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Nikki Tyburczy SOC 101 Term Project.  In times of struggle and warfare in underdeveloped countries, people so often make the decision to come to the.

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Presentation on theme: "Nikki Tyburczy SOC 101 Term Project.  In times of struggle and warfare in underdeveloped countries, people so often make the decision to come to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nikki Tyburczy SOC 101 Term Project

2  In times of struggle and warfare in underdeveloped countries, people so often make the decision to come to the United States– “The Land of Opportunity”. Many even go as far as crossing the Mexican border and risking their lives. But why? And why is there so much resentment towards the immigrant population as a whole?

3 Power Resources Safer environment to raise children Higher Education Job Opportunities Who has them?United States Who wants them? Why? Immigrants (documented/undocumented). Coming from the Region of Mexico and Central America there is a lot of poverty and corresponding high crime rates, which makes it significantly hard to bring up children in a comfortable and safe atmosphere. Immigrants want the opportunity to gain a first world education because it prepares them to be more successful down the road, and gives them a fighting chance in the job world. The united states, by a landslide, has a more stable economy than any economy in the region of Mexico and Central America. It provides a variety of job professions, (many which include labor ). In having a stable job in the United States immigrants either choose to stay, and/or send/bring back money to their home country. How/where/why are they fighting about the power resources? How do you use them? In hopes of a better lifestyle and safer atmosphere, immigrants fight for their place in U.S society. Although they wish to live better, they are in constant hiding putting deportation of themselves or their family at a higher risk. Education is critical in proving an immigrant’s determination and strive to do well. Many undocumented immigrants are in favor of the Dream Act*. There is a restriction of their options when it comes to choosing whether or not they can attend college—many are unable to. Those against immigration tend to argue that immigrants do not pay taxes and are taking American jobs. This in fact has been a well known embedded stereotype. Many immigrants in fact do pay taxes, and many of the jobs that they take are ones that involve plenty of labor and are often not done by Americans. * See application

4  While Obama is in favor of the Dream Act, Congress still makes it extremely difficult to pass the bill. It is almost as if America has modernized slavery. Immigrants work the jobs that nobody else is willing to work, they are some of the hardest working students, and yet we still deny them legal status by making the process extremely difficult and in some cases nearly impossible.

5 On May 12, 2008, what is known as the largest immigration raid in U.S history took place. A meatpacking plant in Postville Iowa was raided by the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency). Out of the 968 people that were employed, the ICE had warrants for the arrest of 697—most of which would be deported and sent back to their countries. This historical raid stirred controversy among the many people who had been effected. Had human rights been violated? Did the U.S government abuse their use of power? Many argued, yes. The ICE charged the migrant workers with aggravated ID theft and/or the use of false social security numbers. In an article regarding the raid, Raquel Aldana states, “Legally speaking, ICE and federal prosecutors overstepped their powers when they criminally charged the workers. Congress specifically exempted from prosecution workers who use false Social Security numbers to engage in otherwise lawful conduct, such as to procure jobs.”

6 Structures (groups of people) ImmigrantsEmployers How do they work? Provide cheap labor, and often occupy jobs that many U.S citizens wouldn’t even consider to take Hire immigrants because they are willing to work hard for little pay How do the parts work together as a whole? Immigrants take underpaid jobs, which provides them with financial support. It also makes the U.S economy run smoothly, because when jobs are filled the system is more productive. What is the function of the whole social interaction for society as a whole? A diverse nation providing better opportunity for both structures. It provides a better living environment for immigrants from poverty stricken countries, and U.S unemployment rate goes down. It can serve as both an economical and cultural advantage. What are the manifest, latent, and dysfunctions of the structure? Manifest  To take the unwanted jobs of Americans and make a better living for themselves and/or family. Latent  working for Americans gives enables the opportunity to learn English, pay taxes, and give back to the United States Dysfunctions  Unsafe work conditions put immigrants in danger Manifest  Hire and pay their immigrant workers so that their business can run accordingly. Latent  possibility of learning another language (Spanish), unemployment rate goes down, enables consumers to buy things for cheaper, more culturally diverse work place Dysfunctions  If employers neglect to pay workers, workers may choose to leave; employers could be charged for hiring undocumented workers How do the structures adapt? Endogenous  communication between the migrant workers and employers is crucial, breaking language barriers helps the flow of business Exogenous  the economy  when the economy is good we welcome immigrants, however when the economy is struggling we tend to close our borders and use undocumented immigrants as scapegoats

