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Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the I.N.S - Essay Example

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From the book, it is easy to have a clear overview of the operations of the INS, and the manner in which INS dealt with the growers and other agencies like the…
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Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the I.N.S
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Book Review- Inside the The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the I.N.S. The book gives a clear history on the administrative history of the INS in the course of the Bracero program. From the book, it is easy to have a clear overview of the operations of the INS, and the manner in which INS dealt with the growers and other agencies like the Department of Labor. The book is of a historical subject and is well organized in chapters that clearly take the reader through the major themes of the book.
From the work, Calavita analyses the Bracero program, as well as analysed how the two institutions- Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Labor Department debated over the Bracero program (109). However, Calavita is wary of the fact that the implementation of the Bracero program could not manage to sort out the issue of illegal migration, but more issues resurfaced as the contradictions could not be resolved (112).
For instance, Calavita writes the chapter of the formative years that give the reader a clear understanding of the past times prior to the control by INS (18). The next chapter is one that explains the formalization and the informal control, with the inclusion of the Bracero Program in the system (Calavita 42). Then Calavita goes to the ‘Let’s make a deal’ chapter (73) that slowly brings the reader closer to the author’s ideas, to the chapter of ‘Wrangling with the Department’ (113). With this organization of chapters, one would argue that the book is systematically planned in terms themes so as bring out the general view of administrative history of the INS.
Calavita proves her thesis by indicating that the program realized that Mexico was a reliable source of cheap labor (28). Mexican farm workers are seen to arrive in California by 1942 to 1964, so as to sort out the labor shortage in the times of war. This program is indicated to sort out the problem a great deal, while the INS was on the move to ensure that the Mexican migrant workers would be termed as legal workers, an aspect that was to be later defined as undocumented migration (29). Calavita clearly indicates that by 1949, about 74600 Braceros acquired contracts from Mexico, 142000 undocumented workers were officially recognized, and directly contracted to the growers (28-9). What is alarming is that the INS provided both legal and illegal immigrations from Mexico, a serious blow to the farmers in American. Calavita commends the ideas of the entrance of ‘new foreigners’ in the American ‘heaven’ (23). According to Calavita, this can be explained as bureaucratic issues that the government faced while dealing with the unlawful migration (29). This fact reinforces the major theme of illegal migrations brought out in the work.
The book is a compulsory read as it is an effortless and fast read on the rise and collapse of the Bracero worker program, and the implications on the immigration policies. In spite of its fall, the program was able run from 1942-64 effectively shipping farm workers from Mexico to US temporarily.
Work cited
Calavita, Kitty. Inside the State: The Bracero Program, Immigration, and the I.N.S. New York: Routledge. 1992. Print. Read More
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