Book Review: Labor and Legality Essay

Book Review: Labor and Legality

Gomberg-MunI?oz, Ruth.Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

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Santana, Maria. “ 5 Immigration Myths Debunked. ”CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. & A ; lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & A ; gt ; .

Tong, Traci. “ Meet the Undocumented Workers Who Rebuilt New York and New Jersey after Sandy. ”KUOW News and Information. N.p. , 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. & A ; lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & A ; gt ; .

Ruth Gomberg-Munoz’ bookLabor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Networkis an descriptive anthropology of 10 undocumented Mexican workers. Undocumented means that these workers are working without “ documents ” or “ illicitly ” . They work as coach boys or at a Chicago eating house called Illinois Vino. Ruth introduces the reader to the king of beastss, who are a group of 10 Mexican workers with the lines “ten friends from Mexico committed to bettering their lucks and the lives of their families.” ( Gomberg-MunI?oz ) They are called the king of beastss, because they are from Leon Mexico. Their lives are portrayed as hard. Gomberg-Munoz Tells of their many responsibilities including cleansing and stocking. The king of beasts ‘s call Ruth La Ruda, because she is forceful with her inquiries and questioning methods. Ruth provides an indepth penetration into the lives of the king of beastss. They portion their narrative of how they crossed the boundary line, how coming to the U.S. affected their households back in Mexico and the challenge of life in the U.S. without being documented. Ruth goes over how undocumented plants use a broad array of schemes to guarantee fiscal stableness, emotional well-being and their self-respect and ego regard. The king of beastss minimized the family disbursal by populating together. She besides reviews the historical and political fortunes of in-migration, concentration on station 1970 socio economic and political conditions in Mexico and the United States.

Gomberg-Munoz chief statements are that the illegal position of the workers, bounds their chances and makes it so they can non change their socio economic position and that labour migration has come from an “uneven development” between Mexico and the U.S.’s economic development. Although I agree with Gomberg-Munoz on her chief points I find the manner she discusses the working duties and fiscal load of the king of beastss to be excessively sympathetic and humbling towards the king of beastss. This is because of my background in the eating house concern.

Before I came to go to Washington State University I was a line cook at a three and a half star grill called Doc’s. I was non ever a line cook, I had started at the underside as a dish washer. About three quarters of the kitchen staff that I had worked with were Mexican immigrants and about half of those co workers could hardly speech English. As a white legal citizen of the United States I was treated no different than my Mexican carbon monoxide workers. I did the same work as them, I got the same wage as them and I got the same chance for publicity as they did. The lone ground that I was promoted to line cook alternatively of some of my co workers was, because I put the clip and attempt into larning the formulas and kitchen processs such as prep work and proper technique while they did non. This includes other white dish washers that were non promoted. The manner that Gomberg-Munoz describes the work that both I and the king of beastss described in her book did, was extremely violative to me. She greatly over exaggerated on how demanding and deming the occupations were and the sum of work that they had to make. I used to hold to “unclog lavatories, clean martini-induced puke, alteration customers’ level tyres, trap mice, organize storage suites, move furniture, pigment, salt the parking batch when it snows, H2O the workss, and scraping gum from the underside of tables” ( Gomberg-Munoz ) Those duties are all really easy and non really mentally or physically demanding. With the publicity I had received came more demanding work than when I did the occupations that she had described in her book. I believe that this is because of a personal prejudice she may hold. By the manner she described the work I can deduce that that was her first clip seeing the interior of a kitchen work environment, because at all three eating houses I have worked at, the environments have been comparatively the same and I have had to make the work she described at all of them. Infact at Doc’s the bussers had the easiest Occupation in the eating house. In her book they are described “the best workers we have at Il Vino” ( Gomberg-Munoz ) This is amusing to me because my Mexican Immigrant kitchen director named Alberto invariably called the bussers the “laziest” workers in the eating house.

The grounds she gave for this statement was in the chapterWorking Hard.This chapter described one of the Lions, Roberto ‘s work. Roberto is considered the fine-looking one and is called “ El Flower ” . Roberto claims that as a waiter’s assistant he besides assisted in the remotion of a wall and excess cleansing occupations. I found this grounds to be weak because most eating house occupations will hold you do excess work that would n’t usually be associated with your occupation. For illustration when I was a dish washer I had to travel kegs, clean lavatories and I one time had to travel a heavy generator. I knew white waiter’s assistants that had to work as chucker-outs for the saloon. Most places in eating house require you to be adaptable. Even as a line cook I would still hold to make dishes and wash flatness.

I do nevertheless believe that my experience does hold with her point that the stereotype of difficult working Mexicans. At Doc’s it was common for my Mexican carbon monoxide workers to acquire friends and household members employment at the eating house easier. None of the director outright said it but I do believe as Gomberg-Munoz put it, it was because all Mexicans are believed to be difficult workers. For illustration my old carbon monoxide worker Evalan, a Mexican immigrant, who could merely speech really broken English got her brother a occupation without any sort of interview. He was subsequently fired for his hapless work ethic. This happend once more subsequently with my fellow line cook, Ernesto, but his brother turned out to be a great cook. This proves that the stereotype is merely a serotype. This stereotype is strengthened by the phrase Echandole ganas, which means giving it your all. The king of beastss use this phrase in the book.

The United States has a long history of working immigrant workers. Gomberg-Munoz discusses how the United States welcomed Mexican migrator workers with unfastened weaponries during times of economic growing. With tonss of workers there will be houses that need that pool of workers, this is called agglomeration. But after the 2008 fiscal crisis Mexican migrator workers were the first 1s that were asked to go forth. This is because they were seen as taking American occupations. This ties into the thought of globalisation.

Globalization is when separate states, people, companies, and authorities integrate internation with one or more other states. Gomberg-Munoz argues that the consequence of globalisation on immigrant workers to work in twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours life has been made harder due to the racialization of workers. That rationalisation is that there is no category or regional differentiations among Mexican immigrants. There is merely Latino and Hispanic. This has illuminated the thought that there is a difference between immigrants from Central and South America. I would besides hold with this statement, because whenever I see person who looks Hispanic I instantly subconsciously think that they are portion of a peculiar category and that they are from Mexico. This is because of my ain cultural prejudice. I try non to do this premise, but the manner America treats Latino immigrants has taught me to chunk them all into one category. Our civilization teaches that Mexicans are great for the low pay occupations.

The manner position Latino immigrants varies drastically to the manner we view white immigrants. Infact my male parent is non a citizen of the United States. He is a citizen of Great Britain who has a green card and Is a lasting occupant. It is apparent that my male parent is British due to his strong speech pattern, but no 1 has of all time told my male parent that he is taking American occupations and no 1 has of all time lumped him into a certain category based on non being a citizen. This has made me believe that this is more of a racial issue than it is an in-migration issue.

Gomberg-Munoz argues that the influence of immigrants from Central and South America has come from “uneven development” ( Gomberg-Munoz 27 ) In our economic systems. I would besides hold with this statement. The support for this comes back to the thought of globalisation and the thought of convergence. Convergence is the thought that less economically powerful economic systems will finally catch up to economic powers due to globalisation. The thought of “uneven development” is that their economic system has non caught up with ours, so inturn there will be an influence of migration to do up for that spread in economic development. This statement shows that Gomberg-Munoz believes that Mexico is an developing state. Gomberg-Munoz besides discusses how the United State took advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement by deluging the Mexican market with cheaper U.S. subsidized maize and because of this the Mexican maize market could non vie.

The article5 in-migration myths debunkedefforts to inform the reader about ill-conceived information and the truth behind immigrants. The first myth that undocumented workers do non pay revenue enhancements. The article states that in 2010 Collectively, undocumented workers paid about $ 10.6 billion in province and local revenue enhancements. The 2nd myth that the article presents is that they do non pay into societal security. The writer states that “undocumented immigrants lend more in paysheet revenue enhancements than they will of all time devour in public benefits.” ( Santana ) Harmonizing to the Social Security Administration, unauthorised immigrants have paid $ 100 billion into societal security in the past decennary. The 3rd myth the article presents is that undocumented workers are a drain on the system. The writer refutes this by saying that they are non qualified for public benefits such as Medicaid public assistance and nutrient casts so they are non dunking into the system. The 4th myth that is presented is that they take American occupations. The writer explains that “the American economic system needs immigrant workers.” ( Santana ) And that taking these workers would do many concerns to neglect. The concluding myth is that immigrants are interrupting non following the jurisprudence. She explains this by stating that “under current in-migration Torahs, there are really few options for legal immigration” ( Santana ) So they are forced to make it illicitly.

Although I aggre with most of her article, I disagree with the with both Santana and Gomberg-MunI?oz that undocumented workers are non taking American occupations. If you talk to any legal citizen that is a cook, building worker, pipe fitter, mechanic or anyone else that is in skilled trade based work, you will hear about how many employees are being undercut in wage because, undocumented workers will work for less. And to rebut the statement that these occupations are so low paying that most Americans do non desire them, If the employer merely hires documented workers they will be forced to pay their employees sensible rewards. The first myth relates to Gomberg-MunI?oz’s book because she besides cites that undocumented workers are non a strain on the economic system, because since they are illigal they can non roll up revenue enhancement refunds.

In the articleMeet the Undocumented Workers Who Rebuilt New York and New Jersey after Sandy, Traci. Tong Tells of the largely undocumented twenty-four hours labours that helped clean up the New York. after the 2012 superstorm Sandy that devastated the northeasterly U.S. , go forthing 1000s of occupants homeless or without power and tonss dead. When it came clip to clean up the wake, the most unsafe and dirtiest occupations were giving to twenty-four hours labors. Most of those labors were undocumented and were being paid lower limit pay without any overtime compensation. Many of the workers sustained hurts because of the risky work, but because of their undocumented position, they did non seek proper medical intervention. This work made many of the undocumented workers feel more apart of their communities. Noriega, one of the twenty-four hours labours said that he was resentful about how he was treated in the U.S. , but seeing his community in parel stated that assisting the community made him experience more American ( Tong ) .

This article relates to Gomberg-MunI?oz’s book, because of the intervention of undocumented workers. Both the article and the book Tell of undocumented workers acquiring dirty, unsafe, low paying occupations. Besides the sense of being portion of an American community that the undocumented workers felt during the killing relates to how the king of beastss felt after passing excessively much clip in Chicago. They began to experience that Chicago was there place alternatively of Leon and Zacatecas, where they were originally from.

The issue of in-migration has become a really hot issue in recent times due to our economic system. Gomberg-Munoz’s book provides insight into the lives of undocumented Mexicans. The fact that the writer selected merely ten undocumented workers, made the book more personalized than most composing about in-migration. This is besides a dual edged blade because the decisions the writer made could be skewed because of the little figure of people she was detecting. Gomberg-Munoz’s chief statements were that illegal position of the workers, bounds their chances and makes it so they can non change their socio economic position and that labour migration has come from an “uneven development” between Mexico and the U.S.’s economic development. Both these statements were good supported by the information and historical background she presented, but I feel that her little statements about the intervention of the king of beastss in the eating house was an over reaction due to her ain prejudices.


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