Chicano Ethnic Studies

March 26, 2014
Ethnic Studies 142-Contemporary Society
Sa/Latino Treat-intro/pt.1
Instructor: Carmona

Mexican immigrants are lobbying to change the politics, economy and the language of the American Society. One of the groups hosting or involved in this movement is known as the” Latino Threat.” When Americans think of any type threat; they are most likely to refer to the definition of the word proclaimed “threat” The Webster dictionary defines the word threat as “a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done” Understandably any group that proclaims to be a threat is view as negative and meet with controversy. Delivery is vital to clear and complete communication. Citizenship is far more one of the most important issues for immigrants. The process for establishing citizenship is long. To some it may seem to be unfair. It is understandable that undocumented immigrants may get discouraged. Unfortunately there are a lot of negative information and misconceptions about Mexican immigrants. A few of those misconceptions are: Undocumented immigrants don’t want to learn to speak English. While today’s immigrants may speak their first language at home, two-thirds of those older than 5 speak English “well” or “very well” according to research by the independent, nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. They don’t want to blend in. The reality is that the typical pattern of assimilation in the United States has remained steady, says Reimers. “The first generation struggled with English and didn’t learn it. The second was bilingual. And the third can’t talk to their grandparents.” If anything, the speed of assimilation is faster today than at any time in our past, mainly because of public education and mass media. Immigrants take good jobs from Americans. To fill the void, employers often hire immigrant workers. One of the consequences, unfortunately, is that it is easier for unscrupulous employers to exploit this labor source and pay immigrants less, not provide benefits and ignore worker-safety laws. On an economic level, Americans benefit from relatively low prices on food and other goods produced by undocumented immigrant labor. Many people also accuse immigrants of having “anchor babies”—children who allow the whole family to stay. According to the U.S. Constitution, a child born on U.S. soil is automatically an American citizen. That is true. But immigration judges will not keep immigrant parents in the United States just because their children are U.S. citizens. Between 1998 and 2007, the federal government deported about 108,000 foreign-born parents whose children had been born here. These children must wait until they are 21 before they can petition to allow their parents to join them in the United States. That process is long and difficult. In reality, there is no such thing as an “anchor baby.”

Clearly there are quite a few misconceptions surrounding Mexican undocumented immigrants. Chavez attempts to clear the misconceptions of intent. “We are better served by attempting to clarify the social and historical context of such pronouncements” (Chavez 2008, pg. 22). In The Latino Threat, Leo R. Chavez critically investigates the media stories about and recent experiences of immigrants to show how prejudices and stereotypes have been used to malign an entire immigrant population—and to define what it means to be an American. He directs his attention to media at large that nurture and perpetuate the notion that Latinos, particularly Mexicans, are an invading force bent on reconquering land once considered their own. Through a perceived refusal to learn English and an "out of control" birthrate, many say that Latinos are destroying the American way of life. But Chavez questions these assumptions and offers facts to counter the myth that Latinos are a threat to the security and prosperity of our nation.

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