Essay, 8 pages (2000 words)

Illegal mexican immigrants and their life in california

Illegal Mexican Immigrants and Their Life in California There are many negative stereotypes of illegal Mexican immigrants. Many Americans don’t like the idea that illegal immigrants don’t pay many forms of taxes. Because of their undocumented legal status, we don’t have much information about their background. Their presence in the society creates uncertainty. They are seen as a factor of social instability. Many Americans also blame them for the taking over jobs. However, the reality is that California is becoming more and more dependent on its illegal Mexican immigrant population.

These illegal immigrants from Mexico are a reliable source of low cost labor for California. They take the low paid, seasonal, menial and physically demanding jobs that the U. S. citizens are not willing to take. They stabilize the economy of California by keeping the labor cost low, thus keeping a lid on the inflation rate. They contribute to the government by paying sales tax directly and income tax at least indirectly. They are not here to enjoy benefits, as they are not eligible for most public assistance. The vast majority of them are here in California for work and better life.

They are peaceful being and they work very hard to earn their place. The reality shows that illegal Mexican immigrants bring substantial positive impacts to California not only economically but also culturally. The huge number of illegal Mexican workers shows us their ethic of hard work and the importance of love for family. They teach us about their success by showing us how they build and utilize strong social fabric among each other. As an inseparable part of California, the illegal Mexican immigrants contribute and present their own ways of realizing the Californian Dream.

In contrast to a lot of negative public opinions, these illegal Mexican immigrants show us what they are about by transforming California to become a better place. All of this happened with a bit of history. A huge number of Mexican workers first find their way to come to the U. S. to work under the Bracero program. The Bracero guestworker program had begun in 1942 to help relieving wartime labor shortages and to legalize and control the flow of Mexican agricultural workers to pick crops in the western U. S. states. The Mexican immigrant workers have been crucial for the development of the rich American agricultural industry.

More than four million Mexican farm laborers came as Braceros to work the fields of this nation (Espenshade, 1995). They have converted the agricultural fields of America into the most productive in the planet. According to Thomas Espenshade, “ in 1964, the Congress terminated the Bracero program in the face of public opposition to conditions under which migrant workers lived, the influence of the U. S. Civil Rights movement, and the effective lobbying of labor, church and ethnic groups” (Espenshade, 1995). However, even after the Bracero program ended, job-seeking Mexicans who had grown accustomed to working in the U.

S. continued to come illegally. Over the years, the growth of the population of the illegal Mexican immigrants has been phenomenal. Although these illegal Mexican immigrants are mostly foreigners, they have become a substantial force that transforms California with their pride. According to FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), the estimate by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) issued in February 2003 put the number of resident illegal immigrants at seven million. As of Jan. 2000, 4. 8 million of whom were Mexican and 2. 2 million of whom resided in California.

That estimate included the annual rate of increase in the illegal immigrant population — 350, 000 with 73, 200 (31. 6%) of that annual increase taking up residence in California (FAIR, 2011). The growth of illegal Mexican immigrants continues. Contrast to the public opinion of some native Californians, California needs these illegal Mexican immigrants. These illegal Mexican immigrants also need to come here for their living. They come with determination and they are writing their history here. They are changing the demographic picture of California.

Along with other ethnic groups, they tell their own story to the world about what it means to be Californian, even though they are illegal. The U. S. is a Capitalistic country. Survival is for the fittest. Illegal Mexican immigrants have come to California to earn their place. A huge growing number of them are showing us their worth. When facing exploitation, they just show their hard work without complaint. Subtly, they influence California profoundly with their culture and value. The mass number of illegal Mexican immigrants wouldn’t be able to keep their place here in California if they are not contributing enough.

The contributions of the illegal Mexican immigrants come in many forms and in multidimensional ways. Through my own observation in San Francisco, most of the illegal Mexican immigrants work in the service industry. They get paid below the minimum wage. They work extremely hard, usually more than eight hours a day and at least six days a week. Their hard work keeps the U. S. labor cost more in sync with the rest of the world. By providing hard work with low wages, small business owners are thus able to do to business.

These illegal Mexican immigrants usually settle in Spanish speaking neighborhoods around Mission where rent is relatively cheap. They populate and flourish the lower cost Spanish speaking neighborhoods by consuming in the areas. Very few of the illegal immigrants have insurance and car. They use public transportation and are very green. They are mostly known for their dedication for their jobs. Most of them live a rather simple life style in the United States. They have big families. They work together with their brothers and cousins and most of them have their wives and children back in Mexico.

Most of them would save what they earn in the U. S. for their family back in Mexico and retirement. They are being exploited under the standard of the U. S. labor law, but they are gracious about the jobs they can have here. All they do usually is just working without interfering others. Illegal Mexican workers are likely to be model citizens because of their fear of deportation. Crimes like battery and robbery that happen from time to time are rarely caused by illegal immigrants. They contribute to the society by being peaceful with others.

