Immigration & Remittances

One Day of Life revolves around a single long day of a woman named Lupe and her family who live in El Salvador. Manlio Argueta portrays Lupe’s own emotions, reflections, and behavior from her personal experiences through descriptive imagery, dialogue, and tone. This book captures the empathy and thoughts of the readers by painting a vivid picture of the terror that fills the lives of the community struggling daily to survive in El Salvador, however their hope and optimism is never lost. Argueta’s One Day of Life effectively takes his reader on a journey to experience the repression and violation of human rights through the government’s inability to provide public service for its people. Lupe, her family, and fellow victims of human rights abuse take matters in their own hands as their individual responsibility to fight for their human rights, yet remain hopeful for change and peace. However, efforts by Central Americans nowadays have been taken to a whole other level due to the act of immigration, primarily to the United States. Like the characters in Argueta’s One Day of Life, Central Americans remain hopeful in search for a better life through means of migrating to the United States, partaking in the system of remittances, and risking their family relations. Although there have been various debates and new propositions on the issue of immigration, the Central American diasporas effectively benefit the lives of Central Americans and their families through their struggles to stay optimistic and have constant hope for advancing their lives.

The main motive for migration to the United States is brilliantly portrayed in Argueta’s imagery of the destruction of human rights toward Salvadorans by the authorities. Due to harsh living situations in their native lands, citizens feel helpless and are forced to relocate to increase their chances for survival. The readers are captivated through the amount of abuse citizens receive in the duration of twenty-four hours. Argueta’s dramatic description allows the reader to witness the pain Lupe and her family endure. The readers develop an attachment to the characters in the novel due to the images Argueta paints. The abuse is so extreme that towards the beginning of the novel, Lupe experiences the realization that “something called rights existed. The right to health care, to food and to schooling for [their] children. If it hadn’t been for the priest, [they] wouldn’t have found out about those things that are in [their] interest” (Argueta 31-32). Not only did the authories mentally deprive Salvadorans of their rights, but they physically raped those religious figures that the people looked up to. Argueta shares a disturbing event in which “the priest was found half dead on the road to the Kilometer. They had disfigured his face, had brutalized him all over. They’d stuck a stick up his anus and it was there still. The priest’s voice could barely be heard. They found the priest’s jeep farther up the road, burned, in another ditch. As if it had ignited itself” (30). Such disgusting and manipulative acts were done to citizens in order to make their power known to the people. The leading cause of deaths in El Salvador is homicide and violent injury, obviously by the force of the authorities. Raping a man of God was a message from the authorities that they were capable of anything. Argueta shares vivid events like the one above in order for the reader to feel that pain and sorrow for a selfless man. This incident was a scare tactic from the authorities, but the more the Salvadorans learned their rights, the smarter they became when dealing with the authorities. In order for the people of El Salvador to achieve what they wanted, they need to fight for it because no one would help, especially not their corrupt government. Argueta emphasizes the independence of the people and their desire to succeed and attain their rights. Argueta uses the symbol of birds to mirror the people of El Salvador being trapped and oppressed by the government and officials. He incorporates the notion that birds are “’poor little things, why should we keep them locked up? They’ll die of sadness.’ Birds can’t withstand confinement” (199). The people of El Salvador want to break down the walls of confinement and live a life free from manipulative figures yearning to forcibly oppress them. An interpretation from Argueta’s symbol of the bird could represent the migration of birds, hinting the migration of Salvadorans in order to be happy and liberated from their corrupt home. Argueta successfully takes his reader on the voyage of the citizens intensely illustrating their struggle to discover their human rights. In order to escape these abuses and truly change their ways of living, citizens discovered the act of immigration.

