Legal and Social Implications of U.S.-Mexico Labor Immigration
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This project will unveil the complexities of Mexican immigrant labor in the US, focusing on how Mexican immigrant workers are treated as well as on how they can be empowered to help change their working and social circumstances in the United States. The US government lies at the center of the conflict as it has the complex role of attempting to regulate Mexican agricultural and domestic labor through a "back door" in immigration policy. The government is expected to allow the desired, cheap labor to be immediately available while at the same time ensuring that the new immigrants return home when they are no longer needed. In the process, Mexican immigrant workers are being treated as a commodity rather than as human beings-putting their human rights in jeopardy and also creating a hostile environment for them to inhabit while they are living in the US. By recounting the history of the US-Mexican immigrant relationship, by looking at and analyzing current US law concerning immigration, and by portraying Mexican women as key immigrant laborers in domestic as well as in agricultural settings, I will demonstrate the intricate and sometimes paradoxical relationship between the US government, US citizens and Mexican immigrant workers in an attempt to discover ways for immigrant laborers to gain more autonomy over their lives in the US. The paper is divided into four parts: 1) The history of the US-Mexican immigrant relationship finishing with current US immigration policy; 2) A discussion of current US thoughts and practices regarding immigrant workers; 3) An explanation of gender as a factor in immigration and in US job prospects for the immigrant laborer, as well as an overview of current US living situations faced by immigrant men and women in their jobs; And 4) Recommendations on ways to improve the dynamics of US-Mexican immigration.