In his New York Times article Workers Claim Race Bias as Farms Rely on Immigrants, Ethan Bronner explains the plight of Americans as far as acquisition of employment positions in the agricultural sector is concerned. The articles, dated sixth may, 2013 explains the untold story of the racial undertones that characterize the employment practices in American farms, especially those dealing with the planting and harvesting of onions. Bronner explains that the immigrants, who are admitted to various work stations, are assumed to be working under the guest worker program. Unfortunately, he says, not all of them are registered under this program. On the contrary, others are illegally in the country, and work for exceptionally low pay that American citizens find it difficult to find jobs in the farms. Bronner notes that the African Americans living near such farms as Southern Valley and Stanley Farms complain about the fact that the immigrants from Mexico were receiving special attention from the employers, at the expense of the unemployment of the local youth.
The main issues addressed by the author in this article revolve around racial stereotyping and unfair unemployment practices, in favor of the Mexican immigrants. Apparently, the issues in this article can be summarized as: the negative impacts of the Mexican immigrants on the employment practices with regard to American citizens. Ethan Bronner explains the viewpoints of all the stakeholders – the federal government, the employers, the American citizens, the lawyers for and against the discriminatory practices, as well as the immigrant workers. Bronner explains that the federal government thinks that the farmers have not done enough to prove that the American citizens are not willing to work under the terms offered by the farms. On the other hand, Bronner explains that the American citizens think that the employers prefer the Mexicans because they are easily manipulated, following their undocumented status. The lawyers against the act blame the farms because they think, the owners have not invested into training locals. Bronner explains that the employers are not willing to employ American workers because Americans are not willing to work, and they are less productive as compared to the immigrants. Bronner is quick to note that racial tension looms, and that there may be serious political problems.
What I would choose to highlight is the fact that despite all the negative aspects of illegal immigration, aliens, also referred to as the undocumented immigrants contribute to productivity in the country. They add to the efficiency required for the realization of near full potential of the agricultural sector. Essentially, political leaders and opinion leaders always seek to find fault in the illegal immigrants, ignoring the fact that such aliens are exceptionally important in boosting economic growth, especially through the agricultural sector. From Bronner’s article, it is clear that the illegal immigrants work round the clock at low rates – something that the legal citizens are not willing to do. According to John Schwalls of Southern Valley, the Mexicans get into the work like people joining the military. Americans on the other hand, ask questions regarding the terms of employment. They want to earn more and work less. The reason why I choose to highlight the positive side of immigration is because; people have always concentrated on the political view, ignoring the economic viewpoint.
Speaking of economics, John Schwalls explains that employing the American workers is a big drawback to the growth of the farming organization. He says that a short while after employment, the American worker will resign and the foods will rot in the fields. Resigning in this case is motivated by the fact that the American workers always seek to understand the employment contract, review the work environment and have their rights upheld. On the contrary, the vulnerable immigrants are easily manipulated to work in the fashion designed by the employers, for effortless realization of the long term objective (Gallagher 57). The inefficiency of the American workers is manifested in the many lawsuits that have seen major employers in court defending their course. Bronner explains that Americans were not efficient on the farm because such cases as the one headed by Ms. Thomason against Stanley Farms demanding for better pay. According to anti-immigration lawyers, the federal government should design legislation that will see the competition for employment reduce between the Mexicans and the Americans reduce (GCIR 1). Documenting the immigrants will make them equal to citizens.
Applying the theoretical lens to the situation will reveal that racial stereotyping has its roots in the 1800s. Races were torn apart by the slavery institution, which gave the whites profound superiority. The age old stereotyping saw the Mexicans, both registered and unregistered deported in the 1920s (GCIR 1). This was one among the most significant points marking the tribulations of the Mexican people, who were associated with smuggling illegal drugs and substances into the United States. Over the years, immigration has been at the center of political debates, with the major parties, the democrats and the republicans differing on the way forward. Silver explains that the republican-democrat tag of war will not come to an end anytime soon, and that this will work in favor of the immigrants – something that will put employment of locals at stake (1). In his article How Immigration Reform and Demographics Could Change Presidential Math, Silver explains that if the bills pending approval get the federal nod, the republicans will stand to gain the support of the Hispanic Americans and the Asians while the democrats will stand to lose.
With regard to immigration and racism, Majmudar (3) argues that the price of being a minority is dear. The Mexicans are a minority in the diverse USA. However, the Mexicans define the majority among the immigrants, and particularly the illegal immigrants. The Mexicans constitute approximately 80% of the people that are in the US illegally. These are the people that most farms prefer, because they cannot claim anything through the courts. While American employers prefer the undocumented people in the agricultural sector, it is not justifiable for the farms to assume that all Americans are unwilling to work round the clock. Dawson Morton, a prominent lawyer in issues of immigration and racism, warns against racial profiling and stereotyping. Gallagher argues that immigration is both a pro and con in the American society (62). Whether it is a pro or a con depends greatly on the extent to which it seeks to neutralize racism and ethnicity, as well as the point from which it is viewed. For instance, Ngai notes that viewed from a political point of views, immigration and racial considerations at the work place are unacceptable (47). On the contrary, the economist’s view indicates that there are many advantages of using racial stereotypes in employing the immigrants. For instance, Bronner (1) points out that the Americans fighting to be equally considered by the employers are not likely to be as productive as their Mexican immigrant counterparts.
Apart from immigration and racism, there are other concerns that need to be addressed, according to Bronner’s article. For instance, the role of the trade unions and the immigrant rights agencies have to be reviewed, as they, seemingly, fuel the employment inequities between the Hispanic Americans and the legitimate citizens of the United States. The guest worker program should be reviewed as it contains some loopholes, which fuel the negativity between the two groups – the immigrants and the legitimate American citizens (Gallagher 67). Additionally, the roles of the republican and the democratic parties in ending the inequities should be emphasized by the federal government on more neutral grounds. Bronner’s article raises many concerns relating to politics and social imbalances rooted in immigration and racism.
In order to provide full analysis of the event, I would need to research on a number of things. The foremost would be the history of the relationship between the American government and the Mexican immigrants. I would endeavor to understand the history of the tribulations and inequalities that characterized the highly diversified American society. I would as well seek to understand the forces that changed the state of affairs that was in the 1970s. For instance, in the 1970s, two thirds of the population in employment positions was American citizenry (Borjas 25). The situation has turned around and currently, more than four fifths are immigrants. This will provide basis for proper analysis.
Borjas, George J. Mexican Immigration to the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. Print
Bronner, Ethan. ” Workers Claim Race Bias as Farms Rely on Immigrants.” New York Times. (2013): Web. 7 Aug. 2013. http://www. nytimes. com/2013/05/07/us/suit-cites-race-bias-in-farms-use-of-immigrants. html? pagewanted= all&_r= 0
Gallagher, Charles A. Rethinking the Color Line: Reading in Race and Ethnicity. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.
GCIR. ” Race and Immigration.” Grant Makers Concerned With Immigrants And Refugees. N. p., 15 08 2012. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. http://www. gcir. org/integration/framework/challenges/race
Majmudar, Amit. ” Am I an ‘ Immigrant Writer’?.” New York Times [New York] 04 05 2013, U. S Edition n. pag. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. http://opinionator. blogs. nytimes. com/author/amit-majmudar/
Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Place, 2004.
Silver, Nate. ” How Immigration Reform and Demographics Could Change Presidential Math.” New York Times [New York] 30 April 2013, U. S Edition. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. http://fivethirtyeight. blogs. nytimes. com/2013/04/30/how-immigration-reform-and-demographics-could-change-presidential-math/