Some families partake in remittances where they send one family member to the United States in order for that individual to transfer money to their home country while the rest cope with their corrupt government. The idea of remittances allows the family to prosper financially instead of sitting around and doing nothing to fix their problems. Due to El Salvador’s corrupt society and abusive government, the rich get richer and the poor just get even poorer. As easy as the idea of remittances sounds, it “may be seen as one component of a longer-term understanding between a migrant and his or her family, an understanding that may involve many aspects including education of a migrant, migration itself, coinsurance, and inheritance” (Stark 478). The main motive for a family to plan around remittances is for the migrant family member to send money back to their home basically to help with everyday expenses of the family. These remittances show self-sacrifice, ethical obligation, or emotional attachment. Remittances not only benefit the migrant but his or her family as a whole. As the rest of the family suffers with the lack of public services by the government in Central America, one member of the family is given the opportunity to travel to the United States and try to make a better living for his or herself and family back home. Argueta depicts the absence of healthcare, education, and safety evident in the lives of Salvadorans. Before their realization of human rights, Argueta shows how ignorant Lupe and her family were to their right to healthcare, education, and a sense of safety in their lives. According to Engler’s article, Salvadorans fight for their right to healthcare by going on strikes and getting the attention of the oppressors. Engler argues that the “strike was not about raising salaries for doctors or about getting better benefits. The strike was to defend the right to public healthcare- health for all people- against those who want the market to decide who gets services” (8). Instead of giving everyone the right to healthcare, the system in El Salvador is constantly changing the policies on their healthcare plans. These changes do not allow poor families to receive healthcare because they have put a price and restriction on it. Statistics show that “El Salvador has only one doctor from every 2000 people and the doctors are concentrated in the cities. Hospitals, are also limited to cities and large towns, have one bed for every 922 people” (Sanders 91). Now due to the notion of  “Pay or Die,” Salvadorans do not have the funds to afford healthcare. Instead, they are forced to use herbal and traditional remedies such as plants as seen in Argueta’s example. Some less fortunate families attain even more diseases from overall poor sanitation. It is a brave act for someone to take the responsibility to migrate and work with the pressure of their families’ dependence weighed on their shoulders. The courage and heart it takes for someone to sacrifice their life in order to find a way to help their family escape the horrid living conditions of their country is honorable. Remittances “enter the picture insofar they confer prestige and social recognition, uphold the migrants reputation, convey the message of the migrants success in America, and are vehicles for the exercise of power as long as the migrant decides what use should be given to the remitted funds” (Mariano 248). The act of immigration itself is very courageous on account of an individual but taking on the role as main provider of remittances at the same time is even more challenging. It is amazing how people have been taking on this massive accountability with thoughts of their family through it all. The growth of “worldwide migrant remittances reached 68 million dollars in 2001 with 83% of that amount going to developing countries” (Mariano 231). Although there is high success rate in the transfer of money, the individual that migrates usually encounters a decline in social status due to “American attitudes towards race and ethnicity [that] frequently make migrants victims of discrimination that they did not suffer at home” (Mariano 238). It is a transition for the individual because immigration alienates and excludes them from society. However, one would rather be discriminated against rather than do nothing about the corruption in their homelands where their lives are at risk every second. Overall, remittances “enrich the migrant’s family, have the potential to produce a new class of upwardly mobile households, and can even inspire a new vocabulary to refer to the new class and its members” (Mariano 248). Financially, immigration and remittances are an effective way of prospering. However, the toll immigration can take on a family is severe.

With hopes of prosperity for the family as a unit, migrating to the United States can break a family as well. Due to the distance of El Salvador to the United States, homesickness and depression can develop. The fact that the migrant is 7856.9 km away from his family and his home is nostalgic. He or she is completely foreign to this new place. As outsiders, society view[s] migration as an indication that the family splits apart as the young move[s] away and dissociate[s] themselves from familial and traditional bondage, regardless of the negative externalities thus imposed on their families” Mariano (479). It is crucial that people need to understand the situations of these people who feel there is no other choice for them but to work out a way for their lives to be worth living. Americans should not view immigration as negative but “instead emphasize the efficiency, flexibility, and what [one] might call the dynamic of comparative advantage of the family and shifts the focus of migration theory form individual independence to mutual interdependence” (Mariano 479). Due to attachment to the family, the lonesome migrant uses the motivation of family in order to get through the troubles. Immigration and remittances is a team issue that the family, together, can help one another get through. Some Americans are uninformed of the issues that are going on in other countries because they are trapped in this bubble where life is so easy. Plenty of people do not comprehend the motives of immigrants and instead make rational assumptions.  Most people are unaware of the reasons why people choose to migrate.

Throughout American history, immigration has always been an issue within the United States, but how can immigration be an issue when America is considered a “Land of Immigrants.” This has sparked up much controversy within the general public and media as the Arizona Immigration Laws (S.B. 1070) just recently passed. They state that Arizona police officers are required to question anyone they reasonably suspect of being an undocumented person to their immigration status, and to detain them if they cannot provide papers proving their citizenship. Some might see this as an understandable and fair law, but many believe it is discrimination in its own existence and is considered an unconstitutional law.

Ultimately, the Arizona Immigration Laws, S.B. 1070, deem to be a negative effect in most aspects. Morally, it poses problems of racism and abusive profiling open in the air for law enforcement officials to choose when they decide that one looks suspicious and one does not. Financially, it has been proven that the cost surpasses the amount of benefit it offers, especially in these hard economic times. From a safety standpoint, it interferes with some communities’ main concerns, as they would be forced to prioritize immigration laws when other crimes and major issues should be their priorities. And from a constitutional perspective, the immigration law clearly violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, in which the state of Arizona is attempting to overtake a responsibility that is clearly in federal government’s power. Every element of the immigration laws has been shut down and has been proven to probable cause of more harm than good.

Today, the issue of immigration is fresh in Americans’ minds and it can be suspected that there will be more controversial issues to come in the upcoming years. Some of these include a suggested, “Dream Act”, which was proposed by Barack Obama. This would allow young people whose parents originally brought them to the United States illegally a chance to acquire citizenship if they attended college or served in the military for at least two years. Adding onto this would be a blanket policy endorsed by some members of congress and Latino activists enforcing a rule that would not allow deportations of any persons eligible for the Dream Act. All in all, as a land originally founded by immigrants, immigration is essential to our country. And although there are many different perspectives of how immigration should be handled, it is essential that any proposed law must be constitutional before being heavily considered.

