Editor’s Note: The following commentary reflects the views of the author and is not associated with any other organization.
"The future of Escondido is Waiting by the Gate" Photo by Ricardo Favela
By Fredi Avalos, Ph.D.
The City of Escondido, California represents a civilization gone with the wind. Well, almost. The shifting political winds were easy to observe at the City’s planning commission meeting July 22. In front of more than 200 people and an estimated 250 who rallied outside City Hall, the commission reaffirmed their previous vote not to allow a foster care facility to operate for refugee children fleeing their countries’ violence and repression in Central America.
The children would have been housed in a vacant elder care facility in a quiet semi-rural neighborhood. The facility has its own parking and would be funded entirely by federal money. It is estimated the facility would bring in at least 100 jobs paying well over minimum wage and would increase revenue for the city a total of $8.5 million a year. Escondido tax payers would pay nothing but would gain a great deal fiscally. So what is the problem?
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. —Cecilia, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, never anticipated that her life in the United States would turn into a real-world telenovela, the popular Spanish language dramas.
A few years ago she married a U.S. citizen who soon started to mistreat her. He later filed for divorce without telling her, but then the couple reconciled and got remarried. Then he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before he died, he told his wife that he wanted to help her regularize her immigration status.
That’s when Cecilia, who declined to give her real name, decided to seek out legal advice from an acquaintance. The individual charged her $2,500 but never filed her immigration case. Today she is still undocumented.
Scams on the rise
Cecilia, who works as a janitor in the Bay Area, is one of a growing number of immigrants taken in by those who promise to regularize their immigration status for a fee – and then don’t deliver.
The third installment in a four part series by columnist José de la Isla
Fourth installment by columnist, José de la Isla
By José de la Isla, Hispanic Link
Charles Hugh Smith—a political, social, financial and cultural trends commentator —
warns that “atomism” is how the state can break down “natural bonds of duty and responsibility between individuals” when mutuality and culture is relied upon less, as can become the case in elder care.
“Familism,” seen as half of a dualism, when examining society and the individual, is the cultural phenomenon at work that assigns responsibility to blood relatives for attending to and managing care of the elderly. It’s the expression that family is valued as an institution, its interdependent relationships and that relies on family members to act on behalf of and provide emotional and material support for the aging.
Researcher Yvette G. Flores of the University of California, Davis, et al., points out there’s a beef among academics that sometimes arises among investigators looking into the matter when familism isn’t distinguished between the cultural ideal and what actually happens in practice within families.