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Illegal Mexican Immigration To The USA
Transcript of Illegal Mexican Immigration To The USA
1. The Mexican-American border
3. The Tortilla Curtain - Summary
4. Reasons for Mexican immigration
5. Impacts on both countries
6. Risks of crossing the border
7. The life of a Mexican immigrant
The Mexican-American Border
350 million illegal crossings annually
total length: 3,145 km
The Tortilla Curtain
América & Cándido
Delaney & Kyra Mossbacher
immigrated via Tijuana
Cándido: ca. 30 years
América: 17 years, pregnant
temporary camp in
try to earn money
live in private estate
"Arroyo Blanco", out of L.A.
Kyra: ambitious, successful realtor
Delaney: nature writer,
upper class of society
Delaney & Kyra
Cándido & América
Delaney hits Cándido with car
several other negative evidences with Mexicans
Kyra's dog gets killed by coyote
protection of"Arroyo Blanco" --> gated community
América & Cándido try to find work at labor exchange
low paid jobs
are exposed to violence & harassment every day
Thanksgiving: Cándido accidently sets canyon area on fire
evacuation of "Arroyo Blanco"
Cándido & América can escape
América gives birth to daughter in a shed
Delaney is furious about fire, hate against Cándido
searches for him, wants him to be deported
landslide Cándido helps Delaney out of the river
Reasons for Mexican immigration
Push- & Pullfactors
good medical &
well paid jobs
mainly low paid jobs
lower life expectancy
poor medical & educational facilities
higher life expectancy
high unemployment rate
Many jobs available for low paid workers
establish themselves, live the "American dream"
"He'd taken América from her father so they could have a better life, so they could live in the North, where it was green and lush in the year round and the avocados rotted on the ground, and everyone, even the poorest, had a house, a car and a TV [...]" (p. 26, ll.2-5)
"And they were so close - another couple of weeks of steady work and they could have had their apartment, could have established themselves, could have looked for work like human beings, riding the bus in freshly laundered clothes, seeking out the back rooms and sweatshops where nobody cared if you had documents or not."
Impacts on both countries
mostly young men emigrate
average age old
shortage of economic active people
worse economy structure
big inhabitant loss
LOW PAID WORKERS
"They wanted two men or three, they wanted four or five, no questions asked, no wages stipulated, no conditions or terms of employment. A man could be pouring concrete one day, spraying pesticide the next - or swabbing out urinals, spreading manure, painting, weeding, hauling, laying brick or setting tile." (p.129, ll.5-11)
THREAT ON ECONOMY
"[Kyra's costumers] wanted [...]something removed
from people of whatever class and color, but particularly from the hordes of immigrants pouring in from Mexico and Central America [...] and everywhere else in the known world. Brown people. Colored people." (p.107, ll.29-34)
"Somebody had to do something about these people - they were ubiquitous, profilic as rabbits, and thes were death for business." (p.158, ll.27-29)
"This was not a good situation. There were too many of them here and that was the sort of thing that scared the buyers away from the area." (p. 157, ll.16-17)
DESTRUCTION OF NATURE
"He was camping down there. [...] Living. Dwelling. Making the trees and bushes the natural habitat of Topanga State Park into his own private domicile, crapping in the chaparral, dumping his trash behind rocks, polluting the stream and ruining it for everyone else. That was state property down there, [...] set aside for the use of public, [...] not for some outdoor ghetto."
border patrols / prisons
crime / social services
"Do you know what these people are costing us, and not just in terms of crime, but in real tax dollars for social services?"
cultural & racial issues
Risks of crossing the border
border patrols, gangs
crimes: murder, execution, rape
exposure: heat exhaustion
"And then the animals jumped them. Just like that. A gang of them, armed with knives, basball bats, a pistol. And how did they know that she and Cándido would be there beneath that particular bush - and at the ungodly hour of four a.m.? There were six or seven of them. They pinned Cándido down and cut the pockets from his trousers, and then, in that hot subterranean darkness, they went for her. A knife was in her face, their hands all over her, and they jerked the clothes from her as if the were skinning a rabbit. Cándido cried out and they clubbes him; she screamed, and they laughed." (p.59, ll.23-31)
Cándido's & América's crossing
The life of an illegal Mexican immigrant in the U.S.
"For three quarters of the year the villages of Morelos became villages of women, all but deserted by the men who had migrated to the North to earn real money and work eight and ten and twelve hours a day [...]."
Defenselessness, insecurity & dependence
Constant fear of immigration agency & total obedience
Harassment, abuse, violence, rape
Feeling of not being welcome
Disillusion & nostalgia
wage - Lohn
obedience - Gehorsam
acquiesce - hinnehmen, dulden
bruja - (span.) witch
beaners - Bohnenfresser
gabachos - (span.) English-speaking people, natives
gringa - (span.) English-speaking female
gringo - (span.) English-speaking male
assassins - Attentäter
trespasser - Eindringling
polluter - Verschmutzer
To come straight to the point...
..."Immigrants are the lifeblood of this country - we're a nation of immigrants - and neither of us would be standing here today if it wasn't"
Thanks for your attention :)
"The Tortilla Curtain", T.C. Boyle, 1995, Bloomsbury Publishing