Illegal Mexican Immigrants and Their Life in California

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 372
  • Published : February 3, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
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...
tracking img