Latinos Remaking America, edited by Marcelo M.Suarez-Orozco and Mariela M. Paez provides an overview of the cultural and familiar role of immigrants in the United States.
Chapter 8 by Wayne Cornelius, titled “Ambivalent Reception,” presents some surveys about public opinion regarding immigrants. For example, two surveys asked whether immigrants are taking Americans jobs and whether they are a benefit or a burden. The results demonstrate that the general public is aware that immigrants are necessary to society, yet it is obvious that racism contributed to how various ethnic groups were more accepting or less accepting of immigrants.
Chapter 12, “Families on the Frontier” by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo discusses the toll that these issues have taken regarding family structure.
“The inequality of nations is a key factor in the globalization of contemporary paid domestic work. This has led to three outcomes (1) Around the globe, paid domestic work is increasingly reformed by women who leave their own nations, their communities, and often their families of origin to do the work. (2) The occupation draws not only women from the poor socioeconomic classes, but also women who hail from nations to colonialism has made much poorer than those countries where they go to do domestic work. This explains why it is not unusual to find college educated young women from the middle class working in other countries as private domestic workers. (3) Largely because of the long, uninterrupted schedules of service required, domestic workers are not allowed to migrate as members of families” (264).
75% of domestic workers have their own children.
35% of these women have their children with them in the U.S.
40% of these women have at least one child in their country of origin.
In short, immigrants serve as both a labor benefit and a scapegoat. Regardless of the benefits that immigrants bring with them, they are disrespected and viewed as a burden.