The prejudiced treatment of Mexican immigrants in the United States dates back to 1920s when their cheap labor was used in the North American region. Their cheap labor greatly contributed to the development of the U.S. economy. It allowed the Native Americans to fully concentrate in the World War I. The Mexicans, have consistently developed strong and efficient work in the Unites States, but in exchange for bad treatment, low wages, all kinds of discrimination and disparagement (Farmworkers.org). This discrimination began when racist arguments were directed to the Mexicans. The racist attitude has not yet been erased from the minds of the Anglo-Americans. Over that years, the Americans considered the Mexicans to be biologically labor wise, but culturally inferior. This discrimination was heightened in 1924 when the U.S. congress formed border control and in the 1929 there was formed a control that denied the Mexican immigrant workers visa into U.S., hence making those without documents be viewed as criminals and fugitives who were robbing Americans their jobs (Farmworkers.org). Unfortunately, this mentality has continued to date, making the Mexicans to be considered poor and fugitives of law, who should be arrested and deported. The discrimination and mistreatment of Mexicans has also been extended to the American prisons.
Treatment of Mexicans in United States
Mexican immigrant workers suffered from the dual labor market. Though employment opportunities were offered to them when the U.S. experienced labor deficit, they were not given any safety measures or insurance services, as it were for their American counterparts. There was also prejudice against the Mexicans that became evident when they were sent back to Mexico immediately when the U.S. felt there was no more need for their labor services.
According to Gibson (2009), discrimination still remains and there is a surge in odium crimes against the Mexican-Americans, Latinos and Hispanics. The major apparent symbol of the discrimination is the U.S.-Mexico Border Fence. This is meant to bar the Mexicans from illegally crossing over to the U.S. Instead of working together in building the already weak economy, the greater division and polarization of attitudes emerge between the Mexicans and Americans. Presently, the increase in unemployment has made jobs that were formerly not sort by the Americans and later those jobs became precious opportunities that cannot be left to the Mexicans. This therefore creates animosity between the citizens of the two countries with the Americans considering the Mexicans to be robbing them their job opportunities, leading into the hate crime. These are also promoted by the immigration laws that discriminately track illegal Mexicans, making them an inferior group to the rest of American society (Gibson, 2009).
Treatment in Prison
There has been a widespread outcry by the Mexican prisoners regarding the mistreatment they encounter in the American prisons. The major issues include: provision of poor food, lack of or inadequate medical care, beatings and even killings by fellow inmates of the American decent and disrespectful guards. Such an instance was experienced at Mississippi prison, which parked a wide spread riots among the undocumented immigrants. Same complaints were also issued by the Narcos in American prisons. According to FoxNews Latino (2012), one guard was killed while 20 people were wounded in a riot that took place on May 20 at the privately-managed Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, which hosts unregistered immigrants sentenced for crimes in the United States. This protest is a clear indicator of the unfair treatment in the prisons. Equally, the leaders of the Mexican prisoners, identified as the Paisas, also demanded to submit a list of complaints to the warden on the very day the riot erupted and instructed other inmates of the group to disobey commands issued by prison staff (FoxNews Latino, 2012).
The conditions in American prisons that the Mexican immigrants face also include a world of severe cell environment, with limited rights and no privileges, much severe than what is experienced in Mexico (Michael, 2012). This environment is considered too harsh in addition to the fact that their requests for better conditions only attract more punishment and more vulnerable. They are isolated from the others, denied their glasses, locked with tight shackles and not allowed to meet their close family members. These are the privileges that they would be enjoying while in Mexican prisons. For example, the case of Francisco Arellano Felix whose hand and foot were shackled even when appearing in court room caused him a lot of physical and emotional damage, with the main intention being to humiliate him. This act contravened an earlier precedence case of Spain v. Rushen (Michael, 2012).
It has also been established that in the U.S. prisons, the prisoners usually attack, abuse and even rape each other. The Mexicans in American prisons tend to be major victims of such abuses considering the fact that most of them are poor and may not pay for better treatment. In as much as the guards cannot be present in all the places including cells, they are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all inmates are safe, especially the new convicts. These abuses if not strictly dealt with can result into deaths of the inmates. The protection should include availability of drinking and bathing water.
This research has also found out that thousands of Mexican prisoners in American prisons are poor and are cripplingly out-lawyered and outspent at trial. This leads to lack of justice and wrong convictions for crimes they never committed. An example is the case of Ms. Jimenez, who was convicted for a crime she claims she never did (Bronner, 2012). The prosecutor’s sentence that she is intelligent despite being a Mexican is demeaning with a clear motive that the Mexicans are considered not intelligent. Currently, the renewed consideration on Ms. Jimenez’s case has led to donations to pay for fresh lawyers and experts, since she had begged for expert aid, but had inadequate funds to acquire their services. The U.S. Supreme Court is also reviewing a petition filed by Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Nieto for a retrial of Ms. Jimenez’s case (Bronner, 2012). This confirms the widespread feeling that Mexican nationals do not get an impartial trial in American courts and prisons. This case of Ms. Jimenez is a clear indication of the discriminating limits of the criminal justice system that millions of Mexican immigrants go through in the U.S. while striving to feed their family as narrated by Ms. Jimenez (Bronner, 2012).
The Mexicans have consistently developed strong and efficient work in the United States, but in exchange for bad treatment, low wages, all kinds of discrimination and abuses. This discrimination started in 1920s, but still remains to date as evidenced by the rise in hate crimes against the Mexican-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos. The major apparent symbol of the discrimination is the U.S.-Mexico Border Fence that makes it clear that the Mexicans are not welcomed in the U.S.
Similarly, there has been an outcry by the Mexican prisoners in relation to the mistreatment they encounter in American prisons. The major issues include: provision of poor food, lack of or inadequate medical care, beatings and even killings by fellow inmates of the American decent and unfriendly guards as witnessed at Mississippi prison. It is also found out that Mexican prisoners in American prisons are poor, hence are out-lawyered and outspent at trial by their rich American counterparts (Bronner, 2012). This leads to lack of justice and wrong convictions for crimes they never committed as was in the case of Ms. Jimenez.