The book ‘Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network’ by Ruth Gomberg-Munoz explains the hardships that surround the Mexican immigrant network. Over the years the ‘undocumented’ workers coming to America from Mexico has increased which has gained the attention of the American government and the media, as it is ‘illegal behavior’. Gomberg-Munoz attempts to create an understanding of the lives of these workers by telling individual’s personal stories. The author reports the workers undocumented lives rather than reviewing their status as this is already covered in society. The author’s main topic revolves around the principle that undocumented workers strive to improve their quality of life by finding employment in the United States (Gomberg-Munoz 9). Gomberg Munoz also presents the daily struggles the works face daily, and how these struggles “deprives them of meaningful choice and agency” which effects their opportunity and futures (Gomberg-Munoz 9). This ethnography shows their social identities through work, the reasons why their position is illegal and how they live their everyday lives under the circumstances. Gomberg-Munoz discusses labor migration and how it has not come about due to a lack of economic development in Mexico, it’s rather that the there is “uneven development” (Gomberg-Munoz 27). The author suggests that globalization has had direct effects on the Mexican workers, for example the stereotypes people have on them such as
Due to the sweeping changes and global economic trends scholars tend to lose sight of the people caught up in these rapid changes (Chavez, 2013 ). Undocumented immigrants are caught up in other components of transnational problems attracting the attention of researcher’s interested primary on the economic role that undocumented immigrants play, while neglecting to focus on the complexities of their incorporation process to the society of their host country (Simich, 2009). There is a need for interdisciplinary research that helps understand the social and cultural complexities of undocumented immigrants. According to Paul Stoller, anthropologist (especially ethnography) can serve as a bridge that connects two words and interweave the distant
In Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz’s book, Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network, she allows us to enter the everyday lives of ten undocumented Mexican workers all living in the Chicago area. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz refers to Chuy, Alejandro, Leonardo, Luis, Manuel, Omar, Rene, Roberto, Lalo, and Albert the ten undocumented Mexicans as the “Lions”. This book shares the Lions many stories from, their daily struggle of living as an undocumented immigrant in America, to some of them telling their stories about crossing the border and the effects of living in a different country than their family, and many other struggles and experiences they have encountered. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz’s book delves into
Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz’s, Labor and Legality is a book written on the Mexican immigrant network in the U.S. She centers it on the Lions, a group of Mexican men from Leon, Mexico that all share their lives and help explain the many networks and strategies that are used in order to excel and gain happiness. There have been many different sorts of misconceptions about immigrants, and in recent years about undocumented immigrants from Mexico. The U.S. has made a sort of war on illegal immigrants and has made it a seemingly high priority in the media and in politics. Therefore, many Americans have been mislead and ill-informed about the history of immigrants/undocumented immigrants. Gomberg-Muñoz’s Labor and Legality helps set us straight. She unveils undocumented immigrants for the people that they are instead of the criminals that the media leads many to believe. Although she doesn’t have a wide range of participants for her study, I believe that she addresses many of the misconceptions and just plain ignorance that American people have of people that are undocumented; why stereotypes are supported by the people themselves, why politicians include stronger illegal immigration laws, and everything in between. Many of her topics reveal a sort of colonialism that the U.S. practices on Mexico; the exploitation of undocumented peoples to the benefit of the U.S. through economics, hypocritical laws and campaigns, and the racist and prejudice consequences.
The essay "How Immigrants Become 'Other'" by Marcelo and Carola Suarez-Orozco illustrates the issue of immigrants never truly being accepted by natural born citizens of America. In the essay, it is discussed that immigrants are and have been treated differently. The different ways immigrants are treated differently is almost an unintelligent question to ask. Instead the question, “How aren’t immigrants treated differently?” should be asked. Even the names politicians and society have created to describe immigrants are alienating and harsh, “Illegal, undocumented, alien.” The idea of a human being illegal is something that most people overlook, but the reality is, no human is illegal. This idea of immigrants being associated with names that have such negative connotations is one of many ideas discussed in the essay "How Immigrants Become ‘Other’.”Even though America is known as a “melting pot,” immigrants will never truly be accepted as a part of society no matter the amount of assimilation due to the blatant racism, segregation, and prejudice that non-immigrants have against immigrants.
Getting through high school, getting a license, getting into college, and getting a job are all extremely intimidating parts of every young adult’s life, but it is hard to imagine doing all these things illegally with the fear that at any moment everything could come crashing down. In Jose Antonio Vargas’s article, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”, Vargas explains his take on the struggles of being a gay, illegal immigrant trying to achieve the American Dream. Throughout the article, Vargas tells his story and really makes the reader feel sympathy for his fight and his strength. He does a very good job keeping the readers drawn in as well as appealing to pathos and ethos.
Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, shares his life-long journey as an undocumented immigrant in his text, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” As the title suggests, Vargas attempts to convey to his audience, who likely never has and never will experience anything similar to what he has, what it is like to live as an immigrant in the United States of America. Skillfully, Vargas details the perfect number of personal stories to reach the emotional side of his audience, which is anyone who is not an immigrant. Through the use of his personal accounts Vargas is able to effectively communicate that immigrants are humans too while simultaneously proving his credibility, as he has experience and a vast amount of knowledge
Many Mexican Americans have been able to accomplish their own versions of the American dream by attending a 4-year college, owning businesses, and taking on political and public service careers. However, Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants continue to face the hardships that their ancestors went through in the 20th century. The ethnic Mexican experience in the United States has been a difficult one for Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans of the first generation. Two key factors that continue to shape the lives of Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants are labor laws and the citizenship process. Focusing on the research, statistics, and information provided by Mai Ngai “The Architecture of Race in American Immigration”, Natalia Molina’s, “In a Race All Their Own": The Quest to Make Mexicans Ineligible for U.S. Citizenship”, and George J. Sanchez, “Becoming Mexican American” will provide the cause and effect of labor laws and citizenship laws that made an impact on the lives of Mexicans during the 20th century.
They help to preserve the societal status quo by, firstly, legitimating the exploitation of immigrants, secondly, diverting workers’ attention from the true cause of their insecure position, thirdly, splitting the labor movement and weakening class consciousness” (Castles and Kosack, 460). The first function, in particular, is practiced within American society. For instance, Mexican immigrants are subject to work in inferior labor jobs that do not pay well. Illegal immigrants are treated almost inhumane having to do low paying jobs such a meat packing that causes injuries and disease among
Throughout the various books that we have read, one of the many concepts that stood out for me was the well-being and healthcare of undocumented workers. Due to the current criminalization of immigration, most undocumented workers live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. This really made me think about the psychological and somatic outcomes of fear, stigma, trauma, and prejudice for undocumented workers. This brought into question the structural and symbolic violence that causes undocumented workers to suffer from mental and physical illnesses and how the treatment, if any, is administered.
The author of Mexican Lives, Judith Adler Hellman, grapples with the United States’ economic relationship with their neighbors to the south, Mexico. It also considers, through many interviews, the affairs of one nation. It is a work held to high esteem by many critics, who view this work as an essential part in truly understanding and capturing Mexico’s history. In Mexican Lives, Hellman presents us with a cast from all walks of life. This enables a reader to get more than one perspective, which tends to be bias. It also gives a more inclusive view of the nation of Mexico as a whole. Dealing with rebel activity, free trade, assassinations and their transition into the modern age, it justly
Gomberg-Muñoz’s book provides the reader with an inside prospective of the lives of undocumented Mexicans. It shows what it is like for people working to help forward themselves and their families in Mexico and The United States. Contrary to some Americans belief that Mexicans want to take over the United States, the majority of the Lions just
The book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States illustrates the fieldwork of the author Seth M. Holmes by explaining the myriad aspects of migrant workers’ lives in the U.S.—from the politics to the social environments to the physical body. By not only studying, but living, the lives of these migrant workers, Holmes brings the reader a view unseen by the vast majority and provides the opportunity for greater understanding through the intense details of his work. The voices of vastly different characters—real people—are captured and expounded on without judgment but with deep consideration for all factors that contribute to each person’s life, opinions, and knowledge. Ultimately, a picture of intersectionality is painted in the colors of migrants, mothers, fathers, children, doctors, soldiers, executives, the poor, the rich, and more.
In the ethnographic text, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies, by Seth Holmes, Holmes describes his experience on enduring the living and working conditions of migrant workers. Seth Holmes’ social positions and identities helped bring the ethnography forward by showcasing the stories of Triqui migrant workers and how they suffer in everyday life because of the cycle of suffering. On the other hand, Holmes risks credibility and validity as the ethnographic text is taken from his point of view as a white man rather than a Triqui worker’s. As the author of the ethnographic text, Seth Holmes takes an in-depth look inside the lives of the Triqui workers and the problems they encounter in the face of racism and the social, political, and economic
Since the first human civilization, cheap, exploitable labor has been inherent to the economic system. This was illustrated in The Life of Peasants, one of the provided stimulus materials, in which it was accepted that providing for the upper classes was “the obligation of the servile class”. Ergo, the US can trace its history through the various exploited labor systems, starting with our dependance on indentured servants, to slavery, to our current reliance on undocumented workers.Unfortunately, the cultural progress indicated by the advancements of modern life, have not been paralleled by an alternate method of production. Worker exploitation, especially in agriculture, is conventional and commonplace. In the midst of the 2016 presidential primaries, with illegal immigration a hot topic among all candidates, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the people most often victimized by this system are mexican immigrants. “America’s immigration system is broken” - Hillary “The country has to be able to lock its doors” says Kasich. Trump suggests building a wall. Bernie advocates for comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship. Regardless of political leanings, our politician’s inciting statements whisper of truth. The immigration system is broken, and there is an overwhelming number of undocumented immigrants in America. An estimated 11.4 million of them (as of 2012 according to the department of homeland
Immigrants are defined as, “a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence” (Immigrant, 2017). Some immigrants move here for the purposes of better education, higher employment opportunities, or a greater quality of life. For many migrant farmworkers (MFW) that immigrate to the United States, they are seeking the same outcome as other immigrants. The focus of this paper is to reflect upon what I have learned about MFW, biases about the group, social workers’ roles, therapeutic approaches, ethical and legal issues, and working with the group in the future. Despite other immigrant groups, I decided to focus on the MFW population because of the disparities they face as a result of entering the United States illegally.