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Mexican Migration to the United States

Mexican Migration to the United States
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  7/30/14 4:46 PMMexican Migration to the United States - Anthropology - Oxford Bibliographies -Page 1 of 24   Mexican Migration to the United States Luis F.B. Plascencia Introduction Since the early 1970s, academic analyses of Mexican migration to the United States have become a sizeablescholarly literature. Scholars from the disciplines of anthropology, economics, geography, history, law, political science, and sociologyhave dedicated much attention to understanding the multiple forces that stimulate and sustain the mobility of individuals from Mexico tothe United States. Anthropologists have a long-standing interest on the topic of Mexican migration. The specific interest on the topic,however, emerged adventitiously, later it was secondary, and became a primary interest around the 1980s. Anthropologists engagedwith the topic of Mexican migration have collaborated with scholars in other disciplines and maintained a dialogue with scholarspublishing outside of anthropology. Particular interests within the broader topic of Mexican migration shape the actual conversationsand interactions. Anthropologists engaged with legal and public policy dimensions of the topic, for example, keep abreast of researchcarried out by political scientists, scholars of law, and public policy researchers. Research carried out by social/cultural anthropologistshas played an important role in examining localized dimensions of Mexican migration in Mexico and the United States, and inelucidating the impacts of global processes in shaping the motivations of households and individuals in initiating and maintaining theongoing human movement and transnational relations between communities in the two nations. It also has informed the development of theoretical arguments regarding human migration and local impacts of Neoliberal policies. This article focuses on English-languagepublished research by social/cultural anthropologists on the topic of Mexican migration, principally research published in the UnitedStates and focuses on the migration process. It does not focus on presenting the significant scholarship on the experience of Mexican-srcin communities throughout the United States. A separate bibliography would need to be developed to adequately cover the regionaldimension of the topic. The subsection on Local/Regional Communities can serve as a starting point for graduate students and scholarsinterested in exploring the expanding literature since the late 1980s. In the case of topics that have not received significant attentionfrom anthropologists, the citations are supplemented with scholarship of non-anthropologists. This article focuses on published books,thus it does not seek to synthesize the large volume of journal articles. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in thevoluminous literature found in journals can review the journals cited as well examine scholarly databases such as JSTOR and Academic Premier. General Overviews  Anthropologists have been engaged with the topic of Mexican migration since the 1920s. This initial interest emerged serendipitously.Manuel Gamio, who had studied at Columbia University under Franz Boas (the ÒfatherÓ of US anthropology), chose to leave Mexicobecause of internal governmental politics. Upon contact with the anthropologist Robert Redfield and Edith Abbott in the school of socialwork at The University of Chicago, Gamio was encouraged to carry out a study of Mexican migrants in the United StatesÑa topic hehad not researched before. A Social Science Research Council grant in 1926Ð1927 allowed him to carry out a national study that led tothe publication of two important works, Gamio 1971a and Gamio 1971b (srcinally published in 1930 and 1931). After the Second WorldWar, anthropologists indirectly turned their attention to Mexican migration. This indirect interest emerged from the work carried out inMexican rural communities in the 1920s to 1970s by anthropologists such as Robert Redfield, Manning Nash, Oscar Lewis, GeorgeFoster, Ralph Beals, May D’az, Paul Friedrich, Eric Wolf, and others. Between 1930 and 1950, Redfield published four classic  7/30/14 4:46 PMMexican Migration to the United States - Anthropology - Oxford Bibliographies -Page 2 of 24 ethnographic works on Mexican peasant communities in Mexico (see Redfield 1929). These publications became the center of later re-studies by younger anthropologist such as Oscar Lewis. The observation that individuals from rural communities were migrating tourban places such as Mexico City, and some to the United States, led to an interest in examining processes beyond local ruralcommunities in Mexico. Starting in the 1960s and early 1970s, scholars in Mexico and the United States turned their attention to topicsrelated to Mexican migration and Mexican-descent communities in the United States. Romano and Ignacio 1960, an article in  American Anthropologist   focused on a Mexican Òimmigrant enclaveÓ in South Texas. The first article published by the International MigrationReview   that focused on an element related to Mexican migration was Jones 1970, and a year later the journal published its first specialissue on ÒMexican and Mexican American Migrants,Ó Shannon and Kemper 1971. Mason 1969 is a dissertation on the ÒBraceroProgramÓ and can be thought of as the starting point of a literature that is now quite significant in volume. The essay on ÒcommutersÓ(Jones 1970) remains unique because of the date of its publication, and because the topic has received almost no attention byanthropologists or other social science scholars. Since the 1970s, a steady flow of scholarly work has examined elements within thetopic of Mexican migration. The items listed here provide important chronological markers to the scholarly study of Mexican migration. Anthropologists interested in examining the development of the study of Mexican migration to the United States should become familiar with these early efforts. Gamio, Manuel. 