Enrique’s Journey Case Study
Our Lady of the Lake University
According to President Obama (2014), “If we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement- and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same” (President Obama, 2014). The United States of American has long been the safe haven for those who seek to escape poverty, hunger, torture, and oppression in their home countries. According to the film, The Other Side of Immigration (2009), in 1970, the United States housed 750,000 immigrants and as of 2009, there are roughly 12.4 million (Germano, 2009). The amount of illegal immigration into the United States is only going to continue to grow. Unfortunately, many Americans view immigrants as being a negative impact to this country. I believe that this is because most Americans do not completely understand the reasons for illegal travels in to the United States. As stated above in the quote by President Obama, immigration reform is ideal for the United States. Mainly because we are the land of opportunities and the land of free, but also because it will boost our sinking economy and shrink our enormous budget deficit.
In the book Enrique’s Journey, written by Sonia Nazario, readers are able to experience the life of a determined young man, Enrique, who travels from his home country of Honduras to the United States of America to meet his mother who left him at the age of four. The reasons are numerous when it comes to immigrants wanting to enter America. The most common example is to gain employment and to then send that money home to support their families. According to Sonia Nazario (2007), "The single mothers who are coming to this country, and the children who follow them, are changing the face of immigration to the United States"(Nazario, 2007, XXV). This is a perfect example of Enrique’s journey to America.
Enrique left Honduras to reunite with his mother, Lourdes, in America. Lourdes left Honduras when Enrique was very young in order to find work and support her family back in Honduras. The mistake that Lourdes made was telling Enrique that she would return home, but never did. Because of this, Enrique decided to risk his life and travel to America at the age of sixteen. During his travels to America, Enrique endured gang violence, injuries from falling off of a train, starvation, and muggings. Enrique is not the only person who endured these potential life harming situation to escape the poverty of Honduras or other South American countries. Many people do this every day.
Honduras is the second poorest country in South America. Roughly half of the population earn two to three dollars per day, and 60% of the population live well below the poverty line (Rural Poverty Portal, 2010). Explained in Enrique’s Journey (2006), most families live in small huts and depend on farming or relatives that have traveled to America for survival. Most children in Honduras do not make it past elementary school. This is for many reasons, but mostly because the family needs that child to work and they cannot afford to pay for the child to get back and forth to school.
Ageism and sexism are two forms of oppression that rampant in Honduras. Lourdes, being a woman and almost in her mid-twenties when she left Honduras, suffered from both forms of oppression.
Sonia Nazario (2007), explained that women have the hardest time finding work in Honduras. Many women are young single mothers who must rely on themselves and their parents to help take care of their children. Many females must leave school early because businesses will only hire women before they turn twenty-five (Nazario, 2007). At the age of twenty-two, Lourdes was making very little money and felt that she had no choice but leave...
References: Cancian, M. (2009). Changing Poverty, Changing Policies. Russel Sage Foundation Publications.
Gamble, D. N., & Soska, T. M. (2013). Macro Practice Competenicies. Encyclopedia of Social Work Online. doi:10.1093
Germano, R. (Director). (2009). The Other Side of Immigration [Motion Picture].
International Fund for Agricultural Development. (2010). Retrieved from Rural Poverty Portal: http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/honduras
Nazario, S. (2007). Enrique 's Journey. Random House Trade Paperbacks.
Obama, B. (2014). State of the Union Address. Washington D.C., United States of America.
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