Africans on the Move: Transnational, Intranational, and Metaphorical Migrations
community resources. There are clear and glaring disparities in the treatment of these documented immigrants as compared with the experiences of A-3, B-1 and G-5 visa holders. This latter group is unprotected from exploitation and abuse, which is only ameliorated by informal assistance from a variety of non-governmental institutions, and more formal assistance from the Washington D.C. based Institute for Policy Studies.
Baptiste shows that the most overexploited migrant workers are in the main “poor, relatively uneducated women from “Third World” countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean”. Being undocumented immigrants to the US whose numbers are negligible when compared with the numbers of immigrants from other parts of the world may also mean that there are fewer services available and provided by their affinal community and also that they’re highly invisible to the policy elites. It may also mean that they fall through the cracks and cannot be found by non-governmental organizations that might otherwise help them. Baptiste’s characterization of these undocumented female migrants as “the wretched of the earth” within the US underlines the depth of inconceivable abuse that these women face, since they’re forced to remain in the informal sector as low-paid, under-valued labor with few opportunities to advance. Because many such women leave their home countries “by any means necessary” as contended by Jayne Ifekunigwe, their economic insecurity and defenselessness are
significant. Although both men and women may share undocumented status, women continue to be less advantaged and more vulnerable to negative economic influences.
The ‘stayers’ and ‘returnees’ in these population movements may also contribute to chain migration in a manner that fuses people from certain regions in the global economy into particular occupations because newcomers rely on old-timers for job referrals, assistance in securing housing, and tips on how to negotiate the new terrain. Baptiste like Takougang and Adeyanju shows that many migrants are integrated into the economies of their host countries as underemployed, poorly paid labor, since their educational training and experience belie the physical drudgery and low remuneration that they endure. However, the foreclosure or non-existence of opportunities in their home countries forces them to see migrant labor as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage.
What would Amy Ashwood Garvey think about these circumstances? Caribbean women are now part of the labor pool that is increasingly flowing out of the region into North America. Does this mean that one aspect of Amy Ashwood Garvey’s struggle is won? It is questionable at best that Ashwood Garvey would consider today’s circumstances better than in the past. There is a great deal of inequality built into the labor recruitment schemes that bring documented workers into the US. White privilege still continues, as do privileges earned by virtue of having old colonial ties to the United States. However, Grosfoguel’s contention that the coloniality of power contributes to limitations on the life
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