Hope is the key motive that encourages the Salvadorans to endure such a lifestyle and manage to survive. Also, an important key to immigration and successful remittances is hope as well. Efforts by Central Americans to break out of their destruction homes, just like immigration debates, continue to thrive. Argueta’s One Day of Life is a great source that brings awareness to society that justifies the need for some families to depend on immigration and use of remittances. Although risks are involved and lives are on the line, taking action with hopes for change is much needed. The debates over immigration are timeless and people will always have their own opinions. However, in my opinion, there should be no argument over immigration and remittances because the Central American diasporas effectively benefit the lives of numerous Central Americans and their families.  Through their struggles to stay optimistic and have constant hope for advancing their lives, Central Americans in the United States show the successful outcomes of immigration.

Works Cited

Argueta, Manlio. One Day of Life. New York: Vintage, 1983. Print.

Engler, Mark. “Pay or Die.” Xerxes 353 (2003): 8. Academic Search Elite. Web. 26 Apr.

2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com.libproxy.csun.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a6668eb3-62ef-42b0-bf4c-9f30c7107260%40sessionmgr10&vid=2&hid=10&gt;.

Sana, Mariano. “Migrant Remittances, Social Status, and Assimilation.” 20th Century

Drama. ProQuest, 2005. Web. 16 May 2011. <http://proquest.umi.com.libproxy.csun.edu/pqdlink?Ver=1&Exp=05-14-2016&FMT=7&DID=855779571&RQT=309&clientId=17859&gt;.

Sanders, Renfield. El Salvador. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1999. Print.

Stark, Oded, and Robert E B Lucas. “Migration, Remittances, and the Family.” Economic

Development and Cultural Change 36 (1988): 465-81. Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition. Web. 3 May 2011. <http://library.csun.edu/xerxes/folder/full/lpv22956/150551&gt;.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Julianna Meares for peer editing my essay and helping me develop more ideas.

Thank you Professor Freya Rojo for helping me with my writing skills and for a great year! I’m really going to miss this class.

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Project Text: One Day of Life

Like Sand Through An Hour Glass

One Day of Life revolves around a single long day of a woman named Lupe and her family who live in El Salvador. Manlio Argueta portrays Lupe’s own emotions, reflections, and behavior from her personal experiences through descriptive imagery, dialogue, and tone. This book captures the empathy and thoughts of the readers by painting a vivid picture of the terror that fills the lives of the community struggling daily to survive in El Salvador, however their hope and optimism is never lost. Argueta’s One Day of Life effectively takes his reader on a journey to experience the repression and violation of human rights through the government’s inability to provide public service for its people. Lupe, her family, and fellow victims of human rights abuse take matters in their own hands as their individual responsibility to fight for their human rights, yet remain hopeful for change and peace.

Argueta brilliantly portrays the destruction of human rights of the people of El Salvador by the authorities in the span of one day through his novel. The readers are captivated through the growth of the characters’ knowledge of their human rights along with the amount of abuse they receive in the duration of twenty-four hours. Argueta’s dramatic description and use of imagery allows the reader to witness the pain Lupe and her family endure. The readers develop an attachment to the characters in the novel due to the images Argueta paints for his readers. Toward the beginning of the novel, Lupe experiences the realization that “something called rights existed. The right to health care, to food and to schooling for [their] children. If it hadn’t been for the priest, [they] wouldn’t have found out about those things that are in [their] interest” (Argueta 31-32). Not only did the authorizes mentally deprive Salvadorans of their rights, but they physically raped those religious figures that the people looked up to. Argueta shares a disturbing event in which “the priest was found half dead on the road to the Kilometer. They had disfigured his face, had brutalized him all over. They’d stuck a stick up his anus and it was there still. The priest’s voice could barely be heard. They found the priest’s jeep farther up the road, burned, in another ditch. As if it had ignited itself” (30).

Such disgusting and manipulative acts were done to citizens in order to make their power known to the people. The leading cause of deaths in El Salvador is homicide and violent injury, obviously by the force of the authorities. Raping a man of God was a message from the authorities that they were capable of anything. Argueta shares vivid events like the one above in order for the reader to feel that pain and sorrow for a selfless man. This incident was a scare tactic from the authorities, but the more the Salvadorans learned their rights, the smarter they became when dealing with the authorities. Argueta shows the slow progression of the citizens freedom and independence through their ability “to rely on [their] own resources. [They] learned to look out for [them]selves” (32). Because their government was not helping them due to financial issues, the people of El Salvador were simply on their own. In order for them to achieve what they wanted, they need to fight for it because no one would help, especially not their corrupt government. Argueta emphasizes the independence of the people and their desire to thrive and attain their rights. Argueta uses the symbol of birds to mirror the people of El Salvador being trapped and oppressed by the government and officials. He incorporates the notion that birds are “’poor little things, why should we keep them locked up? They’ll die of sadness.’ Birds can’t withstand confinement” (199). The people of El Salvador thrive to break down of the walls of confinement and live a life free from manipulative figures yearning to forcibly oppress them. Argueta successfully takes his reader on the journey of the citizens intensely illustrating their struggle to discover their human rights.

