Essay Example: Undocumented Babysitters in Bay Area

Date:  2021-06-18 22:32:37
7 pages  (1877 words)
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Wesleyan University
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Essay
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Undocumented workers refer to people who work off the payroll or who have not yet been furnished by their employers in regards to the necessary identification details that show their qualifications of working. The identification details, in this case, include; photo identification, a credible social security card, a legal immigration visa or a legal non-immigration visa, a credible work permit issued by the Division of Labor or any other legal document that shows the authorization of getting employment in the United States (Orrenius & Zavodny 535). The undocumented workers are often affiliated with immigrants whereby a majority of them do not have access to the required legal documents. They often settle for low paying jobs or rather jobs that will be able to provide food and other basic needs for their families. An example of such jobs is babysitting which is quite common among the undocumented female workers. Most of the women settle for in-home jobs such as maids, housekeepers, and child caregivers. As a result of their inadequate education and the economic pressures, they tend to persevere in stressful work environments for them to maintain their jobs (Orrenius & Zavodny 535). The focus of the analysis is to look into the working conditions of the babysitters from the undocumented population regarding the challenges that they face.

In California, it is presumed that one in ten workers is an undocumented immigrant. According to a report by Hayes and Hill, Californias labor force includes about 1.75 million undocumented immigrants, according to the PRC. This is the second-highest statewide concentration of undocumented workers (9.0%) in the US after Nevada (10.4%). Undocumented immigrants work disproportionately in agriculture, construction, and manufacturing, (Hayes & Hill 1). The term undocumented also refers to unauthorized or illegal workers in the sense that they dont have the actual documents that show their legibility of being part of the employment market. It is estimated that in the year 2014, California had about 2.6 immigrants who were undocumented (Hayes & Hill 1). According to estimates, about a quarter of the immigrant population in the United States live in California such that they make about 6% of Californias population. From a national perspective, the number of the undocumented population has stabilized with about eleven million immigrants (Hayes & Hill 1).

Nonetheless, there has been a small decline from the year 2007. Also, the period of residence in the U.S. has risen as a result of the mish-mash among the voluntary returns, few immigrants who are new and an increase in enforcement (Hayes & Hill 1). Estimates indicate that about sixty-six percent of the undocumented immigrants have resided in the U.S. for more than ten years. Also, the majority of the undocumented immigrants are Hispanic with a percentage of seventy-eight. Of the seventy-eight percent, fifty-two percent from Mexico. The rest of the percentage come from Asia, Europe, and Asia. It is estimated that in 2014, about 71% of the undocumented immigrants were born in Mexico. Hayes and Hill explain that from the year 2016, 82% of the population in California support for the legal documentation of immigrants and that in 2017, about 65% of the adults supported the view on California making its policies, away from the federal government for the purpose of protecting the rights of the undocumented population in the state (Hayes & Hill 1). However, the support varied in regards to party lines whereby the percentages of the Republicans, Democrats and the independents who supported the idea were 27%, 80%, and 59% respectively (Hayes & Hill 1).

Timothy Noah, in his book The Great Divergence presents a simple but detailed analysis regarding the increase in the levels of inequality. He raises concern on the increase in inequality over the last four decades in the United States and the possible actions that the country needs to take to reduce the gap. He explains that the widened gap is the one between the middle class and the first class. From his perspective, one of the factors that influence the inequality is the lop-sided immigration policy in America which recklessly brings in more immigrants who are skilled or semi-skilled and hence making the low-income earners experience challenges in earning their living due to the competition. The other argument involves the letdown of the American educational system to align with the technology advancements such that the skills provided to children do not align with the labor force demands. Another reason that contributes to the inequality is the increase in competition between America and China in addition to low-wage nations whereby with the changes in technology, the American citizens are able to purchase plenty of products and services abroad. Other factors that he highlights include; the fall of the labor unions among workers who are employed in private companies, the inability of the minimum wage to align with the rate of inflation and the presence of an anti-poor attitude in politicians and the Republicans. He explains that inequality is not necessarily an American problem, despite it having the biggest gap, but instead affects various countries. He recommends that actions should be taken in all areas for the gap to decrease. He states, Americans believe fervently in the value of social equality, and social equality is at risk when incomes become too dramatically unequal. . . . Growing income inequality makes it especially difficult to maintain any spirit of e Pluribus Unum, (Noah 294). He puts emphasis on the view that economic mobility tends to be limited in the U.S. despite the significance of individuals to move up the economic ladder to lessen the gap. In other words, the United States is viewed to be extremely rigid when it comes to economic mobility. He also notes that most families have incomes that have been stagnant for more than a decade and hence making it difficult for most people in the middle and low classes to make significant changes in their lives.

The issue of economic inequality puts into perspective the aspect of undocumented workers that is mostly associated with people who require the extra income. Babysitting is among the popular jobs that undocumented individuals go for. It requires few restrictions and hence convenient for most of them (Chang 59). For the undocumented workforce, the babysitting is a full-time job because of their legal limitations that prevent them from seeking better jobs. For the other population, babysitting is relatively a part time job especially among the young people who require some extra cash during the holidays and the weekends. Babysitting is among the most important jobs, despite being of low income that ensures that children are safe in the absence of their parents and that they receive adequate care (Chang 60). According to the article, 5 Challenges of being a Nanny by Hope Shecando, As nannies, we are tasked with the role of caring for other peoples children. We share the responsibility of developing them into respectable young people while adhering to the attitudes of the parents and ensuring the children are granted enough freedom to be their own person, (Shecando n.p.) Therefore the working population is a significant part of the society.

Dresser explains that the child care providers present in private homes include those that live with the employers in the same house and those who do not live in the homes of their employers but live in the private residences of the employer (3). In most private households, the babysitters tend to care for a child or children in one family. It is perceived that in-home occupations such as child care are increasing rapidly. The increase is attributed to the significant course concerning health employment in homes. The foreseen expansion is also affiliated with the shift from institutional care to home-based care in addition to the advancing of years of the baby boomers (Dresser 3). Be that as it may, child caregivers are affected by inadequate job quality. Generally, the in-home employees are affected by poor job quality by which their salaries are relatively low; they lack benefits in addition to the fact that the important standards of labor do not cover a majority of them. Therefore, the job quality for the babysitters is relatively low whereby they take part of the population that earn the lowest amount of salaries (Dresser 6). Dresser asserts that the low income provided to the child caregivers is insufficient for getting a family out of poverty. She states, And self-employed child care workers are the worst off, reporting a median wage of just $5.68 per hour: a rate attesting to the long hours and low pay that child care consistently delivers (Dresser 6). She explains that low salaries and the unstable hours bring about low income for the employees. Furthermore, the life of the employment is unpredictable especially if the employers no longer require the services or move to other towns (Howes 50). Therefore, because of the lack of control of the jobs, they end up being jobless. Most of the median workers work for about thirty-five hours a week but the day care workers work for longer hours. Another issue entails status whereby the babysitting job carries the legacy of being a low-quality job. It has always been viewed that this types of jobs belong to women and mostly domestic workers. They have always been associated with low pay and hence quite difficult for the babysitters to negotiate high prices (Howes 50). In other words, there is a specific standard of which limits the employees to quote reasonable prices.

In regards to the labor standards, the protection given to the in-home workers is quite weak. The laws tend to be limited to certain workers and hence not covering the whole population. Most of the employees in private homes, including the babysitters, are left out of labor protections in addition to the right of forming unions (Bernhardt et.al. 67). Bernhardt et.al state, Part-time babysitting services are explicitly exempted from federal minimum wage and overtime law (Bernhardt et.al. 67). It is perceived that is quite difficult to categorize the status of employment with reference to the associated relationship. The factors to be put into perspective tend to vary in regards to the type of law being enforced whereby laws on salaries and hours are having expansive definitions in regards to compensation and the covered employees and the discrimination laws exhibiting simple definitions (Bernhardt et.al. 67). Therefore, most of the babysitters choose to view themselves as self-employed who operate their activities (Bernhardt et.al. 67).

In regards to demographics, a majority of the babysitters are female with an estimate of about 95%. The babysitting workforce tends to be feminized. Also, the jobs tend to be dominated by immigrants and individuals from the African American community. From a national perspective, about 13% of the population working as babysitters are Latinos with about 50% of the maids comprising of Hispanics. It is perceived that one in five in-home workers is undocumented (Dresser 8).

The occupation is also viewed to involve plenty of isolation. For most of the child care workers, the isolation commences even before they get a job especially since the terms and conditions of the employment and negotiations are discussed face-to-face with an employer (Portes et.al. 1057). In most occasions, the negotiations begin afresh for every job that is secured. The babysitters exist remotely from the employers such that it becomes difficult to establish a relationship between them. The relationship lacks natural support which makes it difficult to solve any constant problem. Furthermore, th...

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