Jose Cruz is a Filipino immigrant currently located in the United States. Jose has been living in the United States for more than twenty years working in one of the factories located in Detroit. Cruz has to finish this year before he is fully recognized as a United States citizen after undergoing the entire naturalization process. Cruz’s grandfather immigrated the country close to fifty years ago leaving the family behind. Cruz blames their country of origin, the Philippines, for ensuring that most of the laborers in the labor market moved from the Philippines to other parts of the world. In their new countries, they were forced to face issues that relate to low labor wages and lack of representation in the trade unions. Jose states that the condition might have improved in the recent past, but they had to go through a lot before changes were made to the current system of governance. Cruz illustrates using several important explanations on how the government ensured that the Philippine population became one of the most outsourced employee to different locations across the world. The paper provides two different perspectives as to why most of the Filipino people migrate to different lands. The first story narrates about the life of Cruz who is an immigrant of the 21st century. The second perspective collects views from Cruz’s regarding the life of his grandfather, who was among the earliest inhabitants of the United States where they went to work as laborers.
Cruz mentions that their home government started with sponsoring nursing students to different parts of the world and more specifically to United States. Another approach commonly used by the government was to crush labor strikes at different factories located in the South East of Asia. In a way, this ensured that the population of people working for such industries would leave their workplaces and become a cheap source of labor to other parts of the world. Cruz notes that the Philippines developed as a colony of the United States and was, therefore, more inclined to provide any support to the country (Rodriguez 135). Cruz notes that majority of the people who emigrated from the Philippines ended up in the United States mostly as workers. After many years, some became assimilated and even made families in the United States, which meant that their children would be recognized as being part of the citizens of the United States. Cruz mentions one of the Filipino groups that specialize in hip hop music using Filipino accent as being part of the generations that have developed away from their home country. Similarly, to other minority communities setting foot in foreign countries, their journey has not been easy. Establishing a name in the music industry has been difficult since the Filipino being recognized as being part and parcel of the United States history. Cruz mentions that in the current era of global capitalism, their country of origin still utilizes policies that ensure that more Filipinos become immigrant workers.
The Philippines as a country has placed emphasis on sending most of its population across the globe, in the process making some of them lose their identity. The Philippines Overseas Employment Agency is one of the agencies established by the government (Rodriguez 133). It ensures that most people coming from the Philippines end up in different countries as laborers though with improved terms and condition. Cruz notes that it is quite difficult to find a country that has placed a lot of emphasis on the development of agencies that deal with exporting laborers from their countries to others across the globe the same way the Philippines have developed theirs. The only problem as noted by Cruz is that the country places less emphasis on reverse brain drain since the population of Filipino immigrants established in other countries as professionals is quite high. Cruz also notes that there are several different features that are looked at in all immigrants who move to foreign countries. Most countries prefer Filipino immigrants because of their obedience, passivity and ability to integrate into different communities of the world without a lot of issues relating to labor laws. Since the Filipino community is majorly patriarchal, most of the people living the country for foreign lands are the women. Women immigration in the Philippines became popular at the end of the 20th century when more countries opened their doors to people of different color and races.
Cruz mentions provide several examples in which the country forced them out of their country of origin. Cruz specifically mentions TESDA, which stands for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The body trains people on different aspects that relate to and promotes different ideologies that emphasize on the migration of the labor force to different parts of the world. The body reconfigures issues related to citizenship so that they could necessarily be used for power brokering deals in which majority of the people from the country mentioned above find themselves in different continents of the world. This behavior has been ongoing since the country achieved its independence (Rodriguez 143). Cruz mentions that the state and other parts of the higher strata have ensured that migration of people to outside countries is a behavior that continues up to date without the state feeling the consequences of immigrants from its countries suffering in the hands of different powers. Migration of the people has been linked to transitional issues as well as issues revolving around social reproduction.
The country stands to benefits more if more people are located in different countries and continue earning more income to support their families back at home. Cruz also mentions that immigration has been supported by top bureaucrats who act as power labor brokerages for different firms around their country. The bureaucracy in the country operates like a well-oiled machine that ensures that more and more people are transferred to other countries across the United States with or without their consent. The top bureaucrats in the country do not act alone but in cohorts with the government of the day. The facts mentioned by Cruz are totally supported by one writer who notes that “Accordingly, the Philippine state has developed mechanisms by which it not only exports labor but by which it forcibly repatriates workers” (Rodriguez 74). Additionally, there are other groups in the country such as Migrante International that have in the past conducted numerous protest attempting to fight for the rights of people who have constantly been forced to migrate to different parts of the world without any legitimate reason.
Cruz provides an example of a strike in which the party assisted people of Philippine origin to get the same rights as other people. The settlement was made in Brunei State. The Philippine nationals were being treated to worse conditions than other communities that lived in the entire region. The conflict was largely settled by other parties that lived in the Philippines. Cruz agrees with scholars’ statements that most of the workers present in the country have developed bureaucratic tendencies, and that is why they would always be on the forefront in dealing with matters relating to immigrants to a point they are considered to be experts in the area of migration management. Cruz argues that some of them even work as consultants in matters dealing with immigration (Rodriguez 145). Cruz mentions that though the majority of the immigrants are located in the United States, a huge majority of them have been noted to move around areas such as Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Thailand. The Philippines has also created institutions and governmental ministries that exclusively receive labor immigrants to countries in Europe, North America, and the Persian Gulf. Most countries across the world have signed memorandums that ensure that people of certain origins have a place in their society. Cruz noted that the government has invested heavily in dealing with parties such as WTO and SAEN that ensure that they are constantly aiding in migration programs. Cruz mentions that one of the most important reason as to why the majority population of people living in the Philippines immigrates to foreign countries is their desire to be empowered financially. Once immigrants achieve this kind of social status they can support their families back at home and in the long run can provide the economic background that is required in their society. Cruz notes that the Philippines as a country greatly benefits from political economies that emphasize the need to for immigration of its citizens especially when conditions in their country do not provide adequate forms of employment.