The lack of public services is the responsibility of the government and liability to its people.  Argueta depicts the absence of healthcare, education, and safety evident in the lives of Salvadorans. Before their realization of human rights, Argueta shows how ignorant Lupe and her family were to their right to healthcare, education, and a sense of safety in their lives. According to Engler’s article, Salvadorans fight for their right to healthcare by going on strikes and getting the attention of the oppressors. Engler argues that the “strike was not about raising salaries for doctors or about getting better benefits. The strike was to defend the right to public healthcare- health for all people- against those who want the market to decide who gets services” (8). Instead of giving everyone the right to healthcare, the system in El Salvador is constantly changing the policies on their healthcare plans. These changes do not allow poor families to receive healthcare because they have put a price and restriction on it. Statistics show that “El Salvador has only one doctor from every 2000 people and the doctors are concentrated in the cities. Hospitals, are also limited to cities and large towns, have one bed for every 922 people” (Sanders 91). Now due to the notion of  “Pay or Die,” Salvadorans do not have the funds to afford healthcare. Instead, they are forced to use herbal and traditional remedies such as plants as seen in Argueta’s example. Some less fortunate families attain even more diseases from overall poor sanitation. As much as healthcare is a necessity, so is education. Argueta emphasizes the gift of education for the children “so that they won’t grow up ignorant…so that they’ll better understand the problem… of the farmworkers!” (173). Argueta forms this idea that the children are the future and they deserve to grow up properly with a decent education. However, education is limited “due to the severe shortage of schools and teachers, especially in rural areas. Many children never attend school. About 40 percent of those who begin primary school do not finish, either because they are needed to help their parents on the family farm or because the compulsory education law is not enforced” (Sanders 91). Argueta uses the character of Adolfina to successfully depict the need for education. Adolfina is seen as the youth and future of the novel. The elders in the novel are hopeful for Adolfina to live a better life than they did. The readers develop a drive for Adolfina to surpass the obstacles and become the educated future and legacy of the family. Argueta illustrates his characters in constant fear for their surroundings are not safe. Every second of their lives are precious and at risk. The El Salvador government claims they appointed “a new civilian national police to replace the old internal security forces that had been accused of violating human rights… The bloodshed and agony of the 1980s have ended, but the achievement of a lasting peace remains a long-term goal for Salvadorans” (Sanders 97). If this is so, how come there are still protests and violations of human rights in El Salvador present today? The government says they are not behind any of those operations yet they claimed to hire new police. Argueta depicts the irony of the government indirectly through the lack of public services from the government. The Salvadoran government states their aid and support for their people yet their refusal to take action speaks louder.

Hope is the key motive that encourages the Salvadorans to endure such a lifestyle and manage to survive. Argueta emphasizes the struggles they go through just in one day. Imagine months and years of living in such oppression. Lupe and her family are determined to live their lives one day at a time doing whatever they can. They realize they need to work together as a community to survive because their government, due to selfish and financial reasons, will not provide them aid. They stick through their harsh lifestyle, hope for the best, and try to take matters in their own hands. After all the abuse and hatred toward them, they thrive to keep going and cope with their lives. Argueta internally and externally shows his reader the absurdity taking place in El Salvador and manages to successfully bring awareness to the audience and other figures to possibly aid the violence taking place. The audience was able to feel for themselves the cruelty and abuse of human rights because their government chose not to supply public service. As victims of human rights abuse, Lupe and her clan continue to rebel against the oppressors and try to attain their rights somehow. Although these issues are not fully fixed, Argueta’s book alone is helpful in showing the world the brave and courageous One Day of Life of Lupe and her family.

Annotated Bibliography

Argueta, Manlio. One Day of Life. New York: Vintage, 1983. Print.

This novel is my primary source. I incorporate this book as a comparison, allowing my reader to see how severe the conditions of humans rights is in El Salvador and how much more tragic it is in Honduras.  This novel was my inspiration for this paper because the issue of repression and violation of human rights is so immense and vividly portrayed in this novel.

Booth, John A., Christine J. Wade, and Thomas W. Walker. Understanding Central

America: Global Forces, Rebellion, and Change. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2010. Print.

This book helped me research on Central America and the countries that made up this area. I used this book to further my knowledge about the countries. I was able to learn more about the global forces, rebellions, and change that is currently taking place. This book is great background information.

Engler, Mark. “Pay or Die.” Xerxes 353 (2003): 8. Academic Search Elite. Web. 26 Apr.

2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com.libproxy.csun.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a6668eb3-62ef-42b0-bf4c-9f30c7107260%40sessionmgr10&vid=2&hid=10&gt;.

