The History Of Mexican Immigration Essay Research — страница 3

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unemployment problems. The Third Phase of Mexican Immigration to the United States- Illegal Immigration The last stage of Mexican immigration starts right after the Bracero program. This stage is most notable for the mind boggling number of illegal Mexicans who cross the United States-Mexican border. “The most heavily traveled border in the world is a strip of scrubby California desert [la frontera] that runs 15 miles between the United States and Mexico, starting at the Pacific Ocean and ending at a thriving yet isolated spot called Otay Mesa” (Barich 50). The only place along this strip representing a city is the infamous Tijuana. Every year 43 million people pass through its legal port of entry. Most illegal immigrants are men in their late teens to early 20’s, although

in the past few years it has become common to spot whole families making the trip. Some make the trip many times in their lives, going back and forth. They make a little money and take this money back to their homeland. These men are known as Nortenos (Northerners). They are somewhat feared, and somewhat honored upon returning to their villages from the states. Illegal aliens come up with many different ways to enter the United States. “On a hot summer day they like to put on bathing suits . . . and swim to shore. They wade through raw sewage in the Tijuana River. They jam themselves into car trunks and into boxcars, and they ride across the border spread-eagled on the top of freight trains. The boldest ones merely sprint through the backed-up traffic at the port of entry,

defying the Border Patrol to chase them” (Barich 52). Approximately five thousand illegals pass through la frontera every 24 hours. “The San Diego Border Patrol captures around 1,500 people every day, 470,000 illegals were captured by the San Diego Border Patrol in 1990″ (Barich 52). Those who are caught are sent back to Mexico and most likely will make another attempt at the border in the future. Those who get by the border patrol will go on and try to find work or their families who have already crossed the border. Others will go to Oregon and Washington to pick apples or work close to sea if work is not plentiful or available in California. Another way of getting across the border is through the coyote system. A person will usually pay between three and seven hundred

dollars to a coyote who will guide them across the border. This guide is part entrepreneur, part extortionist. The coyote will leave the immigrants if pressed by the Border Patrol. The coyote is also known for keeping unsuspecting illegal immigrants hostage, and only letting them go if their family comes up with ransom. The coyote business thrives at the border and makes life that much worse there. Also sometimes used to cross the border is the help of an experienced illegal. This person has crossed the border many times and agrees to let another illegal tag along on his next journey across the border for a small fee. This type of person is hard to come by for most. Typically to find such a person you must know someone who knows someone else who is trustworthy enough to lead the

way. Others do not like tag alongs because they might slow them down or get them caught by the border patrol. Since 1960 more people have illegally and legally immigrated to United States from Mexico than from any other country in the world. “In 1900 there were 103,000 Mexicans in the United States. In 1960 there were 2.3 million. In 1990 there were 13.4 million. It is projected that in 2010 there will be 40 million Americans of Latino descent (majority Mexican) in the United States.” (Gutierrez, Intro XV). Because of this mass immigration, some people in United States have openly opposed continued Mexican immigration. Policies such as Proposition 187 and Proposition 209 will drastically cut the number of immigrants to the United States. I believe these policies are blatantly

racist. For years American industry has wanted and openly supported the use of Mexican labor, including illegal labor. I have never heard an opponent of Mexican immigration mention the poor working conditions or illegal activity of industry over these years. This is typical of racism to pick at the places where a person can not fight and not go after the real problem. Back to my exhibit page Back to my home page 34b