Immigration and Hurtful Stereotypes

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

Why is it that so many people fail to remember that unless they are Native American their family were immigrants? Part of America was once Mexico and the natives of that land were forced south by the European settlers. So now when Mexicans, many of which are actually Native Americans, move back to that same land to live they are said to be taking what isn't theirs. A bit hippocritical in my opinion. I am not supporting illegal immigration but I will say that if I was born in a 3rd world country and had no prospect of a brighter future for my family and knew that just across the way was a place with everything to offer, jobs, food, more money in a week than I make in a year in my homeland, I would go through hell and high water to get there and give my family a better life.

Immigrants, especially Mexican immigrants, are brutally stereotyped as uneducated criminals. What if someone who is what we call 'white trailor trash' went to another country so that's what they assumed all Americans are like? Would that accurately represent who we are as a country, as a whole? Not hardly. It's the same in Mexico. There are good and bad, educated and uneducated.

My husband, who is Mexican and LEGAL, went to Brigham Young University in Utah. A classmate asked him a few condescending questions of what it's like in Mexico then asked "Do you even have tv's there???". My husband said "Yes, we have tv's but most of us don't watch them bc they're too heavy to carry up the trees we live in." Yes, that's why I love him. : ) ♥

I know a man who was raised in poverty. He often went hungry bc his family didn't have enough money to feed him and his siblings. Their home was a make shift shack with dirt floors and no electricity. One night a coral snake slithered into his home and bit his baby sister on the face. She died...there was no one to help. He graduated high school and enrolled in college, something most people where he was from wouldn't dare to even dream about. He received a degree in accounting then obtained a student visa to study in the United States. He graduated with honors and was hired by one of the top companies in the country right out of college. He made more money in a year than his father had made in a lifetime. After a while he started his own business and has been very successful. He financially supports his mother to this day, paying her mortage and giving her a monthly allowance. He speaks 5 languages: Spanish, Portugese, English, Italian and Japanese. He has 2 bachelor degrees: One in accounting and one in computer science. He is an upstanding and moral man. He works hard and takes care of his family so his wife is able to stay home and raise their beautiful babies. I have an unmeasurable amount of respect and love for this man. Yes ladies, this is my husband. ♥


He worked full time at a maquiladora, an American Converse factory in Mexico, to support himself while going to college. He made $100 per MONTH working Monday-Saturday, 10 hours per day. Before I became a SAHM and worked as a nurse I made more than that in one day. Could you imagine making $100 per month, working full time??? It was 60 hours per week, 20 hours more than the American standard of full time.


[deleted account]

About your little boy and his crush, that really made me smile. : )

About the illegal immigrant getting assistance, I don't know how this was possible. Immigrants, legal or illegal, are not eligable for government assistance and can not fake their way through it with false documents bc everything in the welfare system is checked. I know alot of people complain about immigrants getting welfare here but it just isn't the truth. It is not possible. I have friends who work in the system who confirm this. I think the misconception comes from illegal immigrants having citizen children which makes the children eligable for assistance BUT it also outs the parent as an illegal and they are reported to INS by social services.
I don't know why the lady was given the money over shouldn't have happened. Did you have children at the time and was it a government agency giving the money? Maybe she had citizen children? Who knows...but I agree that it was completely unfair.
About your husband's job, I don't blame him for being upset. I don't know how anyone could make more than management. That's the part I would be most bothered by.

Where I live in Washington state there are fruit orchards everywhere, mostly worked by illegal immigrants. A few years ago the government cracked down in our area on illegals so when it came time to harvest, there was no one to do the job. All of the people who said that the illegals were taking their jobs on the farms did nothing, there was no one who was willing to pick fruit for a living and the fruit fell off the trees and rotted. The price of fruit sky rocketed that year and the agriculture industry lost millions. Where were the people who wanted these farm jobs so badly? Why didn't they take the jobs and pick the fruit? In my opinion it's bc Americans are too proud to do that kind of work. We as a nation are spoiled. I think alot of times people just want something to bitch (sorry, bad word) about and don't actually have any concept of what they're saying.

