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Thread: Illegal Mexican Exploitation

  1. #1
    Hey all. I am a senior college student. I am writing my thesis on the exploitation that illegal mexican workers experience because of their lack of rights. I would appreciate if anyone knows of any books or other sources that address this topic. I have a lot of stuff, but I am looking for a primary source, like a personal account, to help focus my paper. Thank you.

    Also, I am going to try to anonymously interview some illegal workers for their stories. I feel like this may be a diffucult thing to do, so I would appreciate any help in that area. I live in the Charlotte are if that helps at all.

    Thanks again.

  2. #2
    CollegeStudent,

    I know of an instance where an owner of a particular company used a couple of different payroll companies to pay the wages (and probably still does).

    After the guys worked forty hours, instead of paying the overtime, he'd just place them onto the account of the other payroll company, back to the base rate of pay. Nothing they could do about it and would've been afraid to say anything.
    ______________________________
    In your leisure time, check out www.invisiblemexicans.com

    An Albq. NM weekend paper has an opinion article titled "Ask A Mexican" where people can 3-mail with questions at garellano@ocweekly.com

    Ask a Mexican! online glossary at www.alibi.com
    _______________________________________________
    It might behoove you to speak with churches that have a Spanish congregation. You could explain your situation and they'd probably know which individuals might be more preferable in aiding you. Try several churches and remember your best bet are the ones in the predominant Hispanic areas. If your Anglo, you might want to take an Hispanic friend since you would be consider an outsider. And you'd never want anyone to think your associated with La Migra.

    I think people would be open and responsive if you first speak with those they know and trust.

    You brought a smile to my face reminding me of the movie The Milagro Beanfield War in which a college student went there to work on his thesis. Reminds me of what you're doing.

  3. #3
    Thanks so much for the response. My original influence for this thesis was based on my own personal experience working in a Mexican restaurant. I saw the Mexican owner refuse to give the illegals the money they rightly deserved and worked hard for.

    Your church idea is great and seems to be the right way to go. When I met with my pastor this weekend he said he would try to put me in touch with a Mexican pastor in the area.

    Would it be worth watching The Milagro Beanfield War?

    Thanks again for the help, I look forward to other's advice.

  4. #4
    Yes, it would. I purchased it several years when it came out. I'm hoping I can re-order it because I loaned it out two weeks ago and I don't think it's going to be returned. Some Anglo people here had their home flooded out by a wealthy grove owner/congressman whom opened up an outlet to release the floodwater from his grove. They're in a legal battle. So, I loaned the video because it depicts a family being exploited by a rich landowner such as themselves.

    It is sort of similar with the Milagro Beanfield War. Some poor Hispanics want to grow a field and there's a dispute over the water rights because the company wants to do major construction there.

    There are some very humorous parts to it and some serious. Right now I can see the college student when he arrived in Milagro. He tried to acquaint himself with the locals but it was a little trying at first but you'll probably see a little bit of yourself maybe. You'll like it.

    As a matter of fact, this reminds me to call the video store and check if I can still order a copy! It's older so I'm sure it's not on the shelf to be rented.

    Once you've associated yourself with some of the Hispanics assisting you I'd suggest you guys go to some of the tiendas. Especially those that have the deli in them. There are a lot of Hispanics that go there, the working class, and if your compadre could speak first to some of them, I bet you could get some real good stories. These are really the people you want to speak with. Not saying that you can't find some from the church but on a weekend if you guys could go to the stores, whew! People in general like to eat more than they like to go to church so you'll have a larger population there. I think that's even better. That's where I would go. Let a few meals be your treat and I bet you'll really be given a lot of stories. They'll give you their time.

    Again, you need a compadre. These guys will have to trust you and fully understanding your motive for discussions with them.

    And if there's a bus that has stopped and waiting on them to go in and return - don't try to bring the issue up near the driver. They probably won't talk in that situation because of it being the bus of the employer and word would get out and they'd therefore be in fear of repurcusion for disclosing anything.

  5. #5
    CollegeStudent: You are aware, of course, that illegal aliens are NOT allowed to work in America, and should be deported. I'm not condoning any exploitation of illegal aliens, and such exploitation is also illegal, but, I think that your concern is misplaced.

    What about the unskilled American and LEGAL immigrant workers whose wages are being reduced by the illegal aliens who EXPLOIT their ILLEGAL status...and willingly undercut the wages of LEGAL workers?

    What about the social costs of illegal aliens (education, incarceration, food stamps, etc.) that are paid for by American workers through their taxes?

    What about the costs incurred by legal drivers who are involved in an accident with illegal alien drivers who are unlicensed and uninsured?

    I could go on and on and on...but, I truly wonder if you realize who is actually exploiting whom? It seems to me that that the illegal aliens are the ones who are doing the exploiting!!

    Mexico is a disgrace and has absolutely no shame.

  6. #6
    SunDevilUSA,

    This has been going for on years. It's just in the recent years that the number has escalated and the illegals aren't no longer just contained in the fields. If they'd not been there, do you think our American brothers and sisters would be picking our crops?

    Look at all of the Americans that have been on our welfare roles for years. When they come off of that they begin looking around and realize that something has caught up with them. Believe me, I've heard some guys say, "Man, they're taking all the jobs." Well, where were all these guys when there were jobs available?" Now they're being outnumbered. Not only out numbered but outworked by a much harder-working group. Human Resource personell have commented that Hispanics are much better workers.

    I would have to agree that there is a drain on our medical system. Especially in particular areas of the country. I've listened to discussions regarding that and some have differing views. I wouldn't deny that there is a drain on our economy but I couldn't, if I wanted to try, to recall statistics regarding the medical and school arenas.

