Why do Mexican immigrants stay stuck on the bottom rungs of the success ladder?

Dear Mexican: You seem like a smart guy, and your input regarding an ethnic phenomenon I've observed would be of interest. I live in a tiny, gated neighborhood that I would describe as solidly middle- to upper middle-class. On each side of me live Vietnamese small-business owners whose kids attend prestigious universities; across the street is a Filipino medical technologist, and four doors down is the Korean engineer. On the next block over is the Sikh Indian family and a family from Nigeria. They are all recent immigrants and, except for the Indians, none of them speak English fluently. What is conspicuously missing is even one single Mexican immigrant family, with the exception of the rich Mexican nationals from Saltillo — but they only visit on Christmas, Easter and shopping holidays. How come immigrants from south of the border stay stuck on the bottom rungs of the proverbial ladder of success for generations? In contrast, other recent immigrant groups, particularly Asians, are kicking whitey's ass, economically speaking, by the second generation.

Puzzled in San Antonio

Dear Gabacho: "First of all, the children of immigrants from south of the border make steady intergenerational progress. In other words, each generation is doing better than the one before it in terms of socioeconomic indicators. DUH!" says Jody Agius Vallejo, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southern California and a scholar who specializes in the study of the Mexican-immigrant y Mexican-American middle class. "Latino immigration is generally a low-skilled, low-wage labor migration; how can you even compare that to your Korean engineer and Filipino med-tech neighbors who migrate to the U.S. with college degrees and who start off in the middle class?" Vallejo also points out that more than a few non-Latino immigrants get resettlement assistance or initially qualify for welfare, "which greatly facilitates their upward mobility." The Mexican will only add the reality of middle-class suburbs like Whittier, California, where Mexis moved a generation ago once they made money, only to have their gabacho neighbors white-flight it out of town. You can look it up!

Dear Mexican: Is it true that women migrant workers who work in the fields wear skirts or dresses over their pants so that when they have to use the bathroom in the fields, their private parts will be covered?

Screw Latrinos

Dear Gabacha: No, but I see what you're getting at. One of the great Know Nothing conspiracies is the fundamentally fecal nature of Mexicans — essentially, that we're shit, and that proof is in the periodic E. coli outbreaks that sicken and even kill Americans. They blame the disease on illegals not washing their hands properly or cagando next to tomorrow's grilled asparagus, not bothering to blame the farm owners who push workers to skip bathroom breaks under threat of a lesser wage, or ridiculous regulations that allow farmers to have restrooms as far away as a quarter mile from work sites (let's see YOU march five minutes under a sweltering sun, with the pennies in your paycheck slipping away, just to take a piss) per Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. Even more telling, incidents of E. coli entering the public have increased in los Estados Unidos even as sanitation standards are higher than ever before, suggesting something other than shitting migrant workers is amiss in our nation's food chain — but why bother with reasoning when it's always easier to blame Mexicans? By the way, the only report the Mexican was able to find on defecating farm workers was in a 1995 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, which showed 15 percent of them did the deed — 15 percent too many, but hardly a sea of brown.

 
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Loe5883
Loe5883

Dear Historically ChallengedI will try not to ramble as I attempt to shed some light on the subject.Mexicans, Hispanics, Latinos, greasesrs or beaners whatever you wish to call us settled and thinly populated what is now the Southwestern section of the United States since the early sixteen hundreds. Basically white folks came to us after the Mexican War of 1847. Believe it or not Mexicans lived and even thrived without the help of Anglos for over two hundred years. San Antonio, El Paso, Santa Fe, San Diego and numerous other cities were flourishing throughout what is now the American Southwest and these cities had merchants, farmers, ranchers and craftsmen of every sort. In other words when this area belonged to Mexico and before that Spain, there were wealthy educated Mexicans. So what happened, you may ask. Language became the instrument white folks used to oust the founding people of this area. From one day to the next a new government came into existence in a different language supplanting what had been in place for over 200 years. That meant any legal proceedings were now in English, not in their native language. In Texas this started in 1835, during the Mexican war with Texas. The South Padre Island land grant will attest to what was the typical tactic of that time. I hate using the word “cheat” because the connotation is that Mexican people were dim witted, but if you take into account that every aspect of the new society was geared to cheating Mexicans out of their property, then it is the correct term. Tactics that have survived into modern times (The Brownsville Herald. USDA to hold info session on discrimination claims, April 08, 2011 10:13 PM). You can look up Juan N Cortinas as an example of a founding Mexican pushing back.In 1910 the Border States experienced an influx of Mexicans. Many people left Mexico at this time because of the Mexican Revolution, the Mexican Civil War. They were primarily wealthier people seeking refuge for themselves and their money. They were generally people of means and established businesses. Some of these businesses exist to this day. I will not mention any because most are family names. After the war many of these refugees returned back to Mexico.During WWII Mexican labor was invited to work, mostly as farm workers by the United States government through an agreement with the Mexican government. After the war this agreement came up for two year extensions before Congress. The last year it came up for renewal was 1968. I wish I still had the book to cite from but I cannot find it. Ironically, Arizona congressmen were the stoutest lobbyist to continue the agreement. I will paraphrase a particular statement from a member of the Arizona legislature, “Before we could own slave, now we just rent them from the government.” He was referring to the Bracero program that allowed the American farmers to contract with Mexican workers. Today Arizona is the state most determined to keep out Mexicans, is that not ironic. The reason the Arizona farmers favored the Mexican Braceros was that Mexican-American workers were more expensive and as citizens required more accommodations. This is also ironic; Whites used Mexicans from Mexico against Mexicans from the United States. During the comparably stable PRI area, poor Mexicans were relatively content to live in their poverty. They were accustomed to travel into the United States and work to augment their income. The Mexican government promoted it as an escape valve of sorts. Until the 70’s the American government tolerated it in order for farmers to keep down their costs or at least that was the excuse. When Americans speak about illegal aliens they are referring to the poor Mexicans who migrate mostly looking for work. To a certain extent illegal immigrants have been pawns that it has been in no one’s best interest to educate. They pick crops cheaply for Americas, get paid dollars and sent them back to Mexico, everybody wins. Anyway, coming into the present. Mexico is not a racist country; anybody can be poor no matter their race, color, sex or religion. Mexico is a classist country, if you will. There is a wide divide between the haves and the have not’s. Starting in the 80’s several Mexican multinationals established operations in the United States. Cemex is the largest producer and provider of cement in America. Hylsa bought and modernized steel plants in Pennsylvania. Vitro SA is the biggest producer of flate glass in America. In Texas the two biggest bread producers are Mexican companies. Carlos Slim owns a large percent of several telecommunication companies in America. These are a few examples of wealthy Mexicans that have made an impact in America, but there are countless others.In essences there have always been two classes of Mexicans, the wealthy educated and the poor uneducated laborer. Wealthy Mexicans prefer to live in Mexico and see those who migrate to the United States as unable to succeed. The vast majority of Mexicans look down their nose at the United States and those who find no other alternative than having to come here. In their point of view migration is only for the poor lowly farmworker. The poor Mexican, on the other hand, is poor in Mexico or the United States, but at least there is work in America. And to the farmworker or laborer education has never been a priority. For them education never provided a way out, just remember schools were segregated up until the 70’s, generating an income was the only option to survive. Over generations this condition has ingrained a culture of being a laborer. Stop and think what would a short brown person do with a degree in the 60’s and 70’s, who would hire him?Any way we are in the twenty-first century now and there is no excuse for not attending college. Over the last twenty thirty years the percentage of Hispanics with college degrees has gone up, slowly, but it is going up.I hope I didn’t ramble too much.

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