User - posted on 04/27/2011




I am Cuban my parents are from Spain, but I was born in Cuba. I live in USA now and it's funny when i tell ppl, I am Cuban...They first reaction is you do not look hispanic...I am tired of telling them HISPANIC is not a race!!!! In all countries are black, White, Yellow and Mixed races!! I think ppl need to read more and educate themselves and their childrens... I was asked once by one of my friend's student how come i was cuban and white!!! I felt bad for the child, this is what he learned from his parents!

[deleted account]

I do have to disagree with the statement that immigrants cannot get assistance. They can, legal or illegal, but it doesn't really matter to me--if they need help, they need help. They came here because they could not survive in their original country and are just as entitled to help as those born here. It's not their fault they were born in countries where there is no help.

That said, Stephanie hit the nail on the head with the Fruit workers. Here, we had a slaughter house that was run by illegal immigrants. It was raided and 201 employees were deported--that was all but 4 workers. They held a job fair to hire 201 replacement workers. Even though unemployment here at the time was above 10%, less than 40 legal workers showed up to the job fair. It took the company over 3 months to find 200 non-skilled workers--ANYONE can do that job, but no one would. It was raided again 5 months after the first raid, and still over 150 employees were deported. They are not "steeling our jobs" they are doing jobs no one else will do. I understand that working a slaughter house is not a desirable job, but if we want chicken, someone has to do it. It doesn't pay well, but it does pay well above minimum wage, I think starting pay was around $10/hour with a raise after 3 months. Not much, but it would hold a family over while searching for a job in their field, but they won't do it. So why complain that illegal immigrants are "stealing jobs" when we are not going to work the jobs anyway?

Furthermore, and yes, I know I'm on a soap box, but if you remember, when the English came to this country, they took what they wanted by force, they killed people and drove them across the country (I am Tsalagi/Cherokee). Would you rather the immigrants do that? They are here working in jobs that benefit us, at wages too low for our pride to accept, and we have the nerve to fuss about them getting healthcare and food? Perhaps they should take over the hospitals by force and push all the "natives" onto the street to get the care they need. Or kill the English and take their food for themselves? Would that be would be more like the English, wouldn't it?
Is that why the English feel they are so entitled to all of this assistance? Because they "fought and killed" for it?

Constance - posted on 04/26/2011




I am very proud of where my family came from. My mom kinda calls me a mutt. My family is mainly from Europe, Canada and I have Blackfoot and Cherokee. I am only thid generation American born. My family came here for a better life and we did succed. One of the men in my life that I love and cherish as if he were a part of my family is also half Mexican.
I have raised my children that everyone is the same. I was never sure if it had gotten through to them or not until my son introducted me to this little girl he has a crush on. She is so bueatiful and she is black. At that moment I was very proud that I had really taught my children the right way to love.
But i have been on the other side of the issue as well, please hear me out before you get angry. My husband and I ended up losing everything whn the recession hit. We needed assistance and jobs. We livedin an area that had a large population of immigrates. When he did find a new job about half of the employees where also Mexican. He was completely comfortable with it until he made management and realize how may has false documantation to work. Then he found out that several of them were making more than he was. He was working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week and he asked for a raise and they told him they couldn't afford to give him a raise. This outraged him so much he quit. When we trying to get help getting our electric bill paid so they told us there was no more funding and the lady behind me admitted she was he illegaly butneeded help paying her electric bill and they pai t 1000.00. I needed 200.00 just the balance of the past due amount.
I was outraged because I have been here since I was born and I couldn't get help but someone that didn't have documntation to be here did get help.
I am all about helping everyone but it has to be fair across the board no matter where they are from, bu some things need to take priority. I know not everyone can afford the documantation to come in legally, but just like my family they need to work to get the paperwork completed. My family did it without the assitance of the government and they also went wthout food but they did do it. That is all I would like to see happen but no not everybody is a criminal. People who clump a race into one area and list them all as bad peope is just stupid and nieave.
I hope Iwas able to explain myself without affending anyone that truelly wasn't my intention. Just trying to show both sides.