1971a. Mexican immigration to the United States: A study of human migration and adjustment  . New York:Dover. Originally published in 1930. This work is considered the first anthropological monograph examining the economic and social life of Mexican migrants in the United States. Many of the issues of concern to later scholars are introduced in this volume such asgeographic distribution, wages, social mobility, remittances, and forms of entry. Gamio, Manuel. 1971b. The life story of the Mexican immigrant  . New York: Dover. Originally published in 1931. The volume is an important compilation of the life histories and experience of Mexican migrantsinterviewed after the First World War and before the Great Depression. This is also the period that preceded the first large-scaledeportation of persons of Mexican descent by US authorities. Jones, Lamar B. 1970. Alien commuters in the United States labor markets. International Migration Review   4.3: 65Ð89. Jones, an economist, published the first article in the journal that focuses on Mexican migration. The article focuses on the ÒMexicancommuterÓ: individuals who were granted special status that allowed them to live in Mexico and commute to work in the United States. Mason, John D. 1969. The aftermath of the Bracero: A study of the economic impact on the agricultural hired labor market of Michigan from the termination of Public Law 78. PhD diss., Michigan State Univ. MasonÕs dissertation is the earliest dissertation in the ProQuest database that explicitly focuses on a dimension central to Mexicanmigration: the Second World War contract labor program. Although the researcher is not an anthropologist, the dissertation representsan important marker within the database. Redfield, Robert. 1929. The antecedents of Mexican immigration to the United States. The American Journal of Sociology   35.3:433Ð438.  7/30/14 4:46 PMMexican Migration to the United States - Anthropology - Oxford Bibliographies -Page 3 of 24 Based on research material compiled by Manuel Gamio (1926Ð1927), Redfield synthesizes key issues raised in GamioÕs unpublishedbook manuscriptÑa manuscript srcinally published in English, and translated, from Spanish to English, and edited by Margaret ParkRedfield. Gamio 1971b was translated into Spanish from the English version and published in 1969. Romano, V., Octavio Ignacio. 1960. Donship in a Mexican-American community in South Texas.  American Anthropologist  62.6: 966Ð976.  Although the title does not suggest its focus is on Mexican migrants, the actual essay focuses on a ÒMexican immigrant enclaveÓRomano labels ÒFronteraÓ in South Texas. RomanoÕs primary interest is with first-generation migrants who escaped the MexicanRevolution and their use of the ÒdonÓ form of respect. Shannon, Lyle W., and Robert V. Kemper, eds. 1971. Mexican and Mexican American migrants: Current U.S. immigrationlegislation. Special issue: International Migration Review   5.3. Includes the work of anthropologists and sociologists. Represents the first special issue of the journal that focused on Mexicanmigration and Mexican Americans. Post-1970s Anthropological Anthologies The 1970s are important for examining the emergence of Mexican migration, particularly the political and media linking of ÒillegalimmigrationÓ and ÒMexican migrationÓ (Ch‡vez 2001, cited under Migrant Labels and Metaphors), the contestation regarding theoppositional character of ÒundocumentedÓ versus ÒillegalÓ migrant label (Plascencia 2009, also cited under Migrant Labels andMetaphors), and initial bi-national efforts by anthropologists and non-anthropologists to formulate an understanding of the migrationprocess. The anthologies Weaver and Downing 1976 and Camara and Kemper 1979 represent two important early efforts notcommonly cited in contemporary research but important in their concern to formulate collaborative, bi-national analyses. Graduatestudents interested in examining the development of ÒtransnationalÓ or ÒtransborderÓ scholarship in anthropology will find these twoanthologies valuable in tracing the trajectory of such scholarship. Camara, Fernando, and Robert Van Kemper, eds. 1979. Migration across frontiers: Mexico and the United States . Albany:State Univ. of New York. This report presents papers presented at a symposium on Mexican emigration at the 1977 meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Some of the chapters focus on mobility within Mexico, while other focus on emigration and the Mexico-US border. Weaver, Thomas, and Theodore E. Downing, eds. 1976. Mexican migration . Tucson: Bureau of Ethnic Research, Departmentof Anthropology, The Univ. of Arizona. The report presents the results of a bi-national (Mexico and United States) group of anthropologists that focused on examiningmigration within Mexico, as well as Mexican emigration.    7/30/14 4:46 PMMexican Migration to the United States - Anthropology - Oxford Bibliographies -Page 4 of 24 , ,  Anthropologists engaged with the topic of Mexican migration should become familiar with key sources of not only data about migrantsand migration (such as those listed here) but also of past and contemporary research. Graduate students in particular will benefit fromexploring the wealth of information available through the ProQuest database. The large volume of theses and dissertations can aid inthe process of selecting a research topic, as well as informing doctoral students regarding the theoretical and methodologicalapproaches being deployed by fellow graduate student in anthropology and outside of anthropology across universities in the UnitedStates. Lexis-Academic is a valuable database for material covering contemporary topics, particularly news coverage of topics thatacademics have not yet fully examined. Graduate students interested in public policy issues related to Mexican migration will find muchuseful material, including