The history of migration is one of the most complex histories, yet it presents a lot of diverse issues that can act as a basis upon which certain populations can be understood. The United States is termed to be one of the countries in the world that have the highest number of immigrants from different regions of the world.
It is argued that America has been home to more Mexican immigrants than immigrants from other parts of the world (De Genova, 2004). This has been replicated in the recent efforts that have been geared at developing a comprehensive policy on immigration in the United States.
A lot of issues, among them legal social issues often come out when talking about immigration (End Illegal Immigration, n. d.). This argument is centered on the sociological perspective of analysis. Immigration of the Mexicans into the United States can be traced back to the ancient times before the 20th century.
The rates of migration of the Mexican population into the United States have accelerated for the last four decades. Several reasons for the rise in the immigration of Mexicans into the United States have been given by social-political researchers.
In this paper, it is argued that the movement of the Mexicans into the United States is marked by a lot of issues that concern legal developments, as well as socioeconomic and demographic turnarounds. These have necessitated a lot of amendments on the immigration policy of the US.
This paper explores the underlying socioeconomic and legal issues that surround the legal immigration of Mexicans into the United States. The paper begins with a historical overview of immigration of the Mexican population into the United States. This paves way for an intense discussion on policy development in regard to the immigration.
An overview of immigration in the United States
According to Rosenblum and Brick (2011), the legal immigration of Mexicans in the US during the early years of the 20th century is argued to have paved way for illegal immigration. During that time, the high demand for cheap labor in the US that could be offered by the Mexicans opened up the way for an influx of the Mexicans in the United States.
The influx resulted in a heated debate in the US Congress as the massive population of the Mexicans in the United States has caused devastations on the social order in the United States.
Giving his testimony to the US Senate in the year 1928, Edward Dowell, the then vice president of the California Federation of Labor argued that lack of restriction of the inflow of the Mexicans in the country had worsened the socioeconomic state of the country, especially the state of California. The wages of the American workers in the state of California had been slashed.
Dowell also noted that social institutions in the country like schools and prisons had worsened due to population pressure. The number of immigrants who were entering the country illegally surpassed the number of legal Mexican immigrants by far (End Illegal Immigration, n. d.). This can be used to understand the developments that were experienced later in the wave of immigration of the Mexicans in the United States.
With economic conditions in the United States worsening in the 1930s, the US government was forced to tighten its rules on immigration, which barred more Mexicans from entering the country. De Genova (2004) ascertained that one of the means of controlling the immigration was through tightening of the process and conditions required fulfilling requirement for acquisition of a visa.
With tighter rules in the United States between 1929 and 1940, approximately one million Mexicans are reported to have left the United States. Among the Mexicans who left the US during the mentioned period include those who left voluntarily, while others were deported.
This depicts the tough economic conditions that were prevailing in the US, which had been considered to be a safer economic ground for most of the Mexicans who had immigrated into the United States.
Historical texts point to the fact that there was an acute unemployment in the United States due to the developments in the US economy, particularly after the crash of the US Stock market in the year 1929.
Therefore, the tightening of the immigration policy, which drove the Mexicans back to their country of origin, was a bold step that aimed at maintaining social order in the country (End Illegal Immigration, n.d.).
The legal migration of Mexicans in the US
The immigration of Mexicans in the United States since the 1960s was based on the fact that there was a demand for employees, especially in the agricultural sector of the United States. The conditions of the Mexicans forced them to accept the labor offers that were made by employers in the US through their agents who interacted with the Mexicans immigrants at the border.
It should be noted that major reforms in the US immigration policy were done in the year 1965. The main goal of making changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act of the US was to remove the articles that embraced discrimination of immigrants based on their race.
Order was also embraced in the legislation, where the US government streamlined the system of absorbing immigrants based on the country from which they originated. The imposition of numerical quotas on immigrants is one of the parameters that have promoted the ease of the immigration pressure and the betterment of social conditions of the immigrants (Rosenblum & Brick 2011).
