The absence of war does not necessarily account for peace. United States is currently participating in a war in Iraq, that fact affects the lives of thousands of people here and abroad. The newspapers and TV bring us news about the instant death of people in the Middle East and other places of conflict. Nevertheless when I hear the local workers I hear about a different kind of violence.
For many workers life is a real survival task. They do not enjoy any kind of work stability. They feel that their presence and lives have become disposable across the board and their thoughts and feelings are not taken into consideration.
Let me talk about Jose and his family. Jose arrived to the country six months ago. He arrived at his cousins house. His cousin Rafael who has lived in this area for about six year visited their native town two years ago. Since that time he constantly encouraged Jose to come and work here. Jose had not been able to get a job for a long time. He did not understand the reason of this jobless situation but it is very hard to support a family with no job.
Jose thought about for a long time and could not find another way out. He arrived during the cold winter. Rafael and his friends helped him get a job. I will skip the part about documents the only reference I will make is that they cost money therefore he had to pay back for the investment and also start looking for a place of his own. The first months were spent working very hard, sending money home and saving to bring his family.
The following struggle of bringing the family and paying a lot for them to come safely tells me that they can give anyone the best lessons on budgeting and how to go without many things that for others are a must.
Learning the new language is just one of the many things he has to learn. Her has to that in the Midwest, most towns lack public transportation but you need to drive in order to work. You also need a license that is not available to people without a social security number. Once more Jose will run the risk of having no documents or using a false ID.
Every time a policeman crosses his way he starts to sweat and thinks about running. The same goes for every time the factory manager says they have been checking documents.
He depends on his friends for information, new jobs and even food when things go bad.
I want to continue this story that most immigrants know and many people from US ignore. This is just an effort to understand the daily life of Jose and Rafael or many others who work very hard and move this economy.
I will tell you about Joses wife and their children and how they do not have access to health insurance. We will also explore the problems of housing, and accessing any services.
Once more I want to say that this is not new for the immigrants, but is just a way of letting the local people know more about their neighbors.