historical discussions, of issues addressed by congressional committees. The Library of Congress THOMASdatabase is most useful in locating recent legislative actions and enacted laws. And for undergraduate and graduate students interestedin the statistical data on migration, removals, and naturalization, the Department of Homeland SecurityÕs Office of Immigration Statistics(OIS) is an important source for such data. National srcin data for most governmental actions can be found at the OIS website. Additional data on Latino migration, largely based on polls, can be found in the Pew Hispanic Trends Project website. The Levine, et al.1985 report is a useful discussion of the limitations of data on migration, and thus important to scholars in understanding the data areavailable from federal sources. Taken together, the sources listed can be invaluable sources for locating information regarding media,policy decisions, and contemporary policy resources on the topic of Mexican migration and migrants. Levine, Daniel B., Kenneth Hill, and Robert Warren, eds. 1985. Immigration statistics: A story of neglect  . Panel on ImmigrationStatistics. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. This important report examines the intrinsic problems in data compiled by government entities, and efforts to estimate the net impact of migrants on the United States. Lexis-Academic. This is an important source for media articles and reports on migration and migrants. Lexis-Congress.  A valuable source for researching Congressional actions related to migration policy. Migration Policy Institute (MPI). The MPI has evolved into an important source of data on migration and migrants in the United States, as well as in Europe. Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS). U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The OIS is the primary data-reporting unit within the Department of Homeland Security. OIS generates a valuable annual yearbook thatreports multiyear data on enforcement, naturalization, and non-immigrants. The website also provides previous yearbooks published bythe Immigration and Naturalization Service.  7/30/14 4:46 PMMexican Migration to the United States - Anthropology - Oxford Bibliographies -Page 5 of 24 Pew Hispanic Hispanic Trends Project. Pew Research Center. The Pew Hispanic Center consistently generates research policy reports and data related to Latinos in the United States, includingLatino migrants and non-citizens. ProQuest. This source provides access to subscribing libraries on US theses and dissertations. Most authors allow full access to the submittedworks. It is an excellent source for identifying recent theses and dissertations completed, and the theoretical and methodologicalapproaches used. THOMAS.  A source of great value in searching bills and public laws related to migration and migrants. Documentaries and Films The topic of Mexican migration to the United States has received wide attention in documentaries as well as popular films. There are atleast over a hundred films, presenting some aspect of the migration process from Mexico, or through Mexico for Central Americans alsoheaded to the United States. The list below encompasses a sample of films covering the period from 1982 to 2013. Each film providesa glimpse into one aspect of the migration process. Moreover, because of the impossibility of a single film being able to cover all topics,the list provides a sample of important topics. Nava 1983 presents a popular perspective on migration from Guatemala, through Mexico,and then to the United States. It is not the first film on the Mexico-US ÒborderÓ: some Western and non-Western films dating back to the1920s take place near and far from the actual boundary. El Norte  deals with the US anti-Communism involvement in Central America,the great human toll of those efforts, and the response of individuals to flee war-torn communities and violence being carried out bygovernments in Guatemala and El Salvador in the early 1980s. The Espinosa 1989 is a detailed view of the experience of Mexicanmigrants seeking to survive in the hills and canyons in the San Diego area. It insightfully captures the well-known tension of localresidents who despise the migrants: the same individuals who are essential to the economic viability of certain employers in the area.Courtney 2001 is a well-crafted narrative about Mexican and Latino day laborers in Austin, Texas. Courtney does a wonderful job of capturing the humanity of the main characterÑan adult male who seeks to meet his familial obligations to provide for his two daughtersand wife. Rivera 2003 is a short but poignant presentation of how Mexican migrants in New Jersey and New York (srcinally from thestate of Puebla in Mexico) take steps to improve the infrastructure of their sending communities. In The Guestworker   (Hill andThompson 2006), the viewer is presented with the experience of contract laborers (guest workers) who are allowed entry under the H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa to harvest crops in North Carolina. Searcy and Davis 2009 engages the common action thatreemerged in the early 1990s involving state and local governmentsÕ efforts to regulate migration through the regulation of migrants:starvation doctrine, also known as Òattrition through enforcementÓ or Òself deportation.Ó The bulk of Òattrition through enforcementÓefforts target Mexican migrants. The Postville Raid   (Argueta 2011) narrates the single largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) raid in Iowa. The film foregrounds the dehumanization of the arrested migrants and the challenges that local attorneys initiated toprotect workers and families affected by the raid. The Frontline 2013 documentary Rape in the Fields  highlights the sexual abuse andassault faced by Mexican women employed in agriculture. Argueta, Luis, dir. 2011.  Abused: The Postville raid  . DVD. New York: New Day and Maya Media.
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