Being raised in an area where there is not very much diversity in race gave me little experience to the massive amount of discrimination and struggle that people go through on a daily basis. I did not know that the Mexican population was such a big issue in today’s society. Before entering this course, I did not know much of anything that was going on in the world of immigration and the Mexican population, especially in Lexington, and did not realize that “new, multicultural tensions have emerged as a topic of concern in the community” (Rich, Brian, & Miranda). Coming into this class, I knew that in my small hometown the Mexican population consisted of the owners and workers at our local Mexican restaurant. I had no idea what these people went through to get here and how hard life was just living here, even though it is much better than being in Mexico. This course allowed me to expand my knowledge and find out what is really happening in our country at this very moment.
First of all, I did not realize that most Mexican people in the United States live in fear of being deported everyday of their lives. I honestly had no idea that “detained” was even a word more than less that there are detainment centers for undocumented Immigrants. The fact that people go to jail just for living their lives in the United States caught me completely off guard. I realized that some people get deployed if they do not have the right documentation but I did not know that there were specific jails that they were held in. The people who are held here are mothers, fathers, or even children who are just trying to live their lives in the United States of America but are put through a ridiculous amount of discrimination while trying to do what everyone else does. The picture below shows how bad the working conditions are for Mexican workers on farms, especially. My views on how our country is ran legally have completely changed due to the fact that we judge people and convict people for trying to make a living not only for themselves but for their families. I can not believe how far Americans will go out of their way just to detain these immigrants.
I also found how much these people, undocumented or legal citizens, go through on a daily basis. I have found out that they find the word “illegal immigrant” as dehumanizing and stigmatizing, as shown in the comment below by memoriesinthemaking___. We, as Americans, do not realize the struggle that some people go through just trying to make it through the day. Half of the time, they can barely understand what we say because of the differing languages. We just look over it and do not even try to help. I could not imagine having to live everyday being in complete confusion of the world around me. The simplest things that we do every single day need to be conveyed to others, when sometimes that could be hard to do for these Mexican immigrants. This leads into other struggles that the Mexican population in Lexington deal with on a daily basis; one of which is education.
A common struggle that most United States citizens do not understand is those of a student who can not understand a word their teachers or educators are saying during class time. In today’s school systems, more and more students are taught a different language other than English first or speak some other language at home but are basically having to fend for themselves when they go to earn an education. Studies have recently shown that “English is the second language for approximately 5.5 million students in the United States” (Sanchez). With this large of a number of non-English speaking students, you would think that schools would implement some kind of help system. Our schools are being more and more unacceptable with the fact that some children will not understand their educators and often times get angry or upset with the student when they use anything except for English in the classrooms. Instead, these children are getting left behind and forgotten about. They are not being given the same chance as everyone else at continuing their education into college because they can barely speak English.
Overall, I have learned a lot about what it is like to live and learn as a Mexican in the United States. I find it sickening that businesses compete on how many undocumented people they can detain. Detainment just does not make sense to me.Too often than not, Americans do not recognize how lucky and blessed we are. Americans do not realize how important getting an education is to most immigrants. I feel like this is something that we, as Americans, take advantage of. We are lucky to be able to sit in a classroom and understand what is being said.
“Report: Children As Young As 7, Many Hispanic, Work On U.S. Tobacco Farms.” Fox News Latino. 14 May 2014. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.
Rich, Brian, and Marta Miranda. “The Sociopolitical Dynamics of Mexican Immigration in Lexington, Kentucky, 1997 to 2002: An Ambivalent Community Responds.” New Destinations: Mexican Immigration in the United States. 188. Web.
Sanchez, Marcela. “No Spanish-Speaking Child Left Behind.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2007. Web. 3 Mar. 2015.