Chomsky’s goal in Undocumented: How Immigration became Illegal is to show the complex, inconsistent formation of illegal immigration. She looks at contributing factors of this flawed system, which range from individuals to governments; states to the global economy. The book also depicts how changes in the past and present global economy have created illegal immigration through a “dual labor market which some workers become upward mobile, while others are structurally stuck at the bottom” (9). Chomsky specifically shows how the United States has created reliance on cheap labor throughout the decades and how American presence has made Latin American workers dependent on migration. On a larger scale, the book shows that global economies (consumers, producers and governments) have all benefited on illegal immigration labor by creating a “necessary workforce that legalizes inequality” (14).
All cultures and economies revolve around working. However, the role of work itself has changed over the centuries, majorly shifting in the twentieth century due to economic fluctuations. Before economic downturns such as the Great Depression, work was seen as a burden. The wealthy and prestigious hired out labor so they would not have to perform work. Thus, it was attractive not to work. After the economic downturn though, jobs became scarce and consequentially so did the concept of work. Having a job was now associated with being educated, skilled and sophisticated. Work then shifted to be a privilege (26). This concept has continued to peruse even in today’s job market and economy. This shift created a dual labor market system which created a division of white and blue collar occupations. One labor market has progressi...
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...osperity of a few by the exploitation of many” (208). Undocumented acknowledged that by keeping immigrants illegal, they can be exploited legally. These points are strong in logic and reasoning from an economic standpoint, showing the deeper roots and causes that lay benefit the surface issue of illegal immigration.
With controversial topics as such, it proves to be difficult to write a balance viewpoint. Cromsky depicted all Mexican immigrants to be positively contributing members to American economy. Although some do improve the United States’ economy and different communities, there are many negative consequences that she failed to mention. In addition, Undocumented framed the government’s immigration policies as rash and unthought-out. The truth though, is that there are most likely well thought-out and planned explanations for the current immigration policies.
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