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Central American Migration - Essay Example

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Running head: History and Political Science Central American Migration Insert Name Insert Grade Course Insert 18 May 2012 Introduction Central America has a history of internal and external migrations shaped by patterns of land concentrations and forced labor recruitment experienced during the colonial period (Gutierrez 188)…
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Central American Migration
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Download file to see previous pages Due to social and economic pressures, the United States government and some of her people opposed the entry of Central Americans to the United States through various policies. This led to new immigrants fleeing war experiencing economic and other social problems although they contributed immensely to the economy. Central American Migration War, persecution, and violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua due to political upheavals spurred the mass migration of their citizens into the United States (Gutierrez 188). The migration occurred in phases with the elites fleeing first followed by professionals and the middle class and lastly, the poor working class. Nicaraguan migrants went to the US in three waves with the first consisting of the overthrown Somoza family and their associates, wealthy business peoples and members of the National guard in 1970s followed by the middle class professionals and business people in the 1980s and lastly, the poor workers and young men escaping recruitment in the contra war (Gutierrez 195). Their flight, unlike the Cubans, was not welcome by the American government who classified them as illegal aliens and used varied ways to try to stop their entry into United States. Even after conditions improved in their home countries, many Central Americans did not return home due to a variety of reasons. The end of hostilities did not improve their security at home. In Nicaragua, former contras and fragments of Sandinista army continued to fight especially in rural areas. In El Salvador and Guatemala death squads and vigilante groups also operated (Gutierrez 196). This coupled with increased crime rates reduced the number of immigrants willing to return home and led to many more Central Americans migrating to United States. Depending on their social economic status, Central Americans used several strategies to survive in the harsh United States. Wealthy immigrants used their economic resources and business connections to buy assets in the United States on which they lived comfortably. Many exiles including the Somoza family transferred their assets to Miami banks in the late 1970s, and they moved into fashionable residences in key Biscayne and Brickell Avenue where they invested heavily on condominiums in the suburban western edge of the city (Portes and Stepick 227). These were later to be sold to Nicaraguan professionals and business people during the second wave of migration. This group experienced tough economic hardships on United States soil, and the majority worked in unskilled trades to earn a daily living due to the uncertain future. The professionals gradually moved into their fields of work and some steadily advanced in a professional capacity because of prior work experience in their country of origin. Professionals used existing friendships with Cuban Americans, developed in school, to get financing to start their own businesses (Portes and Stepick 153). The peasants and Nicaragua workers migrated chiefly due to war and economic hardships brought about by war. Nicaraguan peasants and workers migrated because of the United States sponsored contra war. They became unskilled laborers in the host country. The United States could now access cheap labor easily, a thing that impacted positively on her economic growth. The resolution by the US to pigeonhole Nicaraguan immigrant’s illegal aliens exposed them to very many challenges because they did not receive any benefits ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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