Rosie - posted on 04/26/2011




people stereotype all the time. not only with races, but types within races, or parts of this country as well. not everybody from louisiana has sex with their father, and lives in the marsh in a cabin with their guns. sara h. is a beautiful example of this, yet when i think of louisiana i think of hillbillies.
i know i stereotype the hell out of people, BUT i am ALWAYS open to who that person is as an individual as well. i know that people are not defined by their stereotype.
i think it has alot to do with the media, and how different people are portrayed the way they are.we need to see more images of successful mexicans, or gay people, or black people, or louisianans (is that a word?) in our everyday world to start to accept that they are just like us. :)


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April - posted on 04/28/2011




Thats such an inspiring story Stephanie :)

I understand where your coming from, my dad is Australian and my mum is from the Philippines which is a third world country, i know exactly how hard it is in such a poverty stricken country. Everything you've stated about your husband reminds me of some people i've met in the Philippines who were so poor and did everything they could to succeed in life if not just for themselves but their family. Even if it meant they had to leave the Philippines and their family to travel abroad to do it.

I grew up in Australia so i know what it's like to have everything right infront of me but when my mum tells me stories about her childhood, it makes me want to cry.

I really admire those who worked hard to achieve so much even if they never thought it was possible.

[deleted account]

I know what you mean about the talking loud and slowly thing...that is so ignorant! Makes me laugh, though! ; ) My mother and father in law don't speak English either. My father in law was with his dad when some mobsters mistaked (is that a word? lol) him for someone else and shot him in the back. He f-i-l was in the 3rd grade and had to quit school to work as a fisherman to feed his family. Can you imagine a 3rd grader being head of household??? Seems unreal and impossible, but in Mexico that is how it worked.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/27/2011




That is an incredible story of successfully beating the odds. Good for him!

As you know, my husband is also Mexican. His father never went past the 8th grade becouse he needed to go to work to help support the family. He is truly an amazing man. He knows how to play the drums, accordion, piano, trumpet, guitar, knows how to sheet rock, work with electricity, lay any kind of flooring down...essentially he could build a house. He is an incredible mathematician without formal schooling, and he also was a Chef. The man is an inspiration. He was born and raised in Mexico, met his wife who lived in El Paso Texas, they got married and he is legal. But not a citizen.

He has worked hard his whole life....once he moved out of El Paso to his current home, people treated him differently because he does not speak English. He understands it quite a bit, but can barely speak. He never had a need to learn until he moved, and it was kinda to late to teach an old dog new tricks. People can be so ignorant....they talk loud like he is def, and slow like that will help.

Anyhow, I am proud to be his daughter in law.

Desiree - posted on 04/27/2011




You don't need to be an illegal immigrant to be sterotyped. I was born in South Africa, I am a white woman in a black mans world. I am treated like a second class citizen. So I have a fair idea of how they feel.

[deleted account]

I hear what you are saying about the illegal immigrants getting assistance but what I am being told by an intake agent at DSHS in Seattle is that what they receive is solely based on their dependant citizen children.

When my husband received his permanent residency we signed papers at INS that swore us to never be a burdon to the US, to never receive any type of social assistance/ welfare for even the born citizen members of our family, which means that although I was born in the US and my children were born in the US we are not eligable for welfare benefits as long as I am married to my husband. We 'could' technically apply and receive but that information would be forwarded to INS and my husband would be tried for deportation. When illegals get benefits for their legal children they take the risk of deportation bc dshs reports them, it's their policy. There are so many being reported that God knows how long it will take before your number is up to be investigated....could be years and by then you could be off the system and have a new address and not be found. There are alot of 'ifs' and 'outs' in this.

Kelly- That's exactly how I feel. Texas was Mexico until 1836 as was much of the western United States. The people who are native to this land are native Americans and Mexicans (who, by the way, are also native Americans). European IMMIGRANTS came here and killed innocent people to take the land that wasn't rightfully theirs. This isn't an opinion, this is US history.

