Education for Migrant Workers

Who is entitled to an education in the United States?

There are many controversies concerning a free, public education for certain immigrant communities in America, related to language barriers, geographic stability, and the possibility that parents are not citizens of the United States.

The lack of stability in the lifestyle of migrant workers sometimes does not allow migrant children access to a traditional education, causing these children to be stuck in the middle between what society demands from them to be considered American citizens (i.e. learning English) and the economic needs of their family. Jeehyun Lim’s article “Reimagining Citizenship through Bilingualism: The Migrant Bilingual Child in Helena Maria Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus,” talks about what the United States uses as an everyday proof of citizenship, which is often literacy in English.

In Helena Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus, Estrella, recalls some of her time in the United States educational system, and how her teachers were more concerned with her cleanliness than with what she was learning in the classroom. In many ways, Estrella becomes responsible for her own education, within a system that does not well accomodate a migrant, immigrant lifestyle.

Work Cited

Lim, Jeehyun. “Reimagining Citizenship through Bilingualism: The Migrant Bilingual Child in Helena María Viramontes' Under the Feet of Jesus.”Women's Stud Q 38 no1/2 Spr/Summ 2010 p. 222-43.

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