March 31, 2014
Throughout the history of California, hardworking Jaliscience immigrants have decided to leave their homes in search of the American Dream in California; coming into the state legally or illegally. An American Dream that has only been achieved to some extent, and may never be a complete achievement due to differences in ethnicity, culture, and years of passing anti-immigration laws. Although these are reasons that the immigrants have no control over, they do have their flaws; lack of creating opportunity, being illiterate in the English language and a forced habit to move back and forth between the United States and Mexico are all self-inflicted disabilities.
Motivation for Immigration
All over the world America is viewed as the land of a surplus of opportunity; a place where anyone/anything, immigrant or not, can begin a new life and have the opportunity to become prosperous. This American Dream sounds and is viewed as an opportunity to escape the life of poverty and life-long work. In a place like Jalisco were rural areas dominate the land, and 64.8% of the rural population has incomplete high school education, life on the ranch or other services seems inevitable.1 So when immigrant men from Jalisco do come to the United States for their chance at prosperity; they soon find themselves working in construction, land labor, and transportation.2 These 3 occupations make up 47% of Mexican male immigrant occupations. Most women will find themselves working in services and cosmetics, which make up 32% of Mexican female immigrant jobs.3
Another growing form of motivation for immigrants is through communication and relationships.4If friends or relatives were to hear or observe how prosperous an immigrant was living in the United States, there would be an increase in desire from people of that particular region to come to the same area in the United States as the first immigrant.5 This trend is not new to the people of Jalisco and the other Western states of Mexico. Around 500,000 Jalisciences were allowed to enter the United States during the First Bracero Program, because of their skill and knowledge of farm labor.6 Workers from other regions of Mexico were not as productive in farm labor as the Jalisciences were, so many of them were denied access and sent back home. When there was news that Jalisciences and citizens of other Western States were desired in the United States, many of the men packed up their things and headed north.
Overall, what citizens of Jalisco want is the economic, political, and social stability that most people desire in the American Dream. These are things that living in rural areas or highly populated areas lack.
Life in the United States If any immigrant wishes to live in California they must first get into California. This can be a treacherous journey for a Jaliscience; due to an increase in border patrol and passing of anti-immigration laws. A trip from Jalisco to the border will take approximately one day and a half, but the hard part is getting into California. Most immigrant’s higher guides to take them through the dessert and other very dangerous areas to get into the United States. One of these guards or “coyotes” can cost anywhere between $2000 to $3000 United States dollars. On average it could takes about up to 2 years for a Jaliscience to make that much money, and there is no assurance that they would even make it alive to California. These Coyotes are also begging to take advantage of their services by actually kidnapping immigrants and holding them for ransom. Once in the United States the fresh immigrant will usually live with relatives or friends. Later they will find a job that doesn’t check for any type of documentation; these jobs usually pay minimum wage- sometimes even less. The immigrants live in fear, they