I say 'it wasn't rightfully theirs' bc of the way they went about it. If they had come here and settled and made a home without hurting anyone else it would be completely different. This country was based on immigration. But they drove natives out and slaughtered those who protested rather than settling along side them and making a life there.

Michele - posted on 04/26/2011




I agree that if I was in Mexico and poor, I might do whatever is necessary to help my family. BUT I can't condone illegal immigration. My kids have gone to a bilingual immersion elementary school. I dislike stereotypes about Mexicans, but illegal immigration is a huge drain on the U.S. The immigrants that I know are hard working people; some are here illegally, I imagine, but I don't inquire. Many of them have become citizens of the U.S. and I am very happy to have them here and they are happy to be here. I know Canadian immigrants too, and one of them worked under the table (I found out later that she didn't have her green card at the time), and I was most displeased. She is not a bad person, and most illegal immigrants are not, but that doesn't make it right.

And if you want to talk about hurtful stereotypes, I am from the South. Many of my family members who are still there are rednecks. They are not necessarily bad people either.

Constance - posted on 04/26/2011




Stephanie yes I did have children 4 of them and it was social services I was tying to help from. They were always willing to threaten me with putting my kids in foster care but never willing to actually help. I have always taken cae of children even wen money was tight they always had food in their bellies and clean clothes on their backs. Just needed help every nowand then. Now we ae doing pretty good still have things that need to be done but getting thee slowly but surely.

[deleted account]

It may not solve all the problems but it would start chipping away at it. It's better than nothing.

Alexis - posted on 04/26/2011




@ Jen all it would solve is discrimination based on legal status. There will always be racial, sexist, religious, education level, wealth...etc discrimination. As long as there are different people with different ideals there will be discrimination and violence. Im not agreeing with it, or saying that since it is impossible to get rid of it that its ok to just let it happen, but a one world government isn't going to solve the problem.

[deleted account]

Just wanted to let you know that I edited the OP to add:

He worked full time at a maquiladora, an American Converse factory in Mexico, to support himself while going to college. He made $100 per MONTH working Monday-Saturday, 10 hours per day. Before I became a SAHM and worked as a nurse I made more than that in one day. Could you imagine making $100 per month, working full time??? It was 60 hours per week, 20 hours more than the American standard of full time.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/26/2011




That wont help Jen...Really how can a one gov world...change the view of Discrimination?
We now have segregated facilities all over the Americas…and yet people still stereotype…ect

[deleted account]

Bring on the One World Government (and I'm serious) as it will be the only real solution to this stuff by not having borders anymore as there would be no one country anymore.

[deleted account]

My family is Blackfeet and Cherokee, too! : ) And you are right about your ancestors, it wasn't their choice and it's a horrible and shameful part of American history. My heart breaks for what they went through. Being enslaved is something so far beyond comprehension...I couldn't even begin to imagine what that was like....or how anyone could possibly think it was ok. ♥

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/26/2011




Yes agree with you, very true…EVERY race here is immigrants…but many of MY ancestors were forced either being sold by their own people, OR taken…
And then other of my Ancestors are Native both my great grandmothers are Native
Blackfeet and Cherokee

Anyway…its not fair or right…and it goes back to the parents of what they teach their children…it’s a cycle…d

[deleted account]

We were driving from NC to Utah years ago and passed through West Virginia. The stereotype there is hillbillies with shotguns. We went to eat at Shony's and from the moment we walked in all eyes were on us. The waitress wouldn't wait on us...I had to ask repeatedly for someone to take our orders. Then when they finally brought the food it was ice cold. I went up to the salad bar and as I walked past a man he said "ohhh jungle fever" to stupid he can't tell the difference between a black man and a Mexican I suppose lol. I was honestly afraid to leave, afraid they would follow us outside and jump my husband. It was unreal...these people had no shame in pointing and staring at us for 30 minutes straight.

I'm not sure what they were bothered most by...if it was bc he's Mexican or bc of an interracial marriage. Whatever it was they made it very clear that they didn't like it.

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