This article presents great information dealing with the issue of healthcare and how the government of El Salvador has stripped their people of their human rights. The government’s plan is to have a private healthcare system which gives those the choice to pay or die. Manuel Villanueva, National Program Director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador states,  “This strike was not about raising salaries for doctors or about getting better benefits. The strike was to defend the right to public healthcare- health for all people- against those who want the market to decide who gets services” (8).

Fitzpatrick, Molly. “El Salvador: A Story of Hope and Perseverance.” UN Chronicle 43.3

(2006). Wilson Web. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com.libproxy.csun.edu/hww/results/results_

single.jhtml;hwwilsonid=K0SQAC02JEYDVQA3DILCFGGADUNGIIV0>

This journal article states the ongoing problems that El Salvador has been dealing with. The article gives the reader an overwhelming sense of hope for the people due to the poverty, gangs, violence, and economic problems. These problems stem out to even more problems due to the impact on its people. The experiences can be traumatizing and it is heartbreaking. The people are being affected so harshly and the government is doing nothing to stop the destruction.

Sanders, Renfield. El Salvador. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1999. Print.

This book focused mainly on the general information of El Salvador. The book was useful to my paper because it explored their government in a different perspective. The book also discusses the changes in society due to the civil war. It has taken a toll on its people due to the battles between the government and gorillas that damaged El Salvador’s economy. The damage of the 1980s is still evident through the efforts of maintaining peace.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Haley Mojica for peer editing my paper.

I would like to thank Freya Rojo for giving me feedback for my essay and helping me find sources to incorporate into my essay.

I would like to thank Raz Zapanta for rereading my essay for me.


Today’s Special: Sexism

Driving from California State University, Northridge into the city of Van Nuys was a great shift in landscape, culture, and space. As I drove closer to the Van Nuys area, the streets began to be filled with traffic and sidewalks were crowded with people walking around or standing waiting for the bus. While analyzing the new space surrounding me, the architecture of the buildings and houses were obviously older than those of the ones in Northridge next to campus. The billboards and advertisements shifted from English and more American to Spanish and more Hispanic. Supermarkets and restaurants in the area were more ethnic, exclusively Latino and Central American based. While in the area of Panorama City and Van Nuys, I visited two El Salvaordean restaurants: Pura Uva Mami and Restaurante Cali Viejo. It came to my attention that the waitresses at both restaurants were dressed disparately. Due to the expectations of the owner as a business tactic or possibly the climate of their hometown, El Salvador, the waitresses were dressed differently. The issue of sexism is present in the space of these El Salvadorian restaurants due to expectations of the women to dress a certain way in order to attract customers, most importantly male. Some restaurants use the tactic of attracting male customers who have most likely immigrated by themselves and come to eat at restaurants to find cultural food but stay for the attractive waitresses.

Before jumping to conclusion and judging the waitress at Restaurante Cali Viejo because of her promiscuous uniform, researching online to affirm the weather and typical attire in El Salvador was needed. Due to the hot climate in Central America, it is a recommendation to wear weightless fabrics and light colors in order to pass the heat. Also, El Salvadorean’s “in their daily lives… wear modest, casual clothing that is colorful and comfortable…Tight skirts covered their curvy figures… Skirts were worn at ankle length, modestly covering the legs. Topping the skirt was a long-sleeved lace blouse buttoned up to the neck” (Ehow). Pura Uva Mami’s Spanish and English speaking waitress was dressed conservatively in a white t-shirt with a black tank top under and black loose fitting pants with very light pink makeup and a huge welcoming smile on her face. However, the Restaurante Cali Viejo solely Spanish speaking waitress wore a short jean mini skirt, a tight blue shirt with the El Salvadorian Flag, with dark blue eye shadow excessively applied to match her shirt. The waitress at Pura Uva Mami met the expectations of the traditional El Salvadorian, covering up to her neck down to her ankles, while the Cali Viejo waitress was dressed in a more provocative, not traditionally at all. El Salvadorian women were accustomed to wear pieces of clothing that covered a majority of their bodies. In El Salvador, cleavage and nothing above the ankle should even be exposed. The waitress at Cali Viejo was not dressed due to her traditions. Perhaps her attire embodies a plead for attention and motive for tips from the male customers who appreciate her little outfits.

In an interview I composed, I spoke directly to the waitress and owner at Pura Uva Mami. The waitress informed me that she has also visited Restaurante Cali Viejo, the other restaurant I am also analyzing. She compared their work ethics and her appearance to the other waitress and noticed the difference in their choice of clothing. Although it can be argued that the waitress at Cali Viejo was trying to mimic the clothing usually worn in El Salvador due to the damp climate, during cold weather in California, it would not be reasonable to dress in short skirts and wear heavy make up. The climate in California does not come close to the humidity in El Salvador. I came to conclusion, with the help of the waitress and owner at Pura Uva Mami that the waitress’ boss at Cali Viejo most likely constructed that sort of attire a type of uniform for her and the other waitresses. While speaking to the boss at Pura Uva Mami, he stated that he has say over how his employees dress. He said that he wants his waitresses to be comfortable but be presentable at the same time, wearing plainly black and white. As an owner, he informed me that it is his duty to give the waitresses a uniform; they cannot just wear whatever they desire. Part of owning a business is making sure all those aspects are taken care of. Ironically, I would imagine that naming a restaurant “Pura Uva Mami,” referring to a phrase men would compliment women with in order to woo them in El Salvador, would be more sexism and expect waitresses to dress more promiscuously.

Attractive and tightly dressed women are hired for businesses, especially restaurants like Hooters and Restaurante Cali Viejo, in order to attract more customers, mainly men, in order to bring in more money and income. Aside from food and drinks, sexism is also served in restaurants. At most food place, female waitresses are prized weapons used to work their magic in order to sell more products and gain more tips. Believe it or not, “men who dine at Hooters restaurants have certain expectations, some of which may have to do with food and drink. But the chain’s primary attraction, waitresses of ample bosom and less than ample costume, got some measure of legal protection. The company settled a class action in Chicago brought by men who claimed sexual discrimination when the chain refused to hire them as waiters” (Time). Business owners prefer the appeal of women over men due to the benefits that result from hiring a waiter over waitress. Women have the power to dress, talk, walk, and look a certain way in order to use it to their advantages. Studies show that women who present themselves in an attractive matter and wear “make-up attract 25 per cent more in tips than their fresh-faced counterparts” (Dailymail.com). These tactics are aimed toward male customers, not so much women. It becomes evident that majority of men are lured by this tactic because researches have found, through an experiment, that “186 men and 98 women who all lunched alone in the same restaurant, [was] served by two waitresses aged 19 and 20…Psychologist Ingrid Collins, from the London Medical Centre, said men tipped the made-up waitresses more because they appeared more sexually alluring – and also because the cosmetics made them seem more child-like and needy. She said: ‘The object of make-up is to enhance the features, making the eyes bigger and the mouth fuller, much like the proportions of a baby’s face. Women look more vulnerable but alternatively the enlargement of the lips suggests sexual availability and arousal. ‘It makes men feel they need to be masculine and tipping, providing for this need, does that rather well’”(Dailymail.com). Restaurants not only need delicious and unique food to flourish, but they also need attractive women to serve their food in order to fully serve their customers, aiming especially toward men. In an academic journal news article, the author Milfor Prewitt writes about the same issue of sexism present in restaurants. Marchadier states, “I think women add a sexy element to fine dining. It’s nice to be served by charming, beautiful women” (Not for Men Only).  There is just something about women and their people skills that allows them to lure and charm others. Business owners formed this scheme of using attractive women to seduce their male customers to result in a bigger check and tip. It seems as though women need to sell themselves first in order to sell other products.

Have you ever heard the saying, “business is business?” For some restaurants, they take advantage of women’s sex appeal and use it against the nature of men. This endless cycle is a complete unethical business scheme. Waitresses are told to look and dress a certain way to magnetize men and their money. Instead of using other methods to advertise and catch the attention of others to bring in more business, it is easier, more convenient, and cheaper to hire waitresses that have the appeal to keep bringing in customers. An easy target for Central American restaurants to aim toward is the Central American man who traveled alone to the United States. Targeting these men are effective because they miss their traditional food but they miss their culture’s women even more.

Works Cited

Prewitt, Milford. “Not for Men Only: Fine Dining Urged to Hire Females.” Nation’s Restaurant

News V. 34 No. 30 (July 24 2000) P. 1, 30, 36, 150, 34.30 (2000): 1. Web. 21 Mar.2011

Pura Uva Mami: Owner Interview. Rec. 14 Mar. 2011. Leanne Villarivera, 2011. MP3.

Pura Uva Mami: Waitress Interview. Rec. 14 Mar. 2011. Leanne Villarivera, 2011. MP3.

What Every Waitress Should Know If They Want to up Their Tips by 25 per Cent..”

Dailymail.com. Jo Macfarlane, 1 June 2009. Web. 21 Mar. 2011. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1189756/What-waitress-wear-want-tips-25-cent-.html&gt;.

“What Kind of Clothes Do El Salvadorans Wear?” Ehow.com. Web. 16 Mar. 2011.

<http://www.ehow.com/about_5468069_kind-do-el-salvadorans-wear.html&gt;.

Zagorin, Adam. “Sexism Will Be Served.” Time V. 150 (October 13 1997) P. 65, 150 (1997): 65.

Web. 21 Mar. 2011.

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Freya Rojo for helping me develop my ideas.

I would like to thank Brendan Yaffe and Raz Zapanta for peer editing my essay.

I would like to thank the owner and waitress at Pura Uva Mami for the interviews.

 

 


Funding the Education of Undocumented Immigrants

Article twenty-six of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states,

Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace (Tennant).

Education is a right that all human beings should be given access to, no matter the circumstance. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights simply states that as a human being, education is a necessity. Especially at a young age, children are needed to attend school to be able to learn right from wrong and attain some sort of structure and order. Education, in any individual, is necessary to better insure a nation as well. Education gives our future the opportunity to advance. Educating individuals will benefit our nation allowing improvement and success. No debate should even exist on whether or not people should be receiving an education. However, the funding of education has been an ongoing dispute when the issue of immigration is added into the equation. This issue is vividly portrayed in the picture below.

Although funding the education of undocumented immigrants is what I believe should be done, some believe otherwise. Advocating the spread of education to immigrants will only benefit our nation. Depriving individuals of their human right is not something I would want to be carrying on my shoulders. America’s view on funding education for illegal immigrants is controversial because children do not have the power to change what their parents predetermined for them. Documented or undocumented, American’s should fund the education of immigrants and fulfill their right to learning.

In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address,

he tackles the issue of education and immigration. Although he states that he wants to improve our efforts to protect our boarders, he advocates the education of the children of undocumented immigrants. President Obama understands that “some are the children of undocumented workers [who] had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet they live every day with the threat of deportation.  Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities.  But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us.  It makes no sense” (Obama). President Obama understands the situations of
most students and their families. He does not feel a need to punish and deprive students of education because they are not considered citizens of the United States due to their parents’ inability to attain papers. Although President Obama is understanding of undocumented students, he does not tolerate students being lazy and not caring about their education. President Obama clearly states his high expectation for the students in his nation. He motives students to excel in school so that he himself will be motivated to provide the best possible education for them. President Obama believes that our nation should “stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation” (Obama). President Obama supports the sponsorship of education to all human beings, complying to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With papers or without, President Obama does not consider the citizenship of individuals. Instead, he focuses on supplying all individuals located in his nation with access to education.

Programs that advocate the funding of undocumented immigrants are the Dream Act and the in-state tuition program. An article furthering President Obama’s idea talks about the Dream Act which allows young undocumented immigrants to attain citizenship by either joining in the armed forces or attending two years of school in more advanced education (Ebcohost). The Dream Act guides undocumented immigrants toward legal status.  The in-state tuition program ensures the rights of undocumented immigrants. The in-state tuition program promotes access to higher education and a more reasonable and affordable approach to schooling for students. In an NPR audio interview clip (calif-upholds-in-state-tuition-for-illegal-immigrants), a student explains how in-state tuition programs allow undocumented students “at University of California campuses [to pay] $10,302, while out-of-state students are charged $33,181” (Gonzales). This discount is extremely helpful for undocumented college students who have a hard time funding their education. Since financial aid is only eligible to citizens, in-state tuition is financially helpful to undocumented students. Although “the federal law clearly indicated the intention of Congress to stop states from granting discounted or in-state tuition to unlawful aliens,” the California law advocates in-state tuition to lessen the problems of undocumented students. (Gonzales). The federal and California law have different viewpoints but the California law is more focused on the rights and well being of the people. The fact that the national law does not favor the Universal Law of Human Rights by voting no on in-state tuition is bewildering. A national law regarding individuals’ education does not coincide with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating the privileges all human beings are entitled to. Regardless of status, no one should be deprived of education even if they do not have the papers and money to attain it themselves. As Americans, we should live up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ensure all individuals admission to their human rights.

If our world were designed in a way where only a certain amount of individuals were offered access to education, our nation would be greatly endangered.  A study has proven that “foreign-born adults have less education than native-born citizens [which] raise the rates of poverty, welfare use and lack of medical insurance” (USA Today). Providing education for individuals prevent undocumented immigrants from later getting into more problems. As a human right, education is crucial in the life of an individual. Attaining an education leads to great success for one’s future. Allowing all individuals to attend schooling for an adequate education advances those individuals in society and accomplish an adequate education. For most undocumented immigrants, their right to education has been terminated due to problems with funding. In order for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states “everyone has a right to education,” to be in full effect, Americans should be the advocators for this problem and aim toward education in their nation even for people that are alien to our country.

Annotated Bibliography

California Upholds In-State Tuition For Illegal Immigrants. Rec. 17 Nov. 2010. Richard

Gonzales, 2010. Npr.org. 17 Nov. 2010. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

<http://www.npr.org/2010/11/17/131392709/calif-upholds-in-state-tuition-for-illegal-

immigrants>.

This audio clip provides evidence for my argument. A 20-year-old college student tells

his story and experience of being an immigrant college student. His father is a Central American immigrant from El Salvador and his mother an immigrant from Philippines. After learning that he was undocumented, he later learned that he could attend a local junior college by simply paying in-state tuition rate, which is a discount given to students who attended California High Schools for three years. This audio clip is useful because I focus on the conflict between California law and federal law due to the federal statement “that says illegal immigrants may not receive benefits based on residency, or benefits unavailable to all citizens” (Gonzales). However, Schulman argues that since it is an ineligible task to give financial aid to undocumented immigrants, this in-state tuition is the best thing to do.

“Center Says Immigrants’ Lack of Education Hurts Country.” USA Today. ProQuest, 29 Nov.

2007. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

<http://web.ebscohost.com.libproxy.csun.edu/ehost/detail?hid=8&sid=02319b6b-0892-4a3d-9fb0-8f0384701c78%40sessionmgr10&vid=1&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=afh&AN=J0E307566370707&gt;.

In this database article, the Center of Immigration Studies promotes the idea that immigration should be limited due to its negative effect on the country. Statistics were taken and prove the fact that “foreign-born adults have less education than native-born citizens and raise the rates of poverty” (USA Today). The center counter argues my argument in fighting for the funding of immigrants to be disastrous because the funding is ruining our countries economy and is making it seem as though our country is open to illegal immigration when they are here illegally.

“Let Them Have a DREAM.” 397.8710 (2010): 16. EBCOhost. Web. 9 Feb. 2011.

<http://web.ebscohost.com.libproxy.csun.edu/ehost/detail?hid=7&sid=2dff7895-5838-43b4-b7f8-6d8a50c51e31%40sessionmgr13&vid=1&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=afh&AN=55485479&gt;.

This database article furthers the ideas that President Obama stated in the State of the Union Address. The Dream Act is criticized as just an ongoing problem that Obama says but does not endorse.  The article depicts much disappoint because the immigration problems in America are noticed but not enacted on. The Dream Act is a great idea but will evidently become a big mess. The Dream Act provides young undocumented immigrants education (if one spends at least two years) and citizen rights when apart of the armed forces. Once a student has attended two years of college or the military, they are considered to be legal US residents. Immigrants are open to many opportunities and should take advantage of these privileges wisely because it is a blessing.

Full Rights of Immigrants. 2005. Photograph. Answernational. 16 Oct. 2005. Web. 30

Jan. 2011.

<http://www2.answercoalition.org/site/PhotoAlbumUser?view=UserPhotoDetail&PhotoID=14109&position=1&AlbumID=5556&gt;.

I selected this image to best depict the issue of whether or not Americans should fund the education of undocumented immigrants. This picture depicts the struggle of immigrants who fight for their human rights, more importantly their right to education. As one can see to the left of the picture, these are immigrants are holding a sign saying, “Education is a Right!” Yes, immigrants do have the right to education but should this right be at the expense of Americans? Immigrants come to America because they would like to experience better opportunities such as education. Should America not advocate the education of immigrants and not allow them access to their full human rights?  The hundreds of immigrants voluntarily march with posters and signs in order to expand the awareness of full rights of immigrants. These immigrants feel they have been being treated unjustly and deserve to be given at least access to education. If I were to put myself in the shoes of these immigrants, I would be able to experience the ongoing effort for immigrants to receive their God-given human rights.

Obama Addresses Illegal Immigration and Education. Perf. Barack Obama. Youtube.com. CBS,

25 Jan. 2011. Web. 9 Feb. 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5Y1ExlzaWU&feature=relmfu

President Obama takes on the issue of protecting our boarders and enforcing laws in order to prevent illegal immigration. Obama does not blame children for their parents’ inability to be documented, instead he evidently brings awareness to our nation that we are allowing undocumented students receive advanced education, but we later send them back to their native land where they use the educated we funded against us. Although these children live in the United States and grew up as citizens, they live in fear of being caught with no papers. Obama believes that these children have nothing to do with their inability to have papers. He blames their parents for not being able to attain those papers for the children who are victims.

Tennant, David. We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

London: Frances Lincoln Children’s in Association with Amnesty International, 2008. Print.

This book states the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I use Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to support my claim stating that every person has the right to education. Article 26 further emphasizes a human’s right to education with no exceptions. I use a quote from Article 26 to introduce my essay with facts in order to drag my reader in.

Waters, Mary C., and Karl Eschbach. ” Immigration and Ethnic and Racial Inequality in

the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology 21 (1995): 419-46. JSTOR. Web.

2 Feb. 2011. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/2083417&gt;.

This journal article further researches the ongoing issue of inequality towards immigrants such as the right to education. I am using this article because it looks into the struggles immigrants took on economically and socially. The journal article focuses on how immigrants need to adapt and how they are minorities therefore treated differently. This journal article justifies my argument stating that immigrants, due to ethnicity and racism, are treated unjustly in the United States. Biased issues dealing with education, employment, healthcare, etc. automatically become issues for immigrants. This journal article also looks into the affect immigration has on the children on recent immigrants and how this struggle will continue to flourish unless justice is given to all. Children are the main focus in this article due to their struggle to thrive for an education in a country that says to be “the land of opportunity” but seems to isolate immigrants from those opportunities.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my CAS 114B class for giving me ideas with my essay.

I would like to thank Professor Freya Rojo for guiding me in my writing.

I would also like to thank Professor Mitchell for helping me as well.

I would like to thank Mason Brown and Raz Zapanta for peer editing my essay.