These hard workers are profoundly good for California because their hard work is motivated by good intensions. One reason that most illegal Mexican workers work so hard is because that in Mexican cities, there are more poor people than in American cities. According to the United Nation, there were 53 million undernourished Latin Americans in 2010 (FAO, 2011). These illegal Mexican immigrants know poverty in their heart and they are determined to fight poverty by working the hardest they can. According to Gordon H. Hanson, Most of these illegal Mexican immigrants come from very big families.

Labor opportunities are limited back home so many guys have come to work in America to support their families. They have financial burden back home so they can’t just give up after they try very hard to get the chance to come here (Hanson, 2007). They provide labor to convince California to give them the opportunity to make things better at home. California realizes their dreams and hopes thus they are thankful. Another reason for illegal Mexican immigrants to be hard workers is cultural. According to Chris Schefler, it is rare to see people being asked for a handout in Mexico Cities.

Even at times when the Mexican poor have come to a point when they have to ask you for a spare change, they often do it by selling you little things like jewelry or souvenirs. It is common that even the poor small children are selling things. Some people offer to shine your shoes or provide some other service. In Mexico, it is quite rare to be asked for a handout (Schefler, 2011). Thus, in America, it is also very rare to find a homeless Mexicans. The Mexican poor holds a contrast view comparing to the American poor; they think that they have to earn their way in order to fight poverty.

I think this is a very good culture of the Mexicans. They show us that they are uncompromised with poverty. Their values are worth teaching to the homeless people here. Some argue that the illegal Mexican immigrants work so hard that they don’t really have a life. Their overwork might make them mentally ill and socially instable. This is not true when you consider that their work is done for their family. It’s emotionally fulfilling when they are working. Kids are our future and the dream of the parents. In 2009, there are one and a half million undocumented children under the age of eighteen who are attending a K-12 education in the U.

S. (Passel & Cohn, 2009). Many times, undocumented parents move to the U. S. because of their attempt to provide for their children with better opportunities. Yazmine is an undocumented Mexican girl who attends a college in California. According to the interview Laura E. Enriquez had with her, she shared that “ my mom would tell me, ‘ I didn’t cross the border for you just to come in the house and just get pregnant or get married… I brought you here to become someone. To go to high school, to graduate and things like that” (Enriquez, 2011).

Raising children in California is a part of the fulfillment of California Dream for many. Children are our assets. Yet, the reality for undocumented students is not very easy. Even the select few who matriculate into college have to keep on fighting for access to the academic, financial, and emotional resources that they need. They often suffer from depression, loneliness, and a lack of financial support (Enriquez, 2011). So far, the undocumented children who are able to manage their path to complete college all have to go through patchworking.

The term patchworking is developed by NazliKibria to “ convey the uneven and unplanned quality of members’ contributions to the household, both in substance and in tempo” (Enriquez, 2011). As some traditional institutions are not equipped with full knowledge to serve undocumented immigrants, it becomes crucial for undocumented students to utilize their social network fully and reach out to seek for resources. As a result, undocumented students usually provide information for their peers freely and they engage in extensive resource sharing.

They build networks with undocumented immigrants who don’t seek for individualistic rules of reciprocity. From the networks, undocumented students receive support from their friends, families and teachers, and the supports they receive create a motivation and presser for them to help pursuing their own and others’ education. The few successful undocumented students create healthy and empowered communities. Through care examination, we are sure that the illegal Mexican immigrants are making their contributions to California in various ways.

They go through struggles to realize their dreams. There are troubles accompanying their coming, but given that the Mexican labors have provided so much to the economy and the society of California, it is only fair to say that now it’s the time for California to do its job to take care of this part of its population. As an effort of trying not to be ignorant, a Californian should gain a reasonable understanding about these Mexican labors. California also needs to integrate these illegal Mexican immigrants well into the society so it doesn’t become a socially divided state.

Illegal Mexican immigrants face many difficulties when living in California, yet they don’t tend to create social problems like committing crime despite the hardship that they are facing; instead, they stick with their family and friends and show us what their community is about. Their children try the best they can to be educated and learn to be American. Although their status is illegal, they should be honored as model Californians. References ENRIQUEZ, L. (2011). ” because we feel the pressure and we also feel the support”: Examining the educational success of undocumented immigrant latina/o students.

Harvard Educational Review, 81(3), 476-499. Espenshade, T. (1995). Unauthorized Immigration to the United States. Annual Review of Sociology , Vol. 21, page 195-216. Retrieved December 8, 2011 from http://0-www. jstor. org. opac. sfsu. edu/stable/2083409. FAIR: How Many Illegal Immigrants?. In FAIR. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://www. fairus. org/site/News2? page= NewsArticle&id= 16859. FAO Media Center: Agriculture strategically important for Latin America and the Caribbean. In FAO Media Center. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://www. fao. org/news/story/en/item/41867/icode/. Hanson, G. April 2007). The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration . In Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://i. cfr. org/content/publications/attachments/ImmigrationCSR26. pdf. Passel, J and Cohn, D. (April 14, 2009). A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States . In Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://www. pewhispanic. org/2009/04/14/a-portrait-of-unauthorized-immigrants-in-the-united-states/. Schefler, C. Racist Myths about Mexican Immigrants. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://academic. udayton. edu/race/02rights/guadalu4. htm.

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