Characteristics and cultures of the Mexican legal immigrants in the United States
Rosenblum and Brick (2011) observed that unlike in the past where there were no sufficient checks on the immigrants in the USA, the current state of control of the immigrants has earned the immigrants in the country a better social status.
The status of social mobility in the country has been tamed, thus allowing a social order that easily allows for incorporation of the Mexican immigrants into the social and economic institutions in the country. Naturalization and citizenship have become more common, allowing the Mexicans to become citizens of the United States. This allows them to freely interact across the realms of the United States.
The social predicament that was encountered by the Mexican immigrants resonated from the fact that they were seen as illegal immigrants, resulting in unjust treatment (De Genova, 2004). One resounding question that is mostly raised by people researching the US Mexican immigrants is whether these immigrants have adopted the US socioeconomic and political culture.
Here, it should be noted that Mexicans are synonymous with the Hispanic culture. This is justified by the fact that they were colonized by Spain.
It has been noted that a community of Mexicans has sprouted within the United States. This depicts the desire of the Mexican legal immigrants to continue embracing their Hispanic culture, irrespective of the existence within a highly liberalized community of Americans (Portes & Rumbaut, 2006).
Durand, Massey and Parrado (1999) ascertained that the Mexican immigrants are well rooted in the United States. Their participation in the political and economic institutions of the United States is more visible today. The liberalization of the political and economic environment in the United States paved way for the expansion of the immigrant Mexicans in the country.
Contrary to the early times, the immigrant Mexicans are finding room in the public politics of the United States. Immigrants participate in public politics by raising their voice in the political organizations in the United States. Just as the other population groups in the United States, the Mexicans are considered to be critical actors across the US.
While other people point the adaptability of the Mexican immigrants to the change in the policies and legislation on immigration, other social commentators argue that the Mexicans have had to change and adjust to the culture of the US as a means of sustaining their existence in the United States.
However, the social policies of the United States cannot be placed on the periphery since they have helped to suppress segregation on immigrants in the country.
The policy of naturalization has been critical in the restoration of the respect and the social status of the Mexican immigrants. The Mexican immigrants were guaranteed full benefits from the US government, most importantly social protection (Durand, Massey & Parrado, 1999).
Having noted some of the developments in the Mexican immigration in the US, it comes out that immigration brings about a lot of problems in the social order of the country. The intensity of destabilization of social order is, however, dependent on a number of factors.
Among these factors is the feature of the population that gets into the country, the nature of economic structures and abilities of the target country and the nature of immigration policies in place. The culture of the Mexicans in the United States has been, to a greater extent, shaped by the economic climate of the United States.
Most people point the culture change to the economic assimilation of the Mexican immigrants in the country. The United States economic environment is more active and highly advanced compared to the economic and political structures of Mexico, forcing the Mexicans to learn from the economic operations in the US.
It is critical to mention that the level of advancement of the Mexican immigrants in the US is also associated with the ability of the population to gain high standards of education (Grigorenko, 2013).
The immigration of Mexicans into the United States presents a lot of issues that touch on political, legal and social development in the United States.
In the exploration of the immigration of the Mexicans in the United States, it has come out that economic forces in the Latin American region are a key contributing factor to the immigration of the Mexicans in the US. The amendments that have been made to the immigration legislation of the US have played a critical role in bettering the social conditions of the Mexican immigrants in the US.
De Genova, N. (2004). The legal production of Mexican/migrant ‘‘illegality’. Latino Studies, 2, 160-185.
Durand, J., Massey, D. S., & Parrado, E. A. (1999). The new era of Mexican migration to the United States. Web.
End Illegal Immigration. (n.d.). Americans working to stop illegal immigration. Web.
Grigorenko, E. L. (2013). U.S. immigration and education: Cultural and policy issues across the lifespan. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2006). Immigrant America: A portrait. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Rosenblum, M. R., & Brick, K. (2011). US Immigration policy and Mexican/Central American migration flows: Then and now. Web.