    As far as the children are concerned they are entitled to an education by law. Children learn a second language much more rapidly than an adult although it has to be difficult to assimilate them into the classroom.

    I feel much more comfortable with an immigrant having a license. The laws in each state change so often posing difficulty for them to obtain a license. Fortunately those that obtained them are grandfathered in as in North Carolina where they changed their laws last year; and New Mexico where it is allowed meeting the required criteria. I've no problem with them having a license and insurance.

    Obviously the U.S. hasn't done anything about the illegal immigration or we woudn't be dealing with reform now. The U.S. needs the workers. Even Bill O'Reilley alluded to it on Fox this evening.

    Some of the immigrants have been in pure hell here. One worker was overheated and very sick. The boss told him to go under a shade tree instead of providing medical care. He was found dead fifteen days later by his brother. Another incident was at a manure plant where, because of no safety being enforced, two guys fell into a tank. Awful.

    I'd said in another of my postings that I had co-workers saying when it's time for the insulation to be installed - it's time to go and leave it to the Hispanics. I've seen many Americans say there's certain jobs they don't want to do.

    If the U.S. could've rounded up and deported 12 million illegals then the U.S. should've done so. But it didn't and won't happen. The bottom line is business.

    As for Mexico, I think the new President will attempt to make more changes than Vincente Fox.
    No, I don't think Mexico is a disgrace. It's not Mexico that needs the workers - it's the U.S.

  7. #7
    CollegeStudent,

    Guest Workers find nightmare at dream jobs in U.S. by Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday November 8th, 2006.

    Tulelake CA

    See if you can find that article....."From the moment we got on the bus in Nogales, we knew they were feeding us lies." Ricardo Valle, guest worker

    "We may not have provided the proper food for them in the beginning. We may have missed a meal. But we went in and corrected what we need to correct...We'll take our lumps and move forward." Larry Memmott, human resources director, Sierra Cascade Nursery. (Standish, CA 530.254.6702)

    Get that? "We may not have provided the proper food for them in the beginning.....Oh, please!

    In 2004, Memmot said, in an immigration review indicated that 80 percent of the company's workers were undocumented. "Last year, we couldn't fill our trim shed at all." "We figured that this year we weren't going to wait and see.

    Exploitation? On the bus to the U.S. all the immigrants were given was a liquid diet - pure water - for 24 hours.

    The employer, Sierra-Cascade Nursery of Susanville, Califl, is now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees the guest-worker program. California's Department of Industrial Relations also has ordered the company to correct numerous wage violations, and conduct a self-audit.

    Mark Schacht of the California Rural Legal Assistance organization said, "Unlike workers in any other part of the free market who have the ability to vote with their feet, these workers don't."

    Meanwhile, the state Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has notified Sierra-Cascade that it is violating labor law by failing to pay overtime after eight hours, to ensure rest breaks and a 30-minute lunch break and to compensate workers for time both in transit and waiting to begin work. Hmmmm, exploitation? Uh-huh.

    (On the LaTimes site I searched Sierra-Cascade and no matches found but did find an October 15, 2006 photo of workers in the trim shed. I'll have to advance my search for the article.)

  8. #8
    CollegeStudent,

    Go to www.workingimmigrants.com and check out those results found under this search. There should be something on exploitation on one of the sites.

    I wish I could recall the article about a field owner in Palatka FL that was charged twice with failure to uphold regulations. I recall it being so sad how he exploited them.

    I read a response letter on the shawneedispatch which I found interesting albeit nothing to do with exploitation. Mentioned statistics of how many of our American citizens don't have medical insurance nor car insurance. Often we as Americans forget to look at our ownselves in the mirror.

    I'll try to find more avenues for you if possible.

  9. #9
    College student I think your thesis will be more political garbage aimed at protecting "the rights" of illegal aliens. Perhaps you should concentrate on the problems of illegal immigration and put forward your views on it and any ideas on how to reduce the illegal population whether that be deportation or amnesty.
    From my point of view, I have zero tolerance for illegals and if they are being exploited then that's their fault because they shouldn't be here to be exploited. I am so sick and tired of hearing the same old bulls-h-i-t from these people

  10. #10
    CollegeStudent,

    Obviously you have a personal interest in what your pursuing for your thesis or you wouldn't be doing it. Wouldn't it be sad if all we read in our newspapers or magazines only one-sided views of an issue?

    Just think of people in sweatshops around the world. If they weren't investigated we'd still be purchasing items produced by those laboring under deplorable conditions.

    So called illegal aliens are human beings just like yourself and I. Regardless of their status in the U.S. no human being should be mistreated.

    Maybe someone should interview samples of Americans across the U.S. and ask if they'd work in the same capacities as some of the immigrants here. I could hear the responses now!

    Well, deport all the illegals and lets see how long our American anti-immigration cohorts could stay bent over picking crops in a field. Hey, would the price of oranges suddenly skyrocket? Yeah, American hand-picked oranges 3/$20! The American public would have a major outcry! Bring those guys back!!!

    If I'm not mistaken, I do believe there's going to be discussions again in the Senate and House regarding illegal immigration in the future. (A little pun intended there!) There's pro-immigration and anti-immigration, etc. and every individual takes their own stance.

    It's a reality. There's illegal immigration and there's also exploitation which is going to to hand in hand. Both must be dealt with. It's not deniable or avoidable now.

    Continue pursuing this endeavor you've embarked on. Do what is of interest to you. Others can set their own personal course of action. Don't let anyone dissuade you.

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