Transnational Lives of New Immigrants

In this book, transnationalism is defined by the author as the practices and relationships connecting migrants and their kids with the home country. It is assumed that contemporary immigrants lived simultaneously in their homes and the host country. On the other hand, the second bunch of immigrants to the U.S. cut loose ties with their motherland and built new lives in and around the host countries. The expected results from these behaviors were retardation of cultural and structural assimilation.

The comparisons between the first generation and the second generation are highly visible. The first generation’s status of immigration is mostly undocumented, while the second generation started achieving work permits or permanent residency status. The acquisition of these documents facilitated movement across border through the 1986 Amnesty and later family reunification Acts. Relationship between the home country and generation’s identity is affected by differences between immigration statuses.

The second generation is more connected to their home country. This is shown by the urge to send money back home while they are working in America. Association between the Mexican immigrants and the Americans has a great political influence as seen in the governorship of the Puebla state. This association did not have major impacts on breaking the racial barriers.

On the issue of culture oppression, the author leaves the analysis open to readers. He does not analyze the root causes of the problem. On the issue of gender, the author damages the simplistic notion that when Mexicans move to the U.S. they collapse into a crisis of failed machismo and women leap into liberation. Male supremacy in the Mexican society is still dominant and can be hurtful and disempowering. He also shows that rarely does the Mexican forget their identity even after being in a host country for that long. Gender ideologies shows that first and second generation of immigrants had a relationship with Spanish terminologies as they are able to employ them while communicating.

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