7 The Agriprocessors Inc in Postville served as a functional institution. Jewish employers built their company on undocumented immigrants—relying on their work ethic. They were able to run their business efficiently and have their employees invest much of their hard work for little pay. Though this may fall parallel to the conflict theory (clear exploitation), immigrants were willing to work for such low wages in order to support their family. It was clear that the meatpacking plant needed the immigrants and vice versa. Following the ICE raid in Postville Iowa, hundreds of undocumented migrant workers were either awaiting trial, serving jail time, or in many cases--deported. This not only hurt the workers, but also the Postville Community as a whole. Many children had stopped going to school in fear that they or their family members would be found out and forced to leave the country; with that being said local schools were empty, and teachers were unable to do their jobs due to the absence of students. Not only that, but Postville was a small town of only 2500—the consequences of the raid had left Postville a ghost town, with almost nothing left.

8 Symbol The “American Dream” What do they mean? For years, the American Dream was one that served meaning and hope for a better life. America was built on immigration –people from Europe, Asia, and now a vast majority from Mexico and Central America came to the United States in search of that dream. A dream that was constructed of hopes for a better life and better opportunities. Does everyone agree on the meaning? No. Those that are against immigration reform feel that in order to live the American Dream you need to be a legal U.S citizen, otherwise you are only seen as committing a crime—regardless of the good that you do while in this country. On the contrary, many undocumented immigrants could argue that they are in fact American because they have been here for year and have worked hard towards their longed for success. How does the interpretation of symbols shape the way people interact with each other? Stereotypes are formed, more towards those immigrants that are illegal. We create stereotypes in saying that they take our jobs, don’t pay taxes, don’t have the desire to learn English or assimilate to American culture. These interactions put us in some kind of “civil war”—citizens vs. non U.S citizens. And instead of trying to solve the problem, in many aspects politics symbolize our lack of action with their substitute of only just talking about the immigration problem. Are interactions changing on this issue? There have been suggestions and bills that have tried to move forward in making a difference, such as immigration reform and the Dream Act.

9 Jose Antonio Vargas, was brought to the United States by his mother from the Philippines to live with his grandparents. At the age of sixteen he went to the DMV to retrieve his license, when the lady told him that his Green Card was fake and warned him to not to return. That was the day Jose found out he was undocumented, and couldn’t really do anything about it. He had no other option, but to live his life illegally and under the radar. However, he made the decision to reveal his secret knowing that he would risk deportation. He is currently a journalist in favor of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act is a bill that would allow students who grew up in the United States a chance to contribute to the country’s well-being by either serving in the military or pursuing a higher education. So why hasn’t it been passed? The government holds that power. Government officials against the DREAM Act claim that it would promote illegal immigration, therefore sending the wrong message. In the upcoming election, the Latino voters have immigration at the top of their list because they feel it is an issue that needs to be addressed and acted on. However, will the candidate make broken promises. Romney, a Republican who had a clear opposition on the DREAM Act has been rumored to now take the bill into consideration. But is that just a broken promise because he needs both young voters and the Latino community on his side? He holds the resources and change that the undocumented students long for, and a broken promise would exemplify his abuse of power. The DREAM Act is also a bill that serves an a functional economic advantage for this upcoming generation—not passing the bill would be a potential loss of opportunity. Javier Palomarez writes, “This decision will change the lives of an entire era of outstanding, law-abiding high school and college students who have no ability to plan for the future. Some may be removed from their homes to countries they barely know.. This tragedy will cause America to lose a vital asset: that of an educated class of promising students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our American society and just happened to be immigrants.” The American education systems have provided an institution of many promising students. Students who have the potential to become teachers or even doctors, keeping the cycle in circulation and giving everyone their deserved purpose in society. It is inspired, by the American Dream. Those immigrants who have come from poverty stricken countries and humble beginnings are searching for new and better life opportunities. Parents who brought their children here to be raised in a safer environment know that America offers a significantly better educational system—that in itself symbolizes the power the United States has in such a economically diverse nation. The DREAM Act literally symbolizes dreams of those students who want to contribute to America and wanting to make a difference. It is their hoped for reality. Their determination is represented in their desire for immigration reform and the DREAM Act to be passed. Please Visit: for more of Jose’s story and interviewswww.defineamerican.com

10  Aldana, R. (2008, Jun 13). Immigration raids lead U.S. to a moral, legal crisis. La Prensa San Diego, pp ?accountid=40611


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