Migrant Youth Research Paper

1399 Words6 Pages
Children growing up in a migrant family learn the life of workers early in their lives. Each season, a new generation of young children join their families and the returning veterans in the cross over. The journey is a rigorous one. Yet, despite the deaths, tragedies, and the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent illegal immigration, the migrant workers are illegally crossing the border at a higher rate than ever. On this journey, young men and women sacrifice their families, traditions, and too often their lives in exchange for a flashy pair of shoes, a baseball hat, and ultimately the American dream. The migrant youth is bombarded by powerful influences such as music, television media, and advertising which transform the illegal Latinos…show more content…
Television can mold one’s way of thinking based solely on the biased reports broadcasted across the nation to millions of homes of both illegal immigrants and Americans. A great example of how strong these influences are is Alfredo. He is a migrant worker in his mid-twenties who has crossed the border illegally many times. Mr. Martinez defines and identifies this cholo attitude when he describes Alfredo: a “migrant outlaw…He dresses like a gangsta, he drives a tricked-out gangsta‘s car, he‘s down with the homeboys of the Sur XIII clique….” (Martinez, pg. 122) How does one escape this transformation, when televised media promotes gang related material, gang related music, and gang related ideals through daily television shows, movies, and other televised advertisements? Everywhere the illegal immigrants go they see the same promotions. They start desiring the hottest trends. They fantasize about becoming Tony Montana, a mafia leader and drug lord, from Al Pacino’s hit movie Scarface. Yet, this fantasy rarely, if ever, comes true. As new migrants make the illegal trip north into the U.S. they have to adapt to a whole new life style. Alfredo is a man who was strongly influenced by this culture and mind-set as a child. As a youngster he developed a firm opinion about the white man. When he moved the Illinois after his grandma died he started working and helping with the…show more content…
The goal of advertising companies is to control the attitudes, behaviors, and fashions of the people as a whole. The advertising industry is the main promoter of all cultures. It influences the politics, world wide propaganda, ideas, and knowledge of billions of people around the world. Illegal immigrants from Mexico are very poor and many do not own CD players, radios, or TV’s in their native towns. When they reach the United States they come prepared for everything but a cultural transformation which influences every aspect of their life. Advertising is a corporate mind game which is specifically made to shape new immigrants and lead them to American conformity. At one point in the story Mr. Martinez tells about Alfredo’s very American suggestion: “’Time for cruising,’ Alfredo says, switching the CD player blasting rap tune by Crucial Conflict…” (Martinez, pg. 124) This is a typical scene which can be seen in any urban setting in America. Cruising the streets is a sign of fearlessness for these “cholos”. It is instilled with in them as soon as they start roaming the streets of the U.S. Now, as Martinez said, “there are Latino and African American kids on similar rides, also pumping the hip-hop bass, honking their horns at pretty girls, throwing hard looks at rival gangstas.” (Martinez, pg. 124), both in the United States and in Mexico. Now, Tupac is being played on both sides of
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