Border Blues: The Dilemma of Illegal Immigration
By: Farai Chideya
I. Research Question:
Immigration is a rapid growing issue for the United States. For a long time people from other countries have been coming here to look for bigger and better things for themselves, as well as for their families. This article digs to the core of the issue, illegal immigration. Chideya wanted to know three things: 1) What is the reality behind the perceptions of Mexican Americans, 2) How do the residents of El Paso look upon the Mexicans, and 3) How do Mexican-Americans see themselves and their cousins across the border. II. Theoretical Perspectives:
A. Realism is a big part for the conflict of illegal immigration. The idea behind realism is that there is an institution responsible for behavior. I found many examples of such institutions in this article. Work: illegal immigrants carry a stigma with them because they will work for less money. Right now the American dollar is worth 12.78 pesos in Mexico. So they can afford to make less money. Economy: Americans, even Mexican-Americans (legal residents), see illegal immigration as ruining the chance at prosperity in America, especially for their children. Politics: America likes to think that its laws on immigration are tough, but the penalties on businesses hiring illegal immigrants are modest. B. Phenomenology is present throughout the article. The references to immigrants as illegal “aliens” is just one way of making it known that they are not welcome in our country. The border patrol even calls the immigrants “crossers.” In the article they also discuss smugglers as “coyotes”—someone who smuggles people across the border. One girl even discussed her expierence in schools with two “cliques” the “Mexican Mexicans” and “little gangsters.” “Mexican Mexicans” were described as hard-working immigrants, whereas “little gangsters” were Americanized teens. C. Exchange Theory is where a person makes a decision. “Is it...
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