of doing the work, which is required. If Mexican Migrant workers (after cursory background checks) are granted work permits enabling them to work in the United States, it creates a better supply of edible foodstuffs, and helps to alleviate the workload already backed up for the Department of Homeland Security. The time to take this step is NOW! Let’s not wait for farms to fail, and more people put out of work and on the unemployment lines.

 

 

 

NAFTA and the Mexican Immigration to the U.S.A.

The Disastrous Effects Of
NAFTA on Mexico’s
Economy

On December 8th of 1993, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law by the President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton. It, too, would be a day remembered in infamy, to borrow from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous statement at the beginning of WWII, describing the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941. The signing of NAFTA into law started Mexico’s inevitable economic decline, beginning with the devaluation of the Mexican currency (the peso) in 1994 and 1995.
This occurrence combined with the influx of higher quality goods flooding the Mexican marketplace from the United States and Canada with decreased import tariffs sounded a death knoll to Mexico’s manufacturers of the same products. They were not alone in Mexico’s declin-ing economy. The American owned factories placed strategically along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, which produced goods destined for the United States and Canada began to lose jobs to the lesser expensive manufacturing schemes of China. This occurrence threw more of Mexico’s population, especially among the already poor, into a tailspin. Families starving and with no new prospects for jobs drove these displaced workers for the border of the two countries and northward into the United States and Canada.
But factory workers were not the only ones hurt by this so-called free trade agreement. Small rural farms were also put out of business as the United States stepped up its exports of grains including the staple food of the Mexican populace, corn. Corn poured into the country, selling at lower prices than a small time farmer, without the benefit of new agricultural and mechanized technology to help him, could compete with. Eventually, these rural folk were forced to sell off their small farms, and immigrate also to the United States for work.
In Mexico, there were no farm subsidies provided by the government to help farmers out, unlike the subsidies paid to U.S. farmers. In the U.S. these experienced agricultural workers crossed the border illegally many times to work for the large produce, livestock, and fruit pro-ducers that needed people to harvest at low wages. This enabled U.S. producers to make a con-siderable profit. Mexico’s red-meat producers, especially the hog farmers, were also forced out of business, because the U.S. was exporting meat to Mexico at lower prices than the average Mexican hog farmer could afford to sell his hogs for at market.
Even though NAFTA infused Mexico with tremendous amounts of financial capital to educate, develop the infrastructure of Mexico, training their people for new high-tech jobs and new ecologically sound practices of agriculture, due to the corruptive forces within the hierarchy of the Mexican government, little was achieved. Much of the funding went to political cronies, personal and family friends within the governmental structure itself. The development of the country of Mexico by its own government was not the highest priority on the docket, making the rich richer was its number one priority.
Of the people Mexico did train in high tech jobs in Mexico’s universities, many left the country to work in the United States and Canada. This created an academic drain upon the Mexi-can government, and availed Mexico little in return for the expenditure. These individuals, too, crossed the border into the United States in search for the higher wages, which the U.S. would pay them for their knowledge.
Of the rural populace, some of the children received an education, but not all. The indig-enous peoples of Mexico were deprived of even a rudimentary education, not considered to be Mexican, because no Spanish blood flowed through their veins. An adequate education would have allowed them the opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty, and make something of their lives. Instead, they, too, immigrated to the United States to work for the higher wages paid there. The health and welfare of the Mexican people was not a concern. Improvement of the in-frastructure in many states was almost nonexistent. Moneys meant to go for special programs to assist the poor were not disclosed to the general population, but only to those who knew of someone in the government who knew about these programs, and could help them out financially to build up small businesses to improve their lot in life. NAFTA attributed to this injustice also, by not ensuring that the Mexican government carried out all of these invaluable programs meant to lift Mexico out of third world status, ultimately meant to target Mexico for great progress, and even greater prosperity. However, the common Mexican worker grew poorer by the day, and fi-nally immigrated to the United States, either legally or illegally in search of work.
But in the meanwhile it availed U.S. and Canadian interests to thrive and achieve tremen-dous profits. Mexico’s failure would haunt the Mexican populace, while the U.S. and Canada reaped huge profits from the formation of NAFTA. NAFTA not only attributed to Mexico’s downfall, but is today engaging in other free trade agreement with governments in Central Amer-ica (CAFTA), and even governments in parts of South America. What lessons are to be learned from NAFTA’s greed and lack of concern for the Mexican people? As the profits roll in, so do the people driven out of a livelihood in their own countries, looking for what you took from them at home.

 

#Immigration, #D600