Schaefer, Mex-Amer.-PRicans

Schaefer, - Op ec inc An cat n CHAPTER OUTLINE LISTEN TO OUR VOICES Vieques" by Martin St Espada Assimilation May Be_Hazardous to Your Health

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Unformatted text preview: Op ec inc An cat n( CHAPTER OUTLINE LISTEN TO OUR VOICES Vieques.'" by Martin St. Espada Assimilation May Be _Hazardous to Your Health Key Terms/Review Questions/Critical Thinking/Internet Connections— Research Navigator ' HE HISTORY OF MEXICAN AMERICANS IS CLOSELY TIED TO immigration, which has been encouraged (the bracero program) when Mexican labor is in demand or discouraged (repatriation and Operation Wetback) when Mexican workers are unwanted. The Puerto Rican people are divided between those who live in the island commonwealth and those who live on the mainland. Puerto Ricans who migrate to the mainland most often come in search of better jobs and housing. Both Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, as groups, have lower incomes, less formal edu- cation, and greater health problems than White Americans. Both the family and religion are sources of strength for the typical Puerto Rican or 'can American. H IG H L IG H T S 274 itizenship is the basic requirement for receiving one's legal rights and privi- leges in the United States. However, for both Mexican Americans and Puer- to Ricans, citizenship has been an ambiguous concept at best. Mexican Americans (or Chicanos) have a long history in the United States, stretch- ing back before the nation was even formed to the early days of European exploration. Santa Fe, New Mexico, was founded more than a decade before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The Mexican American people trace their ancestry to the merging of Span- ish settlers with the Native Americans of Central America and Mexico. This ancestry reaches back to the brilliant Mayan and Aztec civilizations, which attained their height about C.E. 700 and 1500, respectively. However, roots in the land do not guarantee a group dominance over it. Over several centuries, the Spaniards conquered the land and merged with the Native Americans to form the Mexican people. In 1821, Mexico obtained its independence, but this independence was short-lived, for domination from the north began less than a generation later (Meier and Rivera 1972). Today, Mexican Americans are creating their own destiny in the United States while functioning in a society that is often concerned about immigration both legal and ille- gal. In the eyes of some, including a few in positions of authority, to be Mexican Amer- ican is to be suspected of being in the country illegally or, at least, of knowingly harboring illegal aliens. For no other minority group in the United States is citizenship so ambiguous as it is for Puerto Ricans. Even Native Americans, who are subject to some unique laws and are exempt from others because of past treaties, have a future firmly dominated by the United States. This description does not necessarily fit Puerto Ricans Their island home is the last major U.S. colonial territory and, for that matter, one of the few colo- nial areas remaining in the world. Besides assessing the situation of Puerto Ricans on the mainland, we will also need to consider the relationship of the United States to...
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2011 for the course AFPRL 103 taught by Professor Melendez during the Spring '11 term at CUNY Hunter.

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Schaefer, - Op ec inc An cat n CHAPTER OUTLINE LISTEN TO OUR VOICES Vieques" by Martin St Espada Assimilation May Be_Hazardous to Your Health

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