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The Mexican Community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Transcript of The Mexican Community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Current Issues in Sunset Park
Recent News and Improvement
Recently, Mexicans in all parts of Brooklyn raised their political voice in 2013 and as a result, Carlos Menchaca became the first Mexican-American and openly gay, New York council member
The Mexican Community in
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Bordered by Greenwood to the north, Bay Ridge to the south, Borough Park to the east, and New York Bay to the west-65th street-36th street
Home to the Bush Terminal (waterfront), the second highest point in Brooklyn, and the largest Catholic church in Brooklyn,
History of Mexican Immigration
The Mexican American war (1846-1848)
- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war leaving the U.S. with 500,000 square miles of territory, making the U.S. a world power and creating borders between Mexico and the U.S.
Immigration Act of 1924
limits the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. by placing a cap of 150,000/yr.
quotas determined by national origins
students, professors, and ministers exempt, but Mexican laborers were eventually denied legal entry into the U.S.
As U.S. territories improved economically and the Mexican economy plummeted, Mexicans spread throughout the U.S. in search of jobs.
(Mae Ngai, 2004)
Ethnic Immigrants in Sunset Park
1800S- Dutch Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine, followed by Polish immigrants in the 1880s looking for work in factories
1900s- Scandinavian ship builders
"Little Norway":45th-60th streets
Finnish immigrants build apartments
By the 1920s, the Irish and Scandinavians were migrating to Bay Ridge, and were replaced by Italian immigrants
Followed by Puerto Rican migrants after WWII
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Man pushing Italian ice cart up 45th and 5th avenue,
Who buys your products?"
Well, I usually walk a couple of blocks, starting from third avenue and to the middle of seventh. From third to sixth, I mostly sell to Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans. From sixth to seventh, I sell to Mexicans, Guatemalans, and Chinese. I usually stop at seventh avenue, because from the middle 0f seventh to tenth avenue, there are only Jewish and Asian people...and they don't buy anytbing from me."
Why Sunset? (Push/Pull Factors)
Poverty and low living standards-52 million Mexicans under the poverty line (wilson, Silva 2013)
Lack of proper education and preparation for the work force
The overall population of Mexico grew from 114.5 million in 2010 to 117.3 million in 2012 Of Mexico’s 117 million people, 52 million live in poverty- (Christopher Wilson: Mexico’s Latest Poverty Stats: 2013)
Improved quality of life
Family already in Sunset Park
Mexican culture already established in Sunset, less assimilation and adjustment
Pull Factors Continued
Question: What is the best part of living in Sunset Park/ What do you like about Sunset?
"seeing a booming Latino population grow"
"this community helps Mexicans as a force. It's clean, there's security, and...I like it"
Question: Why did you migrate to Sunset Park?
"...because my husband already had family here, which got him a job in construction, but besides that, my children have a free education with bilingual programs"
-waitress at "Tacos Matamoros
Mexican Culture in Sunset Park
Privileging & Punishing Factors
Culturally privileged neighborhood being pitched to new buyers,
Become punishing factors for Mexicans when their rents are raised
Discrimination of Mexicans and Treatment of the Sunset Park Neighborhood
Due to the undocumented status of many Mexicans in Sunset Park, landlords often ignore the basic needs of building residents