Today, the Filipinos born and raised in the United States are considered to be citizens of the United States. They have the same rights as children born to the other races in the country. This has given rise to a new totally different population that has taken over cultures from both sides. One such example is the popular music group that released an album titled Empire Funk that talks about the struggle of the Filipino community in the United States. The majority of the singers who composed the album are fully recognized as Filipino- Americans. They choose to use hip hop which traditionally originates from the United States to pass their message across the country. This shows how the Filipino community has lost some bit of their culture and at the same time have taken up significant proportions of the culture of the American people and associates this culture with them.
After delving so much into how the state influences migration activities and migration in the current 21st century, Cruz described the immigration experience of the majority of the people who ended up in the United States. The real-life witnesses were described by to Cruz by the grandfather and were used to feel up the remaining bit of the above story. Cruz notes that his grandfather, an immigrant during the early fifty years worked in remote locations around different locations in the United States. Most of the places where the grandfather worked from had widespread incidences of exploitation of foreign workers (Revilla 116). The majority white community majorly owned most of the companies in which the Filipino immigrants were working. The pay for the laborers was less than the minimum wage that other minority groups used to receive. The inequality was an extension of the discrimination tendencies practiced by the white majority in the United States since the first immigrant arrived in their country.
Cruz notes that their grandfather provided them with several important reasons as to why they were coming to work to a foreign. Some of the reasons provided included searching for better forms of employment, formal education, making something out of their lives, sending money back to their families. Cruz narrates that his grandfather was one of the earliest immigrants who arrived in the United States and worked within the numerous farmlands that had been established by the white majority. Due to the poor working environments that worked during their time, Cruz states that his grandfather was among the people who steered the formation of labor unions that were supposed to advocate for their rights as a minority community in the country. Apart from labor unions, Cruz mentions that his grandfather and other parties formed different unions aimed at taking care of their needs while being in the foreign country. One of the unions successfully managed to create a village that was supposed to take care of all of the old Filipino who were working in the United States (Revilla 115). The United States was never interested in catering to the social needs of the Filipino immigrants who were present in the country in large numbers. The major interests related to work done on their farmlands. There also existed different Filipino union groups that catered for diverse interest between the Filipino populations. Cruz mentions the two parties as Filipino Brothers popularly known as strikers and Filipino strike breakers commonly known as scabs (Revilla 113). The number of the two different parties was significantly always causing tensions between the different groups. In other words, there was infighting among the general Filipino population especially those who came in as immigrant’s workers. The tension between the two groups was linked to the movement to the village that had been created to take care of the needs of the old people in their community.
The problem with the village was the high rent charges supposed to be to be paid by the old population. Different parties preferred different rates though they had invested equally in the same village. In the end, the village was more expensive compared to the small sharks that were found outside the village making more aging people to relocate to such areas to at least live life within their means. Cruz’s grandfather was among people who left the village to live in the nearby shacks (Revilla 113). Cruz remembers that the period they emigrated to come to the United States their grandfather used to live in a very small room that they had to look for a different house to cater for their needs and those of their growing family.
Cruz states that his grandfather together with all other Filipino present in the United States during this period faced other problems apart from living in expensive houses. The Filipino community that had migrated to the United States was never allowed to marry any natives from the United States. It was against the law for any immigrant to be found married to any native (Revilla 113). Most of them lived in communal areas in the United States which were concentrated. Majority would hire prostitutes to cater for their sexual needs. In early 1950, most of the Filipino groups started advocating for their rights as a people. Most of the Filipino strikes occurred because different parties failed to implement collective bargaining agreements that had been agreed with their employers. Most of the workers were paid depending on their rank and the level of experience. This population was just cream while the remaining population was majorly casual laborers whose payment was never made on time as the other high ranking servants. The labor unions were considered as the only resort to address the numerous ills that were happening in the society.
In summary, the Filipino population in different countries continues to rise due to the support of their country in implementing policies that gives a provision for immigration of its people to other countries. The effects of such migrations have not yet been felt with the current population. Emphasis on such policies has seen the number of Filipino increase in different countries. Unlike the start of the 20th and 21st century where the Filipino immigrated to seek for better standards of living and employment, most of the Filipino leaving the country to emigrate because of the perceived nature of policies that have been enforced by their government. The problems they faced in the earlier centuries are still existent though most of them have managed to become citizens of different countries.
Rodriguez, Robyn Magalit. Migrants for export: How the Philippine state brokers labor to the world. U of Minnesota Press, 2010.
Revilla, l. “A personal history of Filipino immigrants and the farmworkers Movement-Veracruz, p.” (1996): 111-112.