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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Editorial For the South Bend Tribune (Draft)

The Undocumented Mexican Immigrant Family:
Lives Lived In Fear

Imagine, if you can, having to constantly be on the alert for someone who might turn you and your family in for not being in the United States legally. The prospect looms large upon the minds of undocumented immigrant parents, not knowing whether today will be the last day that they will see their children. Most families that are separated from their children do not see them again for many years to come or ever. This is especially the case when one, or both parents do not have legal paperwork to be in the country, and their children were born in the United States. Their children are United States citizens, but they (the parents) are not! This dilemma is encoun-tered on a daily basis by hundreds of thousands of Mexican families, whom are trying to better their lives, emigrating to where there are jobs to be had and the chance of a better life for their spouses and children.
All children deserve the opportunities, which are given freely to the majority of their neighbors, whom by chance, or luck, were born in the United States, and thus became the recipi-ents of these opportunities. Of what opportunities do I speak? The opportunity to attend a school, to receive a high-quality education, and even to attend an institution of higher learning, such as most state and private universities throughout the United States provide today.
One such opportunity is the right to vote for candidates for public office. Being able to voice your concerns about your community is part of civic engagement. The right to drive a car legally in the U.S., enabling the person to get to and from job sites to work to provide for his family, to become a member of a coalition pushing for legislative reform of existing laws, which have, in your opinion, become outdated, and no longer serve their original purpose. These oppor-tunities are denied to Mexican Immigrants without legal paperwork, even though they, too, have to survive in America today.
“Deportation of Mexican Illegal Immigrants has become epidemic in the past decade, es-pecially with the passing of new legislation, such as the USA Patriot Act, and increased efforts to deport undocumented immigrants” (Kanstrom, 2008). The article, entitled “The Impact of Detention and Deportation on Latino Immigrant Children and Families: A Quantitative Exploration,” came from the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, a paper written by faculty members, and was dated 01/01/2010. In the last four years more undocumented immigrants have been detained and deported than in the past two Presidential terms in office. The situation has now come to the point of merely flying the deported to their home state of record in their country of origin, without bothering to detain them long enough to determine whether or not they should be allowed to stay.
The end result is broken families with one or more parents deported, and their children farmed out to foster homes. There have even been cases of the soon to be deported parents kill-ing their children and then taking their own lives to prevent the family members being parted. As an American one can count oneself very fortunate that such an act has never been perpetrated upon oneself. Maybe it is time to stop and take a concerted look at the United States Immigration Policy of today. A more humane and up to date answer to the situation in which many today find themselves is needed now! A solution is out there and now is the time to implement these changes for the betterment of our nation.

America’s Broken Promise to the Hispanic Community

America’s Broken Promise
To the Hispanic
Community

The Obama administration has done little to carry out its commitment to the Hispanic people now residing within its borders. President Obama accelerated the process of deportation of undocumented immigrants during his term in office, and the Immigration and Customs En-forcement (I.C.E.) stepped up its efforts to accomplish the goal. The President included instruc-tions for faster review of each individual case, some three thousand, to determine the level of risk to the United States, by allowing low-risk undocumented Hispanic Immigrants [of which Mexi-cans are the largest ethnic group] to stay and to pursue citizenship. Of the three thousand cases to be reviewed to date approximately sixteen hundred have been reviewed to this day. Many feel that the agency (I.C.E.) is intentionally dragging its feet in hope that even more stringent en-forcement of present immigration laws will be achieved in the next Presidential term.
Republican Party presidential candidates are in conflict with each other over the seeming-ly taboo subject of Immigration Reform in the United States. The subject tends to surface in the majority of presidential candidate debates, and is almost certainly going to be the determining factor in seating the next President in the White House. Hispanic voter turnout, especially Mexi-can-American voters, at the polls on election-day, will be a political force to be dealt with in de-ciding who will be the next President.
Whoever the next President of the United States will be, he will have to establish com-mon ground with the Hispanic community. One of the most important issues to be addressed will be the present shortages of skilled migrant crop harvesters in the agricultural realm. States such as Kansas, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and many others will need these workers to keep eco-nomically solvent. If it is not addressed farmers will have acres and acres of rotting crops left in the fields. Seasonal Migrant Worker permits will need to be given to Mexican workers to prevent this catastrophic occurrence from happening in up-coming years.
American businesses of all sizes in their constant search for cheap labor may recover from the most recent recession quicker with the help of lesser stringent immigration laws, and may even eventually bring back their production activities from other nations to the United States. The result could be the resumption of Americans working here at home and a boom in U.S. made products. A President and U.S. Congress working together could accomplish this goal. To do this would change many minds as to the effectiveness of their government, and put the country back on the track to recovery. America’s promises to the Hispanic community could then be realized, helping both the peoples of Mexico and the United States. The promise of America to the Hispanic Community would then be fulfilled.

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.