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Mexicans and Discrimination Essay

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Wetback, spic and beaner are a few of the words people use when talking about a Mexican. Mexican Americans have been the victim of discrimination throughout the history of the United States. Mexicans have a very big stereotype against them. One of the main reasons that they are discriminated against is because of their illegal immigration into the United States. Like many other groups Mexicans immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. Many Mexicans are left with no choice but to come to the U. S illegally because of the cost and obstacles that one has to go through to become a citizen.

Because many Mexicans come to the U. S. illegally they are often forced to work physically demanding jobs for less money. Mexican Americans have a long history of experiencing nativism and racism which has resulted in a number of discriminatory conditions and consequences such as, social and geographical segregation, employment discrimination, patterns of abuse at the hands of law enforcement officials, vigilante murder and justice, substandard education, electoral fraud, exclusion from petit and grand juries, forced dislocations from their neighborhoods, voter intimidation, and language discrimination.

(Galaviz 2007) Mexicans work under the secondary sector of the Dual labor market. The secondary Dual Labor market has low incomes, little job security, and little training. There are also no rewards apart from wages. Mexicans are forced to work for very low wages either because, as non-citizens, they lack options, or because they may realistically perceive themselves as “best off” here, even at very cheap wages, than they were back home.

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(Aponte 1990) For example, many companies offer very poor working conditions and minimum wage because they know that illegal immigrants have no choice but to accept these conditions because of their status. After the United States victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848 a forced treaty was signed. The treaty was known as Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty required Mexico to give up over half its land to the United States in exchange for 15 million dollars. Land given up by Mexico included California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo also guaranteed that Mexican citizens living in surrendered lands would be able to keep property rights and would be given United States citizenship if they remained in surrendered lands for at least one year. However, the property rights of Mexicans were ignored by the United States government and local officials. Mexicans were slowly forced from lands which their families had held for generations in many cases. Many organizations, businesses, and homeowners associations had official policies to exclude Mexican Americans.

In many areas across the Southwest, Mexican Americans lived in separate residential areas, due to laws and real estate company policies. This group of laws and policies, known as redlining, lasted until the 1950s, and fall under the concept of official segregation. In many other instances, it was more of a general social understanding among Anglos that Mexicans should be excluded. For instance, signs with the phrase “No Dogs or Mexicans” were posted in small businesses and public pools throughout the Southwest well into the 1960s.

Mexicans were also restricted from being jurors, even if the case involved a Mexican. Schools also discriminated against Mexican children and eventually Mexicans were made to open their own schools. Though times have changed Mexicans are still discriminated against because of the stereotype they are associated with. Many believe that all Mexicans come over here illegally and do not deserve the same rights as citizens do. Even now people believe that Mexicans should be sent back to Mexico and an example of that is Phoenix, Arizona and its Immigration Law.

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