The Chicano View On Mexican Immigration Essay

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The Chicano View On Mexican Immigration Essay, Research Paper The Chicano View of Mexican Immigration During the 1970?s, Mexican Americans were involved in a large social movement called the “Chicano movement.” Corresponding with the great development of the black civil rights movement, Mexican Americans began to take part in a series of different social protests in which they demanded equal rights for themselves. Composed mainly of Mexican American students and youth, these activists focused on maintaining a pride for their culture as well as their ethnicity to fuel their political campaign. Left out of this campaign initially though were Mexican immigrants. As is made clear in the writings of David Gutierrez, since the beginning of large amounts of Mexican immigration,

Mexican Americans have opposed supporting Mexican immigrants. In fact, Mexican Americans had predominantly been some of the main supporters of immigration reform and sanction. “Historically, much of this concern has been based upon Mexican Americans? belief that Mexican immigrants undercut their already tenuous socioeconomic position in the United States by depressing wages, competing for employment, housing, and social services, and reinforcing negative stereotypes about “Mexicans” among Anglo-Americans” (Gutierrez, 177). Mexican Americans felt as though this competition was holding them back from growth and development within American society, even though they were citizens. This negativity towards immigrants by Mexican Americans was also sparked by the fact that there

were separations and differences between the two groups in “class stratification, regional attachments, and subtle differences in customs and language usage” (Gutierrez, 178). These ideas were strong and were held during some of the Chicano movement, but they were not held throughout it. As the movement continued, many young Mexican Americans began to change their opinions, and “reassess the significance of the ethnic heritage for their own sense of identity (Gutierrez, 177).” They adopted and promoted the new identity of “Chicano,” which “established strong symbolic ethnic boundaries for young Mexican Americans who explicitly and stridently rejected the notion of inherent Anglo-American superiority” (Gutierrez, 183). This new identity automatically gave everyone

something in common which in turn made the group of activists stronger, and more identifiable as a whole. There was also the Plan of Aztlan, where Aztlan (the area interpreted as “lost territories” that Mexico surrendered to the United States after the United States ? Mexico war ended in 1848) represented the symbolic territorial base of the Chicano people. The Plan of Aztlan did something for the Chicanos that contradicted their previous belief that they needed to get assimilated within the American society. If anything, Aztlan somewhat diminished and rejected any connection Chicanos had with American culture and society. Along with the changes within the movement, another momentum increasing factor was the Cisneros case ruling that “Mexican Americans constituted an

“identifiable minority group” ? and are entitled to “special federal assistance” (Gutierrez, 186). These reformations of ideas and opinions all lead to a smaller movement within the Chicano movement. Many of the activists were coming to the realization that Mexican immigration was becoming a major civil rights controversy; one they had, but really should not have, been ignoring. Slowly, many Mexican Americans had begun to depart from the original image of Mexican immigrants as being threats to encompassing them into their movement. During the Chicano movement, numerous Chicano support groups were created. CASA (the Center for Autonomous Social Action), though, was extremely fundamental in the exploration of the “significance of the relationship between immigration,