Book Review - 1 Tony Tran Anthropology 161T Professor Douglas June 8 2009 Book Review Forbidden Workers This book review will be on an Asian

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1 Tony Tran Anthropology 161T Professor Douglas June 8, 2009 Book Review: Forbidden Workers This book review will be on an Asian American studies book by Peter Kwong first published in 1997. The book deals with what was at the time, current issues regarding illegal immigration stemming from around the world with a specific focus on Chinese illegal immigration and labor. Peter Kwong is a well known writer and specialist on Asian American history; his work is based on many different aspects of various Asian cultures. This book is centered on the dilemmas created by the illegal immigration issue and the unfair labor laws that continually trap certain minority groups. The author uses various techniques to get his point across, including retelling of short stories and personal interviews. Throughout the book, Kwong uses these techniques to effectively establish his position on different topics and to propose conflicts that are created by the flawed immigration process. Kwong also investigates the backgrounds of the illegal immigrants themselves, setting forth reasons why these people seek to come to the United States by determining the hardships they face back in China. The purpose of Forbidden Workers is to inform the reader of reasons why illegal immigration and low paying labor is something that cannot be ignored; and if ignored, how everyone in the country will be affected. Kwong begins the book by telling the story of the Golden Venture, a ship carrying 286 illegal Chinese immigrants from the Fujian
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2 Province in southern coastal China crashing off the shores of New York City. This event became a hot topic of debate on a national level, and was used by Americans pushing for immigration reform. The argument was that these illegal immigrants were causing hardships for the welfare and healthcare systems across the country along with bringing criminals into America. Kwong counters that making immigration laws much more difficult will only make illegal immigration more of a problem. He believes that if stiffer laws are passed, smugglers will become more and more violent and the act of smuggling will become more profitable. The people on the Golden Venture paid thousands of dollars for a chance to come to the United States; and once here they work countless hours at low wage jobs to pay off their debt. This creates an endless cycle of indentured servitude that has been present since the beginning of America’s history. I feel that Kwong’s introduction does a very good job presenting the problem and offering his point of view on this topic. Kwong writes in a formal approach and his informing topics leads the reader to believe that he is an expert on this topic. I believe this book relates fairly well to what Anthropology 161T is about. Kwong explores the reasons for the formation of ethnic enclaves and the problems that these places create for all minority groups. Kwong explains that ethnic enclaves make it easy for immigrants to be taken advantage of because of the subcontracting that goes on in these places. Immigrants feel comfortable establishing a home surrounded by their fellow countrymen,
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This note was uploaded on 03/15/2010 for the course BIO SCI 97 07777 taught by Professor Yi during the Spring '10 term at UC Irvine.

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Book Review - 1 Tony Tran Anthropology 161T Professor Douglas June 8 2009 Book Review Forbidden Workers This book review will be on an Asian

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