Immigration in Ca Farm Workers

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“Immigration and California Farm Workers”

I learned more about Mexican farm workers in an hour and a half at a Living Under the Trees presentation than I have by living in California for seventeen years. On October first I attended the “Living Under the Trees: Immigration and California Farm Workers” presentation and it was a volcano of information. With five speakers that were all very educated on the topic and even more excited to be sharing the information with an audience, a spectator felt as though he was receiving a degree in immigrant labor. Members of this panel included Laura Larque, Daniel Malpica, Omar Gallardo, Marty Bennett, and Salvador Diaz (in that order).

The first speaker was Laura Larque, a professor here at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Her main discussion topic was about the deaths of some of these Mexican immigrants. An estimated 5,000 migrant workers have died working in California agriculture fields. An even bigger number than that, is the approximate 7,000 immigrants that have died trying to cross the border. As a response to this injustice California passed the Apology Act in the 1930’s which basically said “Our bad. Sorry.” But why was it only California apologizing, the majority of our nation knew that this had happened. Also, why wasn’t there any compensation from United States government even though California tried to claim that they had made amends? These were both questions that Larque raised with passion that nobody had the answers for.

The next speaker that took the stage was a Daniel Malpica, a professor at Sonoma State University and he has a P.H.D. Malpica focused a lot of his time on the panel talking about what things were like for these people before they decided to cross the border. In Latin America these people faced poverty and hunger. Many of them were, for the most part, indigenous to the state of Wanaka, one of the poorest states in Mexico. A lot of these indigenous people had to work in the tourist...
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