Patricia Zavella's Novel

In her novel, I’m Neither Here nor There: Mexican’s Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty, Patricia Zavella notes that there have been many indecent treatments of the Mexican Americans living in the United States of America. This is a very unfair experience because Mexicans have been allowed to freely move into the United States until recently when they started to block their entry. What made the matters worse in the poor treatment was the knowledge that there were no restrictions in the movement of the Mexicans into the United States. After the Mexico War, some Mexicans were moved to the US as Mexico lost some of its territory to United States. Those who lived in the region were allowed to retain their ways of life including their language. The author writes, 

‘The Treaty of Guadalupe granted US citizenship to those Mexicans living in what would become the United States and guaranteed to them the right to keep their land and use the Spanish language- rights that directly affected my relatives born in what became northern Mexico”

After all the legislations that did not stop immigrants from Mexico, into the United States, there was a feeling of segregation by the Americans towards the Mexicans.

“Migrants from Mexico and Mexican Americans” often feel “betwixt and between” not fully assimilated or accepted by the dominant society”

The above quotes from the book show that there is a double stand by the Americans with regard to the Mexican immigrants. While they allow them to come onto their country to do the jobs they do not want to do, they at the same time refuse them some of the basic needs for working people. They disallow them driving licenses yet the Mexicans feel that they would need to drive to work. This double standard is harmful and has led the Mexican Americans to develop the slogan that I’m neither here nor there.

The author made these assertions about the treatment of the Mexicans from the Americans when she realizes that they were suffering at heart. They often received mistreatments just because they were not Native Americans. Zavella notes that:

Migrants make invaluable contributions to the US economy through their labor, consumption and uncollected taxes, and, through remittances, they generate the second highest revenue source for the Mexican economy.

She makes sense when she describes that there has been free flow of labor from Mexico to the US in the 19th century yet the legislations to ensure that they lived comfortably has been neglected.

The fact that the Americans have accepted Mexicans into their country, they should provide them with the necessary legal documents. They should ensure that there are ways to regulate immigration if they feel that there is more immigration than they desire. Those who are already in the country should be treated well and proper punitive mechanisms towards those who racially abuse Mexicans developed. This would reduce the conflict and give the Mexican Americans with a more homely atmosphere. This would not only increase their productivity, but also create an improved coexistence between the native Americans and the Mexican Americans.

Some of the main strengths of Zavella’s work were the step-by-step research methods that she applied in her research. It took her and her colleagues over a decade to come up with the report and this was enough time to learn and document effectively the dynamics of the society. However, the main weakness in her work was that she only used 79 respondents to determine the lives of the thousands of the Mexican immigrants in the US. This was statistically too low to be used as a good representation of the population

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