The Trauma

The Trauma of Being a Non-Documented Immigrant:

A Life Lived in Fear

 

The majority of non-documented Mexican immigrants live in a constant state of fear. Always wondering when the axe will fall, and the prospect of detention and deportment looms large in their minds. The trauma of trying to maintain a low profile to avoid detection, and still try to live a normal life is daunting. Many are desperately trying to blend in with the documented population in an effort to avoid detection by immigration authorities, while at the same time live what is considered a normal life. The fear of deportment means separation from children born in the United States, wives who are natural born U.S. citizens, and other family members whom are citizens already.Image

Looking over one’s shoulder, fearing that some mannerism will make one suspect of being an un-documented immigrant means being in a constant state of high-vigilance. A lapse of this vigilance could mean being targeted by the local police, as is being done in a multiple of states as part of the Secure Communities initiative. This initiative allows local police to stop drivers for any reason if suspected of being un-documented. If jailed, fingerprints are taken, and sent to the immigration (I.C.E.) authorities. A possible undocumented immigrant status places one in dire circumstances and subject to detention and deportment. This is especially true of mixed families, where one or even both parents are un-documented and their children are natural born citizens by virtue of being born in the United States.

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The prospect of such a possibility places one in a constant state of fear for one’s own safety, and the safety of one’s family. Psychological trauma also extends itself to the wives, or husbands and children that are legal that are left behind, while the other is deported, with little chance of ever attaining legal means of reunification short of once again crossing the Mexico-United States border illegally.

 

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The Long Fight for Racial Equity

The Long Fight for

Racial Equity

In the United States today, the fight for a comprehensive immigration reform is either going to finally be passed in the U.S. Congress or delegated to the circular file of failed attempts at leveling the playing field for those  not of European descent. It appears to be, and let’s be honest, another form of racial discrimination. The darker the color of one’s skin– the more inequity and scapegoat-ism one will experience. One example of this was found in the hiring of 6500 Intel employees by issuing visas to “Irish” workers, not blacks, or non-documented Mexican workers, who were already here. If a real show of non-racial prejudice were to be found, it has not shown itself in the news articles recently.

A show of racial equity would be in the reform of present immigration laws, allowing full amnesty for non-documented immigrants already living here in the United States. This reform would issue current non-documented immigrants with a combination driver’s license/work visa for one year. This show of good faith on the U.S. Government’s part would not be one-sided, but would come with the stipulation that they register with locally appointed officials appointed by the Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (I.C.E.), within one month of passage of the Reform Law, and that they do not commit any form of violent crime. The ability to put their children into our public schools, [all State schools and Universities] at in-state rates of tuition and access to health care for their families, job training for the non-educated workers without jobs, and a non-discriminatory attitude toward all. Also, and the most important part, they must attain United States Citizenship within three years.

What’s in it for us? Populations of U.S. citizens that are finally convinced that their government offers free and impartial care for “all” its citizens, without regard to the color of

The Inevitable Crossing

The Inevitable Crossing

Why does the United States continue to bother with deporting the same individuals over and over again? Has it not yet become clear that Illegal Mexican Immigrants will find their way back after being deported at high cost to the American taxpayer, practically each and every time caught? The real expense is not allowing them to stay; with many whom believe The United States, to be their rightful homeland; often times actually having been born in the United States. “The New York Times journalist, Damien Cave, visited and interviewed one such individual in the city of Agua Prieta, Mexico. The border-crosser had a wife, an American son, and three brothers still living in the U.S.A., and vowed to get back to them by any means possible.”

It stands to reason that once in the U.S.A., Mexican people will see the difference in how much better they can survive, and create a prosperous lifestyle for their families, providing a top quality education for their children and, later, maybe even them-selves. Eventually, even Rome saw that those whom they had called “barbarians” wanted to be able to live like the Romans lived, which accounted for the wars upon Rome itself.

Many Mexicans today, want what Americans enjoy. Our lawmakers today can alleviate the distress by creating new Immigrant streamlining of the legal process, making the paperwork, less intimidating, less costly, and more expeditious for Mexicans with no criminal records in Mexico. Those, whom truly desire to be upstanding taxpaying citizens of the United States, should be allowed to do so, and be encouraged by all to take that first small step. By eliminating the tag criminal,” to cross United States Border without proper documentation, these good people would not be classified as criminals, and could greatly contribute to our country.

Human Rights

Fred Galloway

D600/4298

Ken Smith

28 February, 2012.

 

Human Rights & the Illegal Mexican

Immigrant

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.

 

 

 

 

The Intention t…

The Intention to Break Up

Illegal Mexican Immigrant Families

 

As a result of my research I have come across very little about the efforts to separate parents of naturalized Mexican-American children, but I am convinced that it happens extremely often due to the efforts of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), a department under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. I say this, because at least one of the parents, sometimes both parents is an undocumented Mexican immigrant. The offspring born in the U.S. are automatically citizens of the United States. Sometimes they can be placed with a legal Mexican American family, hopefully a close relative and rarely are they allowed immigrating to Mexico with their birth parents. Of course, that means a separation of siblings to foster homes, sometimes different foster homes, with the intention of adoption by suitable American couples. One must ask whether this is a suitable resolution to the problem of how to adequately care for the well- being of the children, especially ones that are old enough to understand what is being perpetrated upon them and anger issues henceforth.

The Child Protective Service system does in the majority of cases honestly attempt to insure that the foster homes are adequate for the needs of the children.  The case workers are genuinely concerned that placement of these children is advantageous for a successful transition to American life. In the cases of very young children, many are adopted by American couples that cannot conceive children of their own naturally. These children are the luckiest group, while elder children are often not adopted, but will remain in foster-care until they reach sufficient age to strike out on their own.

 In conclusion, at the age of majority many of these children have lost almost all of their ability to speak the Mexican Spanish dialects, and feel lost between two worlds, not knowing to which they truly belong. Many have adopted an alternate mode of speech, known as Spanglish, which is a combination of both American and Mexican Spanish dialects. If ever they visited Mexico, or any Spanish speaking country, a majority of the people would not understand them, due to the adulteration of Mexican Spanish dialects. They look Mexican, but are not fully accepted by the Mexican population. 

Poverty Rising among Non-documented Mexican Immigrants

Poverty High for

The Non-documented

Mexican Immigrant

 

 

Not much of a surprise for the majority of concerned citizens of the United States! In fact, the Chicago tribune ran an article called “Regaining ground, but with more to make up.” It states that “other recent research says that there are more Latino children in poverty than any other group right now in the nation . . .” This is just one of the many articles that connect the undocumented Mexican (Latino) population with the low socio-economic symptom of poverty within the United States today.

When the subject of poverty rears its ugly head, one immediately looks to the poorest of the poor, namely the ethnic groups that have crossed the American border with Mexico. The largest group of which are native Mexicans by birth. What can one do when he/she finds the joblessness situation and poverty in their homeland unbearable? It should come as no surprise that Mexican families might find migration to a more prosperous area a real necessity for the survival of the family.

Granted not all non-documented Mexicans which cross the border illegally are virtuous individuals. Every ethnicity has its criminal element. Persons of Western European lineage have more than their fair share of convicted criminals sitting in U.S. correctional institutions, along with persons of every other ethnicity. How much of this criminal activity is attributed from living in poverty? No one can give an absolute answer to this query, not the state or federal government that is a certainty. One might say well according to the most recent United States Census statistics it is this many individuals. However, undocumented immigrants in the U.S. do not always come out of hiding to be counted, being afraid of showing up on the I.C.E. list of undocumented charts. So, the Governmental figures are rarely accurate and apparently nothing can be done about it. It is a foregone conclusion that the poverty rates will continue to rise for non-documented Mexican